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We Are a Nation of Laws, Not of Men


When a nation's laws are flouted by the political leadership it is only a matter of time until the populace shows the same disrespect for law and order.

Image source: Americans for Prosperity

One of the great biographies of the past couple of decades is David McCullough’s book on John Adams.

We didn’t study Adams in school like we did George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Bejmain Franklin, but Adams was clearly whet we would call today a mover and shaker.

In a nation in which two-thirds of the people were either opposed to independence or indifferent, Adams drove the remaining one-third to create the most free and most generous nation in history.

Image source: Americans for Prosperity Image source: Americans for Prosperity

He advocated for Washington to be the leader of the revolution. He insisted that Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence.

He said throughout his life that Jefferson would be remembered longer than most of the founders because Jefferson was a better writer. Adams knew 240 years ago the power of the written word.

John Adams also gave us the slogan that drove this free nation to such heights. “We are a nation of laws, not of men.” How quaint.

Adams believed that men – all men – are fallible. Men will instinctively help their friends and punish their enemies. Adams would not recognize the nation he helped create today.

The founders gave to Congress the constitutional responsibility of oversight. They are the eyes and ears of the people in watching what is happening under the rule of law.

This is serious business and people invited to testify before Congress must do so under oath. Baseball star Roger Clemens was indicted for lying in a Congressional investigation regarding steroids. He was tried in district court.

On Tuesday the private contractors from Platte River Networks who managed Hillary Clinton’s personal server were subpoenaed to testify before Congress.

When it was discovered that Clinton had kept her emails on a private server Platte River was put on notice to preserve them. After participating in a conference call with Mrs. Clinton’s lawyers and staff they destroyed the records. They were asked who instructed them to do that. They took the fifth.

The 5th Amendment merely says that you cannot be forced to testify against yourself in a criminal proceeding. One can only conclude that by speaking the truth under oath they would be admitting to a crime.

The laws of our nation are clear. If you fail to preserve documents in a legal proceeding after you have been put on notice you are in contempt of court. Attorneys can be disbarred for even suggesting it. The attorneys, the contractors and Mrs. Clinton ignored the law.

At an earlier time this behavior would put people in jail. No more,

During the hearing Justin Cooper, who set up the server, testified that he was given total access to the emails. He admitted that he had no security clearance.

At an earlier time this behavior would put people in jail. No more,

One of the people subpoenaed to testify didn’t even show up. He chose to ignore the law and ignore subpoena.

At an earlier time this behavior would put people in jail. No more,

Four years ago Lois Lerner led an effort to use the power of the IRS to intimidate conservative groups and deny their applications for tax-exempt status. She took the 5th also. Congress voted her in contempt of Congress. She retired on full benefits.

At an earlier time this behavior would put people in jail. No more,

Former Attorney General Eric Holder perjured himself before Congress. He was also voted in contempt.

At an earlier time he would have been impeached. Not today.

Our president decided to ignore our immigration laws and bring hundreds of thousands of immigrants into our country illegally. A Texas judge ordered them to stop until a hearing could take place. They ignored the judge’s order and continued.

At an earlier time he would have been impeached. Not today.

Nearly a decade ago greedy Wall Street bankers ignored laws and rules to make billions before bringing the world’s economy to the brink.

Not one went to jail.

A Democrat political operation called Black Lives Matter kills cops. They not only escape jail, they get invited to the White House to discuss race.

Adams added another axiom to the lexicon: “There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.”

There is danger from all men. When the men elected to enforce the law use that power to break the law the world’s most shining example of liberty ... is free no more.

If you would like to be added to John Linder’s distribution list please send your email address to: linderje@yahoo.com or follow on Twitter: @linderje

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