A nation in a crisis of lawlessness!

2010 June 12
by ruleoflawrestoration

Sure, we can talk all day about the corruption in Washington, or in the State government, or even at city hall.  But as I shall argue in my upcoming book, the root of all this corruption is the very public, from which all incumbents naturally come.  I thought I’d take a few minutes to point out that one can learn a great deal about our current political mess just from paying attention on a visit or two to Walmart.  Let me walk you through what I witness and how it bodes for the rule of law in America.

1.  Driving the wrong direction in the parking lanes. This seems to be quite a common occurrence, with the presumed motive of the driver’s own convenience, even at the inconvenience and peril of motorists and pedestrians alike.

2. Motorists failing to yield to pedestrians. Rarely have I had a visit in which I didn’t witness motorists failing to yield.  Again, it seems that their own convenience takes precedence over pedestrian safety and basic courtesy.

3. Excessive car stereo volume. The molar-rattling noise emanates from the vehicles of those who would rather violate the law and disturb the peace than to miss an opportunity to have some stranger think they are “cool” (or whatever the latest word is).

4. Leaving the shopping carts in the parking spaces and even in the lanes. Rather than to do their part in maintaining the store’s shopping carts, far too many customers leave the carts wherever they park, even though they could return them to the store’s cart corrals in just a matter of seconds.

5. Entering by the Exit door and existing by the Enter door. Even though the doors are clearly marked, very few people seem to care to observe the conventions set by the store management.  Instead, they become a nuisance and a hazard to those who do follow the conventions.

6. Congregating/visiting/loitering in the aisles. I’ve seen everything from old friends visiting to people balancing their checkbooks while standing right in the middle of major traffic ways in the store.  Obviously, this is done without a single thought for the good of those around them.

7. Using the Express Lane when one has too many items. Though the sign says “20 items or less(Yes, it should be “fewer” rather than “less”.), I’ve seen countless customers use the Express Lane because the wait is shorter.  By this practice, therefore, they show that they consider themselves to be more important than others, and that they bear a sense of entitlement to enjoy an advantage at the expense of others.

8. Employees not abiding by established standards of customer service. Even though they have been trained to behave better, I’ve witnessed far too many store employees who are not interested in executing any level of excellence in customer service.  Some even go so far as to exude their displeasure in being at work, and seem quite put out when asked to solve a problem.  This, of course, is not what they were hired for, and it gives their employer a bad name, but it seems that many employees feel entitled not to follow company policy if they find it inconvenient or personally distasteful.

Certainly, not every American behaves in such ways, but I believe that it’s fairly obvious that such behavior has been on the increase during my lifetime.  And if this is the case, we dare not miss the importance of the fact that such people as these not only have the privilege of voting, but of running for office!

Should we be surprised, therefore, to find a candidate who believes he has a right to send spam emails to those who have requested multiple times that they be “unsubscribed” from his distribution list?  Or should we be surprised to find an incumbent who believes that he or she has a “right” to earn from his office more than just his salary?  Should it surprise us to see elected officials using their powers to cover up their own misdeeds in office, or to see them neglecting to faithfully discharge all the duties of that office?

No, these things should not surprise us, for these candidates and officials come from the same public who behaves this way at Walmart.  This is the same public who, if it complains about one act of government, is clueless about 99 other acts that are equally deserving of their criticism.  This is the same public who is convinced that although Congress is doing a terrible job, their own congressman ought to be re-elected.  This is the same public who blindly follows the “party line” without even a hint that there is a connection between their party line voting and the constant degradation of the American condition.  This is the same public who thinks that “I voted!” is the consummate act of patriotism, and who cannot even imagine anything of greater effectiveness than voting for one or the other of the two officially-approved candidates.  This is the same public who thinks that “get out the vote” is a meaningful campaign—as if increasing the voter base could possibly have any meaningful effect on a race in which there are only two “choices”, both of which bear the official stamp of approval of the major parties.  This is the same public who continues to vote for what they perceive to be the “lesser of two evils”, without the slightest clue that they are still supporting evil.

We are a society who do not care to give careful thought to our ways.  Most of us prefer our own convenience and entitlement to the prospect of taking on a new role as citizen reformers.  If we are going to strike at the root of American corruption and lawlessness, therefore, rather than at its branches, we must turn our attention to teaching the public about the wisdom of the rule of law.  No substantial reform can succeed if it ignores the root.  Haven’t we proved this over and over again?  The reason America is not reforming itself is that the typical reform movements are focused in the wrong places.

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