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In drawing up the Massachusetts Constitution John Adams described the Rule of Law: “to the end it may be a government of laws, not of men.”2013: “... one of the worst for the republic.”
“The past year may go down not only as the least productive ever in Washington but as one of the worst for the republic,” wrote Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK).
By definition, a republic disperses and checks the powers of lawmakers and enforcers, and for a republic to excel a strict obedience to The Rule of Law is essential. The Rule of Law is defined by:
A government with moral and legal authority promulgates written rules and universally, impartially and uniformly enforces the rules, which provides a predictable and stable legal order on which to base economic and personal decisions. The law prevails, not the proclamation or arbitrary decision of a ruler, government bureaucrat, the enforcer (e.g., policeman) or judge.
In the Wall Street Journal, Coburn decries the devastation to America's philosophical, moral and legal foundations.
The Rule of Law: “On health care, President Obama oversaw a disastrous and, sadly, dishonest launch of his signature achievement. The president gave an exception to employers, but not to individuals, without any legal basis, and made other adjustments according to his whim.”
Moral Authority: “... if you like your plan, you can keep it, and that if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. We now know that the administration was aware that these claims were false, yet Mr. Obama continued to make them, repeatedly.”
Deception is Destructive: “... the old kind of politics, teaches politicians that repetition and "message discipline"—never straying from using the same slogans and talking points—can create reality, regardless of the facts. ... When a misleading message ultimately clashes with reality, the result is dissonance and conflict. In a republic, deception is destructive. Without truth there can be no trust. Without trust there can be no consent. And without consent we invite paralysis...if not chaos.”
Senator Coburn, once considered a friend of then-Senator Obama, lists many failings by Republicans and Democrats in Congress. In his conclusion, Coburn excoriates the moral and legal degradation of politics in DC. “We live in a time when laws and rules are defined however the holders of power decree, and "messaging" is paramount, regardless how far the message is from reality.”
Dangerously, the Rule of Law and moral authority have been eroding for many years, which has resulted in the public's disrespect for Congress. Sadly, fewer and fewer Americans trust government. Without truth and trust, there isn't a predictable or stable legal order on which We the People can base economic and personal decisions. Government without moral authority, written rules, and a stable legal order furthers personal and economic paralysis... and ultimately chaos.
Yes, 2013 was “one of the worst years for the republic.” Only We the People can bring honesty and competency to our government. As Senator Coburn wrote:
“In 2014, here's a message worth considering: If you don't like the rulers you have, you don't have to keep them.”