Whose Law, Whose Order?

The face of lawlessness and disorder in America

W.J. Astore

Along with being a self-styled wartime president (in a totally incompetent attempt to contain COVID-19 that has cost tens of thousands of American lives), Donald Trump now claims to be the “LAW & ORDER” president (the all-caps echoes his tweet on the subject).

But whose law and whose order?

Trump is lawless.  He had peaceful protesters gassed, including Episcopal clergy, just so he could pose with a bible in front of a church.  And, by the way, mixing religious law with civil law is a practice the radical right allegedly condemns (they always cite Sharia law here), but not when the holy book is their bible.  By the way, what was the Democratic response to Trump’s shameless bible stunt?  Nancy Pelosi got out a bible, only she read from hers.  Great “opposition,” Pelosi.

Again, whose law and whose order.  Order imposed by violence and weaponry, non-lethal or otherwise, isn’t order.  It’s tyranny.  And the law in America seems to be what the rich and powerful say it is.

I come back to a crucial point made by Matt Taibbi:

You don’t elect politicians to commit crimes; you elect politicians to make your crimes legal. That is the whole purpose of the racket of government.

So, what is the law in America?  That which has been defined as legal by politicians who are bought — who follow the orders of their paymasters.

That’s the kind of “law and order” Trump is talking about.  The law of the already privileged and the order of the fist.  And it’s also why so many people are fed up, so many people are protesting, and so many people want real change.

16 thoughts on “Whose Law, Whose Order?

  1. Over the past 100 years, the use of tear gas has become ubiquitous among police all over the world. This chemical agent is called a “less-lethal weapon” by authorities and their supportive media, which causes many people to forget that this is a chemical weapon that is banned in warfare by the Geneva Convention.



    1. The Geneva Convention explicitly prohibits weapons that end wars too quickly be removing too many soldiers from the battlefield. Non-lethal weapons, or those that cause grievous bodily harm and a slow death, will remove more than the casualties from the field, as any self-respecting soldier would drag his injured comrade to safety. In other words, any weapon that is so effective as to get rid of two for the price of one is banned. Hollow-point ammunition is also banned, but hunters swear by it precisely because it is so effective.


  2. “The Law” in a capitalist society has always been fundamentally established precisely to protect the privileges of those at the top. The Declaration of Independence put forward the lofty ideas of Jefferson but the Declaration has no force of law. The law resides in the Constitution, which conveniently sidestepped the issue of human rights for slaves. Such as those owned by Jefferson, Washington, et al. Said Constitution, ON PAPER (“The Constitution, a noble piece of paper”–Gil Scott-Heron), protects us citizens from abuses by government, whose representatives/enforcers are heavily armed and extremely dangerous. And these “rights” magically evaporated for George Floyd, as for so many previous victims of police racism. What is police racism but official government racism, in essence? It is the gap between our theoretical rights and reality that has incensed so many citizens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Racism is part of it, but is by no means the whole story. It’s about quashing ALL dissent, from EVERY quarter. Many of the people assaulted last weekend were white. Their crime was voicing disagreement with the current regime.


  3. Here is the post that I put on my blog fullcapacityliving.com

    I’ll just paste it here because its short.

    When I was in Sunday school I learned a simple rule called the Golden Rule. We might also call this God’s law. This rule is:

    “Treat others the way you would want them to treat you.”

    Unfortunately, too much of American culture is dominated by a different rule, a rule that is a complete perversion of God’s law. This perverted rule, which might be called the Self-Righteous Rule, or Satan’s law, is:

    “Treat others the way you think they deserve to be treated.”

    According to this rule it doesn’t matter how badly you mistreat others as long as you can justify your actions to yourself. When this perverted rule becomes the guide for the behavior of individuals, organizations, and institutions we get pervasive dysfunction.

    So the solution for fixing society is quite simple. We all need to follow God’s law more. We also need to stop voting for or supporting people and organizations that don’t.


