It was once an American credo that bad laws are made to be broken. But with the Republic’s long slide past democracy into a police state, reverence for “the law,” good or bad, now reigns. We might chalk that up to the draconian penalties awaiting violators: eight years in prison for lying to the FBI despite the agency’s own inability to tell the truth; hundreds of dollars in fines for exceeding speed limits; execution for disembarking from an airline flight without permission. Such severe punishment will dissuade all but the bravest or craziest from flouting the rules.
At the National Education Association’s convention, held last July in San Diego, retiring general counsel of the organization, Bob Chanin, in his swan-song speech to the union’s faithful, asked the rhetorical question, “Why are these conservative and right-wing b*****ds picking on the NEA and its affiliates?”