The reaction of many people to the immigration “reform” bill reminds me, in a way, of several other incidents. The most odd connection has to be the Clinton impeachment.
Bear with me. I’ll make this work.
In both cases, as well as so many others, the attitude seems to be “if you don’t like a law, don’t obey it.”
In the old days, if you didn’t like a law, you worked to change it. Or you violated it in such a way as to force the government to either prosecute you or declare that the law was wrong. In that way, hte law was brought to heel by the will of the people.
Nowadays, that approach seems quaint and obsolete. Don’t like a law? Don’t obey it. And if you get caught, denounce the prosecution as persecution and cry “racism” or “witch hunt” or “partisanship.”
Let’s assume you’re being sued for sexual harassment by a former subordinate. Under oath, you’re asked about certain other alleged sexual relationships you’ve had with other subordinates. You don’t think it’s anyone else’s damned business (conveniently forgetting that you signed the very law that makes the question admissible), so you deny it. As long as the subordinate keeps her mouth shut (for a change) and there’s no physical evidence, what’s the big deal?
Or let’s say you want to live the American Dream. So you come to America, get a job, work hard, and try to support your family. But you don’t bother to do all the paperwork involved. You come in on a tourist or a student visa, then work anyway. Or you say you’re only going to stay six months or so, then forget to go home. Or you don’t even want to bother with the annoying, expensive, confusing paperwork, so you sneak across the border. Hey, your intentions are decent, so what’s the big deal? You’re not doing anything millions of others don’t do every year.
The United States has probably the most flexible system of laws in the world. I can’t think of any other nation where the laws can be changed as easily, so readily pushed to comply with the will of the people.
That’s not to say that it’s easy, but it’s a damned sight easier than anywhere else I know of.
So there is no excuse for just ignoring laws you don’t like. Well, no valid excuse — they say that “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” and the same applies to laziness, selfishness, cupidity, or plain old self-interest.
Don’t like the laws on immigration, sexual harassment, speeding, smoking, seat belts, perjury, or picking up after your dog? Fine. That’s your right.
But your choices are simple: live with it, work to change it, or be ready to accept the consequences if you get caught.
But — in this nation of all nations — don’t you dare whine about it when you get caught ignoring it.