For years, the left and Democrats in power have regarded the rule of law as optional. Oh, the laws aren’t optional for you of course; however, for the ruling class “elites” and their fringe activists like ANTIFA the laws are mere suggestions. This double standard has never been as clear as it is in this very moment.
The death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer should be and must be condemned. It is understandable that there are strong emotions surrounding this event, and the many peaceful protestors are exercising their First Amendment rights as citizens should.
But when some bad apples turned the protests into something else, something violent, and the response was to let them run their course, a signal was sent—that the rule of law no longer applies to these radicals.
The consequence was the extensive looting we saw across the nation. These were not protestors, despite some trying to use graffiti to tie their actions to the George Floyd death. This was greed and opportunism. It was a chance to get the latest iPhone without paying for it. It was a chance to vandalize Gucci or Louis Vuitton. The looters saw the initial tepid response all across the nation, which only served to embolden them as they knew there was little chance they would be held accountable.
Business owners, especially small business owners, have been hammered this year. Some who were desperately trying to find a way to stay in business despite shut-down orders were shamed mercilessly online if they did not acquiesce to the rigid standards set by the leftist Twitter mob.
Yet, even as we were starting to open back up, Democrats at the national level and here in Arizona refused to create a liability environment for businesses. They prevented legislation that would allow businesses to reengage without the fear of being shut down by ravenous trial lawyers viewing a pandemic as a windfall.
Then many of those small business owners, who had been paying taxes for years, watched as their life’s work was shattered, looted, and in some cases even set on fire and burned to the ground. The social media mob had transformed into a real-life mob. When innocent Americans needed protection from society and government the most, it was not there for them. While they had been forced to abide by every arbitrary government regulation over the years, rule of law didn’t seem to matter anymore when it came to their personal livelihood.
As for the Second Amendment, Democrats believe in strict enforcement of every possible gun law and are hellbent on adding even more. They deride the idea that law-abiding citizens should be able defend themselves, their families, and their property. But after recent events, what confidence will the public have that law enforcement will be there to protect them?
All those years of arbitrary and impulsive enforcement of the rule of law is now reaping the consequences of such a misguided point of view. The veneer of civilization is showing itself to be thinner than many people imagined. Without the rule of law, it will only get thinner.
We must, as a nation, restore the rule of law—and quickly.
Dr. Kelli Ward is a family physician, two-term Arizona state senator, and the chairwoman of the Republican Party or Arizona. On Twitter: @KelliWardAZ