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Opinion >  Letters

Rule of Law vs. Rule by Law

The president espouses “law and order,” but uses the concept to intimidate and oppress, rather than to protect and serve. Law and order is a vital tenet of our nation, but its vitality is compromised if not coupled with justice.

America was founded on the principle of the Rule of Law. That is, the law applies to everyone, including the president and those who make and enforce the law. It applies equally: to the rich and the poor; to the privileged and the marginalized; regardless of race, gender or station; to those who carry a work visa, and those who carry a badge.

There is a difference between the Rule of Law and Rule by Law. Rule by Law is the tool of tyrants and dictators our president so admires. Under Rule by Law, the law is used to oppress and subjugate. It is used to stifle dissent; to investigate and intimidate opponents; to retaliate against whistleblowers; and to limit speech, assembly and other freedoms. It is a president using federal authorities to clear peaceful protesters with tear gas so he can stage a photo op with a Bible.

Rule by Law is a perversion of this country’s founding ideals. It is the death of civil rights and the antithesis of democracy. A free society depends on law and order. But only when the Rule of Law is applied equally and coupled with justice for all.

Gerry Kobluk

Spokane


 

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