So, as the 2016 RNC began, I was thinking to myself, There's that 'law and order' phrase again. I wonder what that means this time? I think I have a clearer understanding of that now after the indictments are in and the convention has held court, tried the perp, arrived at a verdict, and passed sentence.
Hearing the chants and the call and response sessions with thousands of self-described law abiding citizens shouting "guilty," and "lock her up," with some even sentencing her to be shot or hung is just plain frightening.
RNC, I can only imagine what might have happened if at just that moment your enemy were delivered in to your hands. The rabid cheering, screaming, foot stomping, and chair pounding would be deafening. With indictments entered and the trial already over, the calls for imposing sentence would be accompanied by fireworks. And to your delight, after the smoke cleared you would discover that this wasn't a dream and that your emeny was still there, on stage, bound and securely surrounded by your party leaders and dignitaries.
There she is, standing silent and blindfolded before you. And now your party leaders, honorable men (and women) of their word and who must now demonstrate the conviction behind their bluster, begin to deliver the justice they have promised you. The convicted is subjected to an extended interrogation, but after learning nothing more than her previous accusers, the party leaders forego the civility of further cross-examination and treat her as the traitorous murderer and terrorist you know her to be. They strip her bare and tie her down with her head tilted slightly towards the floor. Videographers capture every angle and every nuance of the event and you, yourselves, would be standing on your chairs straining to catch a glimpse of every facial twinge and bodily twitch of your mortal enemy on the giant video monitors. Your party leaders would take the lead in the torture, but they would open up the buffet, inviting some special delegates and respected citizens from the floor to have their turns with her. One would urinate on her. Others would shout their venomous pain at her, their spittle collecting on her face and only to slapped off by the next delegate.
Then would come the climax of the evening: the blindfold is pulled down over her mouth and your nominee will perform the waterboarding himself, seeking to extract any last words or even a possible confession from the enemy of the people. And after satifisying himself with her and adjusting his tuxedo, he leads you through the chants one last time:
"What is your verdict? Is she guilty?"
"Guilty," would be your response, louder and louder, over and over again.
"And what is your sentence?
Only now, with your thirst for violence just primed and your arch villain naked and defenseless before you, those few who earlier were brave enough to call for her death march on the stage to lead the chant...
One of them leans in towards the microphone and addresses the nominee saying, "Mr. Future President and Leader of the Free World, for crimes against humanity, she deserves to die. Our sentence is Death!"
Most of you, in spite of the heightened tensions on the moment, are stunned into silence. There are few whispers of "Death?" echoing in the grand hall. But one delegate has the courage to stand up on a chair and speak.
"Death!" shouts the lone voice, with a fist raised high in the lingering smoke.
"Death!" comes the call from the stage.
"Death!" cry a few more in response.
"DEATH!" they shout from the stage.
And from the floor, more and more delegates join the chorus, "Death! Death! DEATH!"
"DEATH! DEATH! DEATH!"
And with Law and Order having prevailed, the enemy of the people would be summarily executed before the triumphant party convention and a prime time audience.
Justice would be served.
And you are safe.
That is one mob-mentality scenario I can imagine.
Another scenario is that, once you were face to face with your enemy and the reality of what you came so close to doing, you would be gripped by a moment of sanity and be so embarrassed by your behavior that you would beg her for forgiveness and denounce your party leaders as frauds and hypocrites.
I know, the convention brought a handful of people up on stage who are desperate for justice. You feel like The System (Government? Elected officials? Political appointees?) has let you down. At best, you feel you have been ignored or your grievances have been glossed over. At worst, you suspect The System is complicit in perpetrating and then covering up your case. No one else can feel your pain as you do or understand the depth of your loss or your sorrow. But please know this: your tears are just as important and just as valuable as the tears of anyone who has ever grieved the premature loss of a life that mattered.
No Law (but your own).
No Order (but your own).
Just misguided anger and misdirected fear.
Patriotism is usually the refuge of the scoundrel. He is the man who talks the loudest. Mark Twain