Across America, breaking the law often means there are no consequences
Let's begin with the conclusion so as not to keep anyone waiting: punishment under the law is no longer acceptable in a "woke" society. One may still be subjected to legal prosecution if the crime threatens the left, as happened to Donald Trump, Carter Page, and Michael Flynn. "Truth," however, has nothing to do with such prosecutions of convenience, although punishment is highly acceptable under informal social norms. So we have "cancel culture" that can ruin a person's life in an afternoon, moving right along until the victim enters his eternal rest.
Rejecting legal punishment except in political cases can be seen in the West Coast's aversion to prosecuting street crimes such as trespassing, mugging, and serious violence resulting in bodily injury. Just this afternoon, as I am writing, Portland, Oregon has decided not to prosecute someone who drove into a Proud Boy in a parking lot and then left the scene. In the olden days, this was a pure crime, but it's unworthy of charges at this time and in that venue.
In another case, the prosecutor told the murder victim's family to "keep their mouth shut." If victims and their families have no standing, punishment is increasingly irrelevant. The proper "woke" attitude toward victims is that all that happened to them was they had some really bad luck.
From where does this impulse to ignore punishment arise? Most rationalizations explaining this phenomenon do not interest me. I have my own!
Those holding political power who downplay punishment desperately need a punishment-free society to protect themselves from investigation and jail time. If everyone else can get away scot-free, so can those who wield power.
In fact, not only should everyone be allowed to get away scot-free, but they should not even be subjected to questioning about their deeds. My wife keeps laughing at me for continuing to believe that Hillary should be wearing orange.
Donald Trump is hated because he blew the whistle on the big game. He brought the entire official Washington world down on him by talking about the "swamp" and calling the fake news "fake."
It is little wonder that Mitch McConnell turned on Trump in recent days even though the president helped him get re-elected. The family of Elaine Chao, Mr. McConnell's wife, earns money from a shipping company with Chinese ties, and Chao likes to help out. The continuation of Mr. Trump's tough line against China could easily cause the collapse of Ms. Chao's portfolio, and that loss of income can only be prevented with Mr. Trump's timely retirement.
From the Chao example, does it not seem logical and desirable to the average person that our lawmakers should be conflict of interest–free when they consider our national legislation? Under benign business conditions, having important connections is a good thing, an advantage that helps businesses prosper, but things can quickly get out of hand.
What we have here is a feeding frenzy. As the federal honey pot keeps growing, gorging by the elected elite has become the rule. If China offers cash up front, who's to say no now that the Chinese are defined as "good guys"? In this way, "treason" loses its nasty edge. If the New World Order is an ethical position, how can a "local" government like the United States impose punishment for treason on those who work for One World?
What we have here, in the end, is a problem of values. For the individual, voting gives him the status of being an American citizen, but the swamp can argue that the horrible ignorance of the average voter is too much for a modern functioning government to bear. What the swamp never argues is that it too is too ignorant to control a complex system that changes without notice. As long as it can call itself and the money men "good," there are no crimes either it or its voters can commit; there are only political crimes the other side commits.
The genius of Trump is his extraordinary flexibility. That is what is necessary to respond to quickly changing conditions. Without that extreme flexibility, which requires high intelligence, rejection of dogma, and the complete refutation of self-interest, there is no hope of "making things better." We will spiral out of control as we bathe in increasing amounts of misallocated money until the monetary system collapses.
It is for this reason that we must beg each other to do the right thing by giving Trump his due — four more years. Maybe the behemoth of government and its enticement to riches can be reduced in that time.