Stacy McCain has a great post up about the politics of feelings. It’s well worth the read. Here’s a bit of it to whet your appetite:
“You can’t do that.”
But it makes me feel good.
“It’s against the law.”
Then we should change the law.
Because it makes me feel good.
“Who cares about your feelings?”
Why does the phrase “the pursuit of happiness” appear in our Declaration of Independence? Most people don’t know enough about history or political philosophy even to understand why this is an important question. Instructed with the simple-minded sentimentalism of an elementary school pageant, people cling to the phrase — along with whatever other bits and pieces of their education managed to stick in their minds — with the fierce emotion of a toddler clinging to his mother. Urging such a person to examine the facts critically is likely to produce antagonism, as if you were somehow unpatriotic for insisting that actual history is preferable to flattering mythology.
Diana West’s new book American Betrayal dares to question some of the sentimental gush about the 20th century that too many of us have swallowed without thinking about it, and the problem is that once people integrate false narratives into their worldview, it’s very hard to get them to re-examine their erroneous beliefs.
Yes, that’s what our modern politics has come to…feelings. The rule of law has been thrown out the window. The basic premise of equal treatment under the law for each and everyone of us is now just wishful thinking. As my friend Joe said in his recent post:
So I find myself wondering, given this reality, how is it that we still believe we are under the rule of law? If there is no set guideline or standard against which we can judge the application of a lesser law, or, if the standard we use is subject to whatever a given judge decides he/she wants to do, then what does “the rule of law” even mean? But my confusion doesn’t stop there.
Now we find that the law – as it is applied today – is applied in a hierarchical manner. If you have both power and money, then the law doesn’t apply to you. If you have power, it only applies if those above you or with more power than you wish it to do so. If you have money, it only applies if those with power and/or more money want it to apply to you. However, if you have neither money nor power, and those above you do not wish to protect you, the law not only applies to you, but it applies in whatever manner those above you desire to apply it. They call this hierarchy “proprietorial discretion,” but is that what it is? Does the rule of law even have such a thing as “proprietorial discretion,” or is that supposed to be the role of the jury?
I ask these things because I honestly don’t know anymore. What I thought I knew and understood doesn’t match with the reality I see around me. So, do my eyes deceive me? Should I accept that 2+2=5 if that’s what I am told?
As anyone with half a brain could see, if only they looked, we do have an upside down interpretation of the law and how it should be applied. If you have a lot of money and/or are politically connected, the law doesn’t mean a thing.
My good friend asked if there was a higher law of the land than the Constitution. And he answered the question with a quote at the end of his post:
“Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”
– Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House
Biblical law, the Ten Commandments, if you will, have precedence over the Constitution. In fact, the Constitution was based on the ten laws handed down by God to Moses.