  4. “Law and Order”?? He had to be joking…. he created the Chaos and Mayhem….
    “GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN, CIA director for George W. Bush and Barack Obama: They were very calm, and then the military and the police and the Secret Service came in. I was aghast. I don’t know what happened to America”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trump is a mentally deranged individual. If he restricted his love of chaos to his personal life, it would only be an issue for himself and his immediate family and closest business associates. But the Modern Republican Party absolutely must be held accountable for the crisis the nation is in. Probably many GOP politicians shuddered when DJT thrust himself to the top of their heap; a very few even let it be known publicly they opposed him. But once he got into office, again almost without exception, the GOP “circled their wagons” around Trump. Result: the worst POTUS of all time cannot be removed from office, no matter how egregious his offenses, because GOP has majority vote in the Senate. The Watergate Era, when there were some Republicans in office who actually put country ahead of their party, are long gone. May as well have been ancient times rather than less than a half-century ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Been here. Done this. Rinse, and repeat:

    Boobie Jurisprudence
    (from Fernando Po, U.S.A., America’s post-literate retreat to Plato’s Cave)

    The Boobies had a Supine Court
    That like a welcome mat
    Lay down before an open door
    So any crazy bat
    Could fly into and then around
    The room in which they sat

    One Boobie set himself apart
    With stripes upon his sleeve
    Then like an ancient, ailing Pope
    Refused to simply leave
    Which guaranteed that when he did
    The others would not grieve

    The Boobies of the Supine Court
    Conceived a thought ideal:
    They’d make a law for just one man
    And then rule out appeal
    In this way they could cover up
    What they wished to conceal

    This concept of the “unique law”
    Had implications plain:
    It meant, for one thing, that two men
    Could not enjoy the gain
    And thus the quaint term “equal” went
    Like sewage down the drain

    This concept has a glaring flaw
    As any fool can see
    If you have one law for yourself
    Then I want one for me
    And if I do not get it then
    Upon your law I pee

    If your law doesn’t work for me
    And mine does not for you
    Then neither of us has a law
    Or even the first clue
    About just what a “law” might mean
    In any larger view

    The Boobie dullards on the bench
    Compared two grains of sand
    A minor interval which their
    Attentions barely spanned
    And then like tipsy Tevyas cried:
    “There is no other hand!”

    As noted elsewhere in this rhyme
    The Boobie mind rebelled
    At any thought more complex than
    A tiny timer knelled
    To notify the Boobies that
    Their Jello had not jelled

    So on the Boobie bench there sat
    Nine addled, rattled nuts
    Who tied the law in knots through which
    No logic ever cuts
    Which came from sitting on their heads
    And thinking with their butts

    They made unnecessary grief
    From something truly bland
    When they commenced to cogitate
    On an injunction grand
    To demonstrate the part of “no”
    They did not understand

    The Congress – one – shall make no law
    About divinity
    The Congress – two – shall make no law
    Respecting deity
    The Congress – three – shall make no law
    Concerning piety

    The Congress, thus, can do no thing;
    Not one damn thing at all;
    To authorize one single line
    Of legislative scrawl
    Which might in any way produce
    The deadly Church-State maul

    But Boobie judges, we should note,
    Have simply not the stuff
    For parsing single syllables
    If litigants play rough
    And thus “no” law means “any” if
    You want it bad enough

    The yellow urine in their blood
    Made them a gruesome sight
    They talked of freedom loud
    But gave it up without a fight
    Their pitiful surrender made
    A darkness out of light

    So Boobie George got his own law
    Which no one else could share;
    Or, as the Supine Boobies warned,
    No one should even dare
    (The word “supreme” in legal terms
    Means judges need not care)

    But then some parents of a wife
    No longer much alive
    Decided they would have a law
    In two-thousand-and-five
    The Congress went along, of course,
    And now the law means “jive.”

    A skull with spinal fluid where
    A brain once used to live;
    A husband with no wife to love
    And nothing more to give
    Have now for the Republicans
    Become a switchblade shiv

    A knife to slice the Democrats
    Is all these people are
    Where petty politicians prowl
    Their victims won’t get far
    As Presidents and Congressmen
    Enjoy their fake bazaar

    Of course, the people will not see
    The maimed and dead GIs
    Those brain dead soldiers and their kin
    Who’ve suffered for some lies
    Concocted by Republicans
    And their appointed spies

    The useful symbol cannot speak
    Or say what it intends
    Its usefulness comes only from
    The passive way it bends
    Before the needs of others whose
    Collusion never ends

    But now we have the Democrats
    In power for their turn
    With their own president to shred
    The laws that they, too, spurn
    The people had a “choice,” you see:
    To fry or else to burn

    And so, once more, the courts have claimed
    That dark of night must rule;
    That tyranny’s enabler must
    Protect the bungling ghoul
    From Justice – License guaranteed
    To make the despot drool

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2005, 2010


Comments are closed.