“Law and Order” without “Law” is Authoritarianism

Our hopes may lie with an apolitical military

Men holding guns in back of pickup truck with flags
Men holding guns in back of pickup truck with flags

The dystopian images projected in the Trump campaign are misplaced. Anarchists are not coming for you in the suburbs of the future. “Militias” called to arms from the White House are driving into our cities and towns right now in Trump America.

Videos from Portland this weekend brought back my memories of MAGA trucks driving through crowds of grandmothers, mothers and children during the Women’s March on Washington. Images of a MAGA driver killing a woman and injuring many others in Charlottesville are still fresh in all our minds.

What stands between our fragile democracy and autocratic rule? Who stands for the rule of law?

In New Hampshire this week, the Republican governor gave Trump a pass on a rally as long as the group complied with the mask ordinance for groups of more than 100 people. Did people wear masks? Did they obey the law? No need to obey the law in Trump America of you are a Trump loyalist.

Who represents the “law” if it is not the governor? The police? Videos abound of police thanking armed white supremacists from out of town and giving them advance warning of curfew enforcement.

The Attorney General of the United States? The man who believes that his role is to expand executive power despite any violations of law by the President?

The Legislature? Maybe those legislators not up for election might speak for the rule of law, but the craving to hold on to power is so very strong in others.

The military? In the end we may be relying on our military leaders to choose between defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies and obeying the orders of the President of the United States. Our military leaders maybe the only ones who stand between us and autocracy if Trump is re-elected. Let us hope we never need to rely on them to make that decision.

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