The Importance of Rules

Last weekend a most extraordinary thing happened -- #1 seed Novak Djokovic was unceremoniously thrown out of the U.S. Open tennis tournament after hitting a ball in anger that accidentally struck a line judge in the throat. She wasn’t seriously hurt, and Djokovic had smacked the ball behind him without looking so the incident was clearly accidental, but rules are rules for a reason. A tennis ball smashed at top speed can cause fairly serious injury, depending on where it hits you. If an unseeded player who earned a wildcard entry would have been defaulted in the same circumstances without question, how would it be fair if the rule was not applied equally to Djokovic, just because he was “supposed” to win the match?

In the interest of full disclosure, I will confess that Djokovic is currently my favorite player to watch, and I was very disappointed that he was unable to finish the match, but I would have been even more disappointed if the rules of the game were not applied fairly and equitably to every player competing in the sport. Rules exist for a reason.

Why were Shoeless Joe Jackson and other key members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox forever banned from the major leagues by baseball commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis? For decades, baseball historians claimed the harsh penalty was applied because Landis was determined to protect the integrity of the game from corruption by gamblers. The best team doesn’t always win, but they should never be trying to lose on purpose. Recently Democrats have tried to “cancel” Judge Landis by claiming he was a racist who tried to keep black players out of baseball (after all, their scandal nickname became the “Black” Sox, wasn’t it?) but Landis instinctively understood that the American people simply would not tolerate winning or losing a game by cheating. Americans have always demanded a level playing field. May the best man or team win, but only as long as they follow the rules of the game.

In professional tennis, there are line judges and chair umpires. In baseball, there are umpires and football games have referees. These officials are responsible for applying the rules of the game fairly to every competitor, no matter their status or ranking. The problem is that everyone wants to win, and someone has to lose. Nobody likes losing but losing with grace and dignity demonstrates the character of a true competitor. Nobody likes a sore loser.

Can you imagine the utter chaos that would ensue if no one enforced the rules? Governments also have “rules of the game” called life. These rules are called laws. Law enforcement are our line judges and the judicial system our chair umpires. Without the police and the rule of law, we’d have the chaos and anarchy we’ve seen in Seattle and Portland spread like a virus throughout the country. Victims of crimes that go unpunished will be tempted to seek vigilante justice or revenge.

Our Declaration of Independence asserts that all Americans have been created equal with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Please note that the very first document produced by our developing nation did not guarantee happiness, but only the right to pursue it. The very first two promises made in the preamble to our Constitution by the fledgling new government were to establish justice and ensure domestic tranquility, which sort of go hand-in-hand. If we don’t have a system of justice that gives everyone equal and fair treatment under the law, we’re never going to have domestic tranquility.

The “official” Black Lives Matter organization are nothing more than domestic terrorists with a catchy slogan of passive-aggressive perfection. After all, only a racist or white supremacist would ever suggest that black lives don’t matter.  It’s the same sort of cognitive manipulation that ideological movements tend to employ as a tactical maneuver against their opponents… for example, by their own labeling techniques “pro-choice” advocates imply that anti-abortion people are actually opposed to the ability to choose between life and death by arguing that a fetus is not a baby, while the “pro-life” movement is drawing attention to the fact an abortion is the death of a human being.

The biggest problem with the constant Black Lives Matter “protests” over the past ninety days is that it has become painfully and abundantly obvious that not every black life matters equally. We all know the name of George Floyd, and that his death while pinned by his neck under the knee of a police officer triggered the riots in Minneapolis that heightened racial tensions nationally. Then on June 12th Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed in Atlanta after police found him passed out in the drive through line of a Wendy’s Restaurant and he grabbed a Taser while resisting arrest. Jacob Blake had violated a restraining order and refused to cooperate with police when he was shot in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In each case, the police had probable cause to justify making an arrest and followed their own guidelines for taking an uncooperative suspect into custody, but officers in Minneapolis and Atlanta have nevertheless been charged with murder.

Liberal Democrat prosecutors desperate to get reelected have overcharged police officers in some of these cases, which discourages more aggressive law enforcement to help keep the peace. Meanwhile, many arrests have been rendered meaningless by district attorneys who subsequently drop all the charges against arsonists and looters. What is the point of arresting somebody if you know in advance they aren’t going to be prosecuted? Rumor has it that George Soros is primarily responsible for financing the elections of these liberal district attorneys who refuse to prosecute crimes unless the accused is a cop.

After being forced to apologize for the “thought crime” of saying that it was disrespectful to the U.S. flag to kneel during the national anthem, Drew Brees was more recently pictured with the name JACOB BLAKE written on his helmet. Apparently, the Saints QB has been forced yet again to bend the knee in response to political correctness. However, if all black lives were truly equally important, Brees would be wearing the name of David Dorn or Secoriea Turner on his helmet instead of honoring an armed suspect in the process of committing a felony.   

Most Trump voters know about Obamagate, unquestionably the worst travesty of justice in American history. As part of the Machiavellian scheme, James Comey engineered the setup interview of General Michael Flynn, a patriot by almost every account (Judge Emmett Sullivan being one notable exception) which Comey gleefully and publicly admitted was only done because he believed he could get away with targeting a career military officer because he was also a member of the Trump administration.  

The closer we get to the November elections, the less likely it becomes that Brennan, Clapper, Warner, McCabe, Strzok, or anyone besides convenient scapegoat Kevin Clinesmith will be charged with any sort of crime because of the perception that administering justice would actually be interfering with the November election… meanwhile Showtime is currently running a movie called The Comey Rule that is most definitely trying to influence the outcome of the 2020 presidential election with lines like “…You went there (to work for the FBI) to put bad guys away… not help them become President.”

Fortunately, Comey’s best efforts didn’t help Hillary Clinton. If God has not forsaken us and there is any justice in this world, in 2020 the movie lionizing his treachery won’t help Joe Biden, either. Then after Trump wins reelection, all of the conspirators can receive a fair trial.

John Leonard is a freelance writer of nonfiction and detective novels. Most recently he’s been the lead editor of the Rootstock series of epic fantasy novels. Connect with him on Facebook (he’s even friends with Corn Pop!) or contact him through his website at

Image: Pixabay

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