Election Day 2014: The Rules of Law and the Rules of the Road

Americans hate politics. They love football.  They love driving.  But they hate politics and it shows in the percentage of Americans who vote.

If there’s anything American people hate worse than politics, it’s reading about politicians. Which gives them an excuse to drive away from the polls.

Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh received an anti-Tea Party caller who agreed with a Politico essay that stated that if the Republicans lose today, it will be the fault of the Tea Partiers. We’re the ones, the essay and the caller claimed, who will stay home because the GOP put up a bunch of moderate candidates or candidates who probably won’t win.

According to Rush’s caller, we’re a bunch of whiners. According to Michael Savage, