There ought to be a law. This, signature line, from a popular comic strip, unfortunately, only tells part of the story! While, certainly, there are still, many violations, which we should seriously address, merely enacting another law, is a somewhat, meaningless step, because, unless/ until, we enforce any rule, it becomes rather worthless, and with very limited meaning. This is true, whether we consider, basic, simple rules, on a local level, or, regarding, what we witness, on a national and international one. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, what this means and represents, and, why, if we hope to, follow the rule of law, we must make certain, we need to be certain, we are addressing, meaningful concerns, which matter and make a difference, and, why, if we don’t give enforcement some teeth, they become a waste of time.
1. Local laws/ rules: Do not park on the grass, or No Parking, or, other basic rules, if ignored, end up, no longer being followed and/ or, observed! When we shrug, when drivers don’t stop, at Stop signs, or consistently speed, etc, this behavior becomes considered, normal and acceptable! When pedestrians, routinely, Jay – Walk, and there is no penalty, why bother with a law? If there are, maintenance requirements, such as shoveling after snow storms, maintaining one’s curb, etc, and no one, is penalized, when they fail to observe them, it may be time, to question, what we are doing! If there are, water – conservation, requirements, and homeowners, don’t observe them, how do these laws, make any meaningful difference. While many areas, have zoning regulations, when major developers, routinely, receive variances, why, even bother having them?
2. National level: National laws, are supposed to be based, on the United States Constitution, yet, we have been witnessing, a period, where specific, personal/ political agendas, and self – interest, have appeared to over – power, certain rights, freedoms, and justice, for all! The recent feud between two of the branches of government, the Executive and Legislative branches, which should be resolved/ addressed, by the Balance of Powers, if the Constitution was followed, Congressional oversight, would be automatically granted. However, we’ve all seen President Trump, demand the people in his administration, refuse to testify, even when there are subpoenas. While this should be able to be resolved, by the third branch, the judiciary, many of the recent judicial nominees, appear to have a specific, pro – Trump, orientation, so even this response, is not automatic! The rule of law, seems, challenged, on a daily basis, in areas, such as these balances, war powers, budget/ fiscal power, perceived, somewhat widespread, perjury, etc.
3. International affairs: When the United Nations was created, the intent would be, to provide, an arena, where nations could discuss, conflicts, improprieties, and other issues, with the hope, of, avoiding further conflicts. However, once again, we have often witnessed, too little enforcement, and, more, and more, antisocial behavior.
Why bother with any laws, or rules, if we don’t enforce them? We must consider, what type of neighborhood, region, nation and world, we live in, and whether, we want, and need, the rule of law!