Liberty Relies on Rule of Law

Sam Karnick Heartland Institute
Published January 5, 2024

The past few years have provided a crucial lesson for the liberty movement: our freedoms rely on the rule of law. People cannot be free without the protection of a strong and fair sovereign government.

Our rights to life, liberty, and property depend on due process and full respect for the people’s rights, privileges, and immunities. Without that, arbitrary government can do pretty much as the current individuals in control desire—and it generally does that, up to and often beyond what those in power perceive they can get away with.

What a harsh lesson for the liberty movement we have had since at least as far back as the panicked reaction to the government-caused Great Recession of 2007-2008. The taxpayer-funded bailouts of big banks, multinational automobile companies, and other powerful business interests exposed the government favoritism that picks winners and losers among the millions of supposedly private enterprises across the nation.

The Sarbanes-Oxley financial regulation monstrosity encoded that rigged economic system in the law, unconstitutional in every element of it. The explosion of regulation under the Obama administration added to the advantages for big businesses by increasing the relative burdens of regulation on small companies as opposed to giant multinationals, which could much more easily absorb the costs. Cheap money from the Federal Reserve further benefited those who were already rich and rewarded reckless speculation on less-productive economic activities.

Meanwhile, the central government consolidated its power and worked with media companies to suppress dissent and even discussion of their actions.

Then, with the surprising election of Donald Trump to the presidency, governments at all levels unleashed the power of mobs to frighten the populace into submission. Rioters tore down statues, blocked thoroughfares, looted businesses, engaged in countless violent assaults and murders of entirely innocent people unrelated to their ostensible complaints, took over entire sections of major cities, perpetrated mass thefts in retail spaces, and committed a multitude of other crimes against the public.

Governments, in the main, did nothing to stop this and much to encourage it. Of course, these state and local governments rejected the Trump administration’s many requests for permission to help restore order, as did then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in the run-up to Jan. 6, 2021.

It was obvious that these activities were part of a Cloward-Piven strategy to destabilize the entire country and create monumental disorder that would reflect badly on the incumbent president and unleash a desire for a progressive-Democrat regime to take power and restore order. The nation’s press kept this agenda hidden from the public to the extent possible.

After hamstringing the Trump administration through the fake Russia collusion investigations, the absurd Ukraine claim, and countless other outrages, and with the economy growing at a frustratingly rapid pace in response to Trump’s tax cuts and deregulation (especially in the vitally crucial energy sector), the nation’s governments shut down the country altogether in 2020. They changed the election laws through flagrantly illegal and unconstitutional means to ensure a victory for Basement Joe Biden and his puppeteers.

A candidate who did not campaign ended up being credited with a record 80 million votes.

Since then, the regime has worked ceaselessly to ensure that Trump does not win the presidency again, this time relying on corrupt judges, unhinged prosecutors, government threats toward media organizations (who were already thoroughly inclined to comply with the scheme), and state manipulation of election ballots. Most recently, the Supreme Court of the state of Colorado and the Secretary of State of Maine have ordered the name of Donald Trump be removed from their states’ primary ballots.

These actions, which are in the process of being duplicated in about three dozen other states, are clearly a desperate move to stave off the otherwise inevitable defeat of Joe Biden in next year’s election. The rulings follow the lead of President Biden’s decision to extend the federal government’s nationwide forced moratorium on housing evictions even though he admitted that it was unconstitutional; he would enforce it until the Supreme Court told him not to, Biden said.

That was just one of Biden’s numerous explicit and knowing violations of the presidential oath of office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

All of this is for our own good, of course. The government and its toadies and coconspirators throughout the media and multinational business interests are doing everything they can to save us from fascism, which will arrive, if it does, only in the person of Donald J. Trump.

Remember, however, when leftists accuse their political opponents of doing something awful, they themselves are the ones really doing it.

The participants in this corrupt system are destroying the rule of law to save it, or so they claim. They profess their fealty to “Our Democracy,” their term of endearment for the corrupt system alluded to in the barbarities, outrages, affronts, and indignities described above. They have no shame in their unbridled efforts to accumulate power. Those who seek to gain and sustain power do not care what chaos and pain their actions cause. They will ruin everything in the world if it gives them a chance to rule over the ashes.

We are in the grip of an uncomfortable paradox. Those of us who believe in freedom must devote our energies to the restoration of the rule of law in this nation. It is the precondition for all the freedoms we enjoy.

That is a harsh truth for us freedom-lovers to accept, but it is nonetheless true.

Photo by Rafael Marquez. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.