Saturday, September 20, 2008
The Rule of Lawyers
It might seem like a trite observation but Reagan and George W. Bush were both noted for their pragmatism, their ability to connect to voters and grand visions. While both men were certainly flawed, they also had an ability to transcend the trite legalisms of process and procedure in order to strive for something bigger.
As I wrote on Friday, the 2008 election beyond party comes to a choice between a ticket with 2 lawyers and a ticket with no lawyers on it. It is any wonder that the liberal political elite has fervently embraced the lawyer ticket while lashing out venomously at the non-lawyer ticket?
The legal profession today, more than any other profession, embodies the moral equivalence and the distortions of language that turns right and wrong upside down, at the heart of modern liberalism. While conservatives often attack academia and Hollywood, the worst of the problem is inherent in the modern understanding of American law, an understanding that requires creating a moral vacuum and advocating not for justice, but for the criminal. And yet America's leaders repeatedly come out of the legal profession, almost in inverse proportion to the amount of public hatred for lawyers.
In the hands of liberalism the law has become a tool for undoing the body of work of America's Founders, replacing it with hypocritical interpretations and distortions, shelving the second amendment while interpreting the death penalty and denial of citizenship as cruel and unusual punishment.
When it came to crippling the War on Terror, while journalists did their part, it was the lawyers who hounded and harangued and undermined until they got their way. It was the lawyers who time and time again stepped forward to fight for, sympathize and even aid and abet terrorists. And now it is two lawyers who are running on the Messiah ticket for the White House on empty rhetoric and a hollow spectacle and a great deal of dirty tricks.
Even as liberalism has demonized the soldier, smeared the patriot and the religious man, it has put forward three heroes, the reporter, the lawyer and the teacher. These are the three pillars of American liberalism. The reporter smears and brings down the reactionary power structures and the political opposition, the lawyer provides legal cover, overturns "unjust" laws and rules from above and the teacher propagandizes in the classroom.
The character of the lawyer as the apex of the liberal power pyramid also reveals much about liberalism. The lawyer is morally selective, excels at rhetoric and at putting forward the image he wants others to see, he is capable of bending men and women to his will and of exploiting the letter of the law to suit his own morally ambiguous purposes. The lawyer may posture as a moral crusader, but in the end no matter how noble his goals are supposed to be, his means are rarely noble.
The lawyer may wear many hats, most of them political, because as a liberal footsoldier, his goals are generally political. He is the perfect weapon for an ideology that views everything as political since in the end politics comes down to rhetoric and law, and he has mastered both. He can convince the crowds or individuals and make the legal case for his agenda and this makes him into the King piece of the modern political struggle's game of chess.
The greatest trick of the lawyerocracy is to insist that obedience to the strictest of the letter of the law is all that preserves our morality, when it benefits the criminal or the terrorist, even as they shape and reshape the law as they see fit.
This cynical legalistic morality has crippled our ability to fight everything from crime to terrorism to foreign enemies, required us to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone hates us, while denying it to our own people.
The one thing that most Americans can agree on is that we do not need another lawyer President. We need a clear vision and common sense solutions, not more cynical legalisms and manipulative class warfare politics. We already know what the definition of "is", it's a lawyer who speaks out of two sides of his mouth and we've had enough of that.