Who cares? - i do
Why should I care about what is happening in Washington, DC., when I have so much to worry about in my own life - when you can't believe anything they say, and it is so depressing? - When people mock me, saying, "You can't do anything about it anyway."
This may be a question you ask yourself. You may, like me, have a job that requires a huge investment of your time. There is the maintenance of your home, finances, and family. Perhaps you have family health or relationship concerns that consume your thoughts and emotions. Those with children must invest time and energy into their care, diapers to daycare, homework to after school activities. And for the devoutly religious, attending devotions and services take priority.
It is exhausting thinking about all the things that consume our time. With all these concerns, why would we want to bother with DC politics? Why would it even be on our radar? The politicians will do what politicians do. They can’t be trusted anyway, right?
Perhaps. But what I have realized in the past couple of weeks is, the politics of Washington are a Big City example of Smalltown America. It is a glaring example of why our Constitution and the rule of law must be protected, not “interpreted” into something it was never meant to be. We must prevent it from morphing into a “democratic socialism" perversion. We must expect those who have taken an oath to protect and defend our Constitution and the liberty it guarantees to do so.
Our nation is diverse, filled with wide-ranging and differing ideas on how "life" should be lived. That is the beauty of America. It is also what makes preserving our republic such a challenge. We may all agree that liberty is a wonderful thing. We don't all agree, however, on how it presents itself.
At its inception, our Founding Fathers provided the document to assist future generations in navigating the inevitable changes that would occur. Even then, it was apparent that it would be a challenge to keep the representative republic they crafted. They provided the opportunity for us to choose to exchange our God-given rights for government promises. Today, it appears many are opting for those governmental "freebie" promises.
Many find it unacceptable to submit to an unknown Authority, the Creator of the universe. They have no problem, however, submitting to the power of a bureaucratic government. There is skepticism at the thought of a Divine Creator, yet no consideration given to the reality of sinful man capable of corrupting the purest of intentions.
As I have watched the now three-year relentless pursuit to take down our President, it has become more personal to me. How could Washington politics be personal? It is the all-to-familiar injustice of the process.
The tactics of those seeking to bring charges against President Trump, first the "independent" counsel, and now Mr. Schiff, anonymous sources, whistleblowers, and hear-say witnesses, and one-sided rules, prompt me to relive the past ten years.
Those who are advocating for increased governmental intervention into our lives must be willing to accept that flawed human beings will administer its application. Personal experiences and history present themselves in the form of our beliefs, opinions, and biases. There is no shortage of bias on either side of the aisle.
No party affiliation is exempt from those who lack integrity. To believe otherwise is foolish.
There are honorable, selfless public servants, and there are corrupt, self-serving ones. Some are humble enough to invite the ideas of others, while others are arrogant, believing they are smarter than their constituents and colleagues. There are impressive leaders at every level of government, we can, however, find an equal number of poor ones. And on any given day, the good ones can be enticed into crossing the line - or be accused of crossing it.
As our culture moves farther away from an acknowledgment of a Divine Creator, and as we place our faith and trust in the people we elect to represent us, it won't be long before we learn a painful lesson. Absent righteous guiding principles, our nation will be guided by whatever happens to be trending at any given moment.
Truth has remained the bubble at the center of the level of our pursuit of righteousness. Facts and evidence determine objective truth, yet individuals can interpret identical facts differently and believe opposing things to be true. Truth is no longer the benchmark. Nuances of "my" truth and "your" truth have lowered the bar.
My revelations are the result of years of "fighting city hall," observing the framing of national politics, and from actually reading the Constitution and state law. My hyper-focus on truth instilled in me as a child. Because the truth is often open to interpretation, integrity must be its companion.
Every day, I live the consequences of someone else's interpretation of "my" truth - of the twisting and manipulation of the truth. This at the hand of (in my opinion), an arrogant prosecutor. One with an agenda, unwilling to believe the "victim" for which he is allegedly assigned to advocate. True, the prosecutor is the representative of the state. But to charge an individual with a crime against the state, there must be a victim.
I trusted representative for the state, and seated behind the bench, to act with integrity, to uphold the laws of the state. I accepted that the consequences would not be pleasant and troubled by the realization that I would necessarily be separated from my husband while he served an appropriate sentence required by law. I soon found out just how my misguided faith in our justice system left the door open to abuses of power by both the county prosecutor as well as the judge deciding the case.
"The state" indicted my husband on a multitude of charges -supposedly in the name of justice. Blindly trusting the judicial system, I didn't believe the individuals elected to uphold the law would manipulate and abuse the lawful statutes enacted by our state legislature. I thought we had protection from being twice punished for the same crime.
My dad taught me to "just tell the truth." It was safe to tell him the truth. I could trust him with the truth. The warning was clear; the truth would not absolve me of any unpleasant consequences. It would, however, prevent the unfortunate results of being dishonest.
Decades later, I discovered that it isn't always safe, to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. In the wrong hands, it will be ignored at best, and at its worst, will be twisted, manipulated, and "interpreted" to fit the desired narrative.
Those who have had no exposure to the judicial system or governmental intrusions into our lives, likely trust that our rights are always protected, and that due process assures us that we will receive justice. The truth - the state holds all the cards. Our miranda and all other rights are meaningless when the local court, the prosecutor, and defense attorneys have their own "way of doing things." That's why we have an appellate process. We are all afforded due process. Right?
Yes, we are. And in some cases, that due process may bring justice. But at what price to an innocent person? How many years of their life? How much collateral damage caused? Though the majority who find themselves incarcerated are not guiltless- the incarceration of innocent individuals is the most egregious. Even one case of False Justice is one too many. The years stolen, the lives wasted, never to be retrieved.
Given today's prison population, I doubt it is an overstatement that there are hundreds of thousands of prison inmates sentenced to far more years than necessary and for some more than even lawful.
That doesn't happen in America! - But it does - every day. "You do the crime; you do the time." That's something we non-criminals like to spout out in righteous indignation. Does that mean that rights mean nothing when a crime is committed? That the law is bendable to fit a prosecutor's objective? No.
For nearly 48 years of my life, I had no first-hand experience with the judicial system. My introduction has been a very rude awakening to the reality of the system.
As the "victim" of the crime - the serious crime, theoretically, I should be thrilled with how the prosecutor multiplied a single event into multiple crimes. A normal person would have given a powerful impact statement imploring the judge to deliver the maximum sentence possible. I did not.
As a victim of a home invasion/burglary, one might believe I would have given an impact statement requesting the maximum sentence for the individuals who had committed multiple break-ins in my community, over several weeks. I could have, but I did not. I was already aware of my state's "purposes of felony sentencing." I was aware of how my local prosecutor manipulates the law and over-indicts to compel plea-bargains. I was aware that some defense attorneys are players in the plea-bargain game and that at least one of the judges does not call balls and strikes in their judicial "game" - and is likely a participating player in the game. I missed work to attend most of the hearings and witnessed several sentence hearings. Instead, I saw a judge who was concerned with the law, and the purposes of felony sentencing. I saw impartial patience, and when tested - intolerance of disrespect to the court. I felt confident that her judgment would be fair and lawful. The other victim giving an impact statement, attended previous hearings and agreed.
Rights and the laws are meaningless if they are not respected and upheld by the court in which the cases are tried. Our rights are meaningless when appellate benches are filled with fellow members of Bar Associations and are reluctant, if not unwilling, to overrule a lower court's decision. Relationships matter. They have influence and can benefit either side, depending on whether the previous connection is a good one or a bad one. Add to the fact that a court will decide a case most favorable to the state.
Relationships matter, ideology matters, agenda matters, impartiality matters, truth, evidence, and the rule of law all matter. - But for many, it doesn't seem to matter much. "The did the crime; they can do the time."
The processes and decisions of two separate judicial proceedings have impacted my life in entirely different ways. One delivered justice and closure; the other, skepticism, and questions regarding corruption within the local and appellate judicial process — a system lacking adequate oversight and legitimacy. For me, it now brings into question every crime report.
This week, we can watch - if we choose, the impeachment inquiry. Many have predetermined the outcome, with the strategic planning well in advance. Those bringing charges against the President have an agenda in mind, as do those who are defending him, both claiming righteous causes.
To uncover the truth, one must be able to listen to testimony and view the evidence in context. Then make an objective determination absent prejudice or agenda - instead, we can find it in abundance. We lack, perhaps, the most essential element of objectivity - humility. Some on both sides may have deceptive and sinister intentions, but I doubt it is the majority. More likely, it is that we all hold passionate beliefs.
Passionately held beliefs are not a bad thing unless our passion removes the ability to review opposing views with objectivity. Procedures - whether political or judicial, in Washington, your local government, or even on the playing field, if not performed in fairness and objectivity, are meaningless. Oversight committees are to protect against government corruption. Appellate courts are to protect against injustice and protect our rights as citizens. Coaches throw their red flags, requesting an official review when they question the fairness of a call on the field.
The commonality between them - each side will have those who lack the humility to accept the results with grace. Wisdom to know when we should accept the results, and when it is time to"resist, persist, and insist," is what we hope for.
One line in the sand for me is when I know the truth, have told the truth, and the prosecutor and courts have chosen to ignore the truth, instead, selecting a preferred agenda.
Another line is hypocrisy, deceit, and the attempted coup of a duly elected President.
I confess, a bad call by an official or an offensive NCAA ruling, though annoying and perhaps offensive, is low on my list of priorities.
I fear, however, many more are offended by a bad call that may have changed the outcome of one game, than the many bad calls in our courts. An unjust ruling to remove a player from a game appears to be more outrageous than an unjust procedure designed with the intent of removing a President who is hated by some and respected by others.
20 Wisdom calls out in the street;
she raises her voice in the public squares.
21 She cries out above[i] the commotion;
she speaks at the entrance of the city gates:
22 “How long, foolish ones, will you love ignorance?
How long will you mockers enjoy mocking
and you fools hate knowledge? Proverbs 1: 20-22
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The judicial system has failed me and is failing others like me. Each post will reveal a different instance of our failing system, of violations of law, and violations liberties. If you or a loved one has experienced similar injustice, or if, unlike me, your local local judicial system has served you well, feel free to share your comments.