Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

As he left the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin was approached by a group of citizens asking what sort of government the delegates had created. Not one to mince words, he replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” America has kept its republic for the last 247 years in large part because we widely accepted a principle called, “the Rule of Law.”  

The Rule of Law is the basic idea that the law should apply equally to all people, regardless of fame, family, political or social position, race, religion, or wealth. “Lady Justice,” as she holds the sword in one hand and the scales in the other, is blindfolded, and for good reason. The blindfold represents her refusal to allow any bias to corrupt her judgment. 

The Rule of Law

The Rule of Law has two fundamental premises. First, government exists for the good of the people as a whole. It is not a mere tool to be manipulated to enrich the powerful or oppress political opponents. According to our Founding Fathers, government exists to secure our liberties. When officials use the power of government for personal gain or political advantage instead of what the truth requires, government becomes tyrannical and the freedom of all the people is in danger. 

Second, truth exists, and truth is essential to all justice. We will be happier and more prosperous in the long run, both as individuals and as a nation, when we discover and live by the truth, even when it means our favored party or political candidate loses an election.   

Tradition of Respect for the Law

A common respect for the law as something that is above politics and personal interest has distinguished our nation from its inception. That common respect for the higher purpose of law has fostered justice, equality, stability, and peace.  

Admittedly, we have not always held to this virtue. America has embraced its share of corrupt politicians in the past. But, thankfully, the American people have “reset” their government every so often through the electoral process to restore that common respect for the law. “Throw the bums out!” has been a regular, healthy rallying cry. 

Corruption Runs Deep

But the corruption we are facing in America now is deeper, and the danger it poses more acute, than any time before in our nation’s history. This corruption is the fruit of a poisonous tree that took root about thirty years ago. In the 1990s, news surfaced of President Bill Clinton’s abuse of power with Linda Trip, Monica Lewinsky, and Paula Jones. Clinton himself lied under oath and then-First-Lady Hillary Clinton cavalierly dismissed the true charges of impropriety, abuses of power, and deception as a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” The mainstream media did its best to cover for Clinton, although at least one journalist rightly observed that the Clinton presidency was the most corrupt in American history. 

Scandals like Whitewater, Troopergate, Indogate, Travelgate, the White House FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) files scandal, and the Paula Jones case, not to mention Clinton’s duplicity on issues like abortion and homosexuals in the military, left many Americans calling for a restoration of integrity to the Oval Office.   

In the decades that followed, the Bill and Hillary scandals continued. Influence peddling by the Clinton Foundation, Hillary’s lying and malfeasance surrounding the 2012 Benghazi attack, the Uranium One scandal, and the use of an illegal private email server (and the obstruction of justice committed by the destruction of the server) all transpired with virtually no legal consequences for the Clintons or the Democratic machine. The untimely deaths of Clinton cohorts Vince Foster, Ron Brown, Seth Rich, Jeffrey Epstein, and others only exacerbated public suspicions. 

The next Democrat in the White House, Barack Obama, infamously claimed to have a scandal-free administration, but his tenure was anything but virtuous. Thanks to the faithfully blind eye of the liberal establishment media, Obama built a leftist deep state and undermined the Rule of Law unlike any American President before him. Remember how Lois Rich intentionally used the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) to target taxpayers based on their conservative views in politics? It was not just the IRS, though. President Obama also subverted the agenda of America’s military, intelligence, and federal law enforcement agencies to his political purposes. 

Trump Confronting the Swamp

In 2016, candidate Donald Trump pledged to “drain the swamp.” No doubt, that was the one campaign promise he had the least success fulfilling, probably because he had no idea how deep and entrenched the problem really was.   

But Donald Trump must be naïve no more. He has experienced first-hand the assault of deep state corruption more intensely than possibly any other American. The leftist partisans in the Justice, State, and Intelligence agencies, in league with the Clinton campaign and the Democrat leaders of Congress, knowingly fabricated charges against Trump and members of his administration and drug the nation through two baseless impeachment trials. Their partisan use of law enforcement has only intensified since Trump left office. Left-wing political activists posing as neutral prosecutors have attacked the former President (intentionally selecting deep blue venues like Fulton County, Georgia, Washington, D.C., and Brooklyn, New York) with six different civil and criminal prosecutions. 

Corruption in the Biden Administration

Make no mistake, progressives are not confining their assault on the Rule of Law to Donald Trump. Joe Biden has imprisoned hundreds of January 6 protesters, even though they were welcomed into the Capitol by police, and even though the vast majority damaged no property and committed no violence.  Meanwhile, his administration has almost completely ignored the Marxists who burnt down American cities and killed dozens of innocent police and civilians in 2020. Biden’s government has targeted innocent pro-life activists like Mark Houck, while largely ignoring those who have bombed and vandalized pregnancy resource centers across America. Leftist District Attorney Fanni Willis is prosecuting Trump and leading members of his administration for saying the election was stolen, while Biden has done nothing to hold the FBI or Intelligence officials accountable for their actual clear and consequential election interference when they intentionally lied to America about the Hunter Biden laptop and collaborated with social media and tech companies to suppress the story. Even now that the laptop’s contents have finally gotten out, Biden’s Justice Department is treating Hunter with kid gloves, offering sweetheart deals for crimes that would have sent any ordinary American to jail. 

Biden has lied to America for years about the abuse of his office while Vice President. His family made twenty million dollars from shady foreign business deals, including deals with affiliates of the Chinese Communist Party, as well as Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs. 

Federal Agencies and Media Collusion

We now know that the Obama-Biden operatives in the Justice Department and other agencies (like the CDC (Centers for Disease Control)) have illegally conspired with social media and tech giants to censor Americans’ speech for years. Elon Musk brought that revelation to light with the release of the “Twitter Files.” Now, Biden’s administration seems determined to silence Musk, launching investigations by the SEC, and two divisions of the US Attorney’s office. 

The Left’s disdain for the Rule of Law is on open display.  Progressives in 2020 called for “defunding the police.” They abolished bail for criminals and reclassified serious crimes to be misdemeanors. They prosecuted businesses and homeowners for defending themselves and refused to prosecute countless waves of smash and grabs, drug dealing, and prostitution in our major cities. 

It is no surprise that the Pew Research Foundation’s recent study showed that Americans’ confidence in their institutions is at its lowest point since 1979.   

A Call to Renew Commitment

If Americans want to “keep” this republic, we must renew our commitment to the Rule of Law. That essential principle, like the keel of a great ship, must be restored or freedom will certainly capsize.   

But before the Rule of Law can be fully restored, something more fundamental must happen. As mentioned, the Rule of Law derives from the premise that truth exists, and that following the truth matters. The Rule of Law is failing in America because we first abandoned our belief in the truth. The insidious philosophy of moral relativism has spread through our culture like cancer. We are at a point where supposedly educated people everywhere believe that truth, like style or personality, can vary from one person to another, as they refer to “my truth” and “your truth.”    

Like our Founders, we must embrace again the “self-evident” truth that we are created beings, and as such, we are accountable to the God who made us. Our duty in this life is to discover His will and follow it. As the great jurist William Blackstone wrote,  

“Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependent being. . .  And consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his maker for everything, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his maker’s will. This will of his maker is called the law of nature.“ 

A rebirth of the love of Truth in our hearts will reopen our eyes to many virtues, not the least of which is the Rule of Law. When we love Truth again, we will certainly reject leaders, regardless of party, who have subverted the Rule of Law and install those who respect it. If we can achieve this, we will go far toward securing our own liberties and earning the thanks of the next generation.  

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