The Power (Golden) Rule
I re-watched The Big Short the other day and was reminded of the abject corruption surrounding our banking system and at the unwillingness of the Judicial Branch to enforce law. Unfortunately, I think things have gotten worse. This does not only include the banking industry, or the Judicial Branch, but other areas of government as well. As exemplified in the movie, laws continued to be ignored.
Laws can be complicated and in many cases are written by individual Legislators’ to be ambiguous. Writing unclear law is done on purpose, it allows, and encourages, spin. This has been going on for decades, and probably as long as laws have been written, and while repugnant and horribly inefficient, it is not new. This ambiguity can make enforcement confusing, so rules are established in an effort to codify the law and make it clear what is allowed and what isn’t. Some of this codification is suspect as well, but that is why court agendas are full. It keeps the lawyers employed. I have argued for citizen oversight committees and here is another place they would be worth their weight in gold.
What about enforcement? Law enforcement complicity has been mentioned, but what about every day government employees just doing their job? If a hard left ideolog gets into a management position, the decision as to where to deploy resources rests with them. Resources are limited so enforcement must be prioritized. It is just a variation of the Golden Rule. The one with the power decides how to deploy enforcement resources.
We have seen it with election laws. Some people simply didn’t want to do the things detailed in law. It is equivalent to telling a kid “no” and them looking back and doing exactly what you told them not to do. Once upon a time, that action (both the kids’ and blatantly ignoring current law) would have swift, and often painful, consequences, but no more. It is not as violent as destroying a private business, but the citizen harm is real.
School boards want protection from raucous parents, but where is their decorum and sense of fairness. How come School Boards are not enforcing the law? Meetings are often boring and perfunctory, but Boards have the power to change how they are run and the rules that guide them. Since parental involvement is usually abysmal, Boards’ find any oversight or query to be insulting. They believe they are experts and know what they are doing, the parents simply do not understand and have no interest in learning. Parents are viewed as a nuisance, at best. Based on my observation and a decades old assessment of PTA participation, if a PTA had a participation rate of 5%, it was a statistical anomaly, it is usually around 1-2%. In Boards’ defense, many of these parents have specific agendas.
I applaud parents who have participated and are waking up to some of the nonsense created by School Boards, but to be successful, the oversight has to be continuous. Like babysitting a kid, lack of supervision often leads to trouble. The oversight must extend to repercussions. If a school board, election board or other government official allows an unlawful activity, just like other criminals, they must be prosecuted, and the sentencing must be harsh. Citizen oversight is desperately needed, but it must be diligent, constant, with inefficiencies corrected and blatant violations prosecuted.
Until elected and appointed officials are held liable for ignoring laws they are charged to uphold, nothing will change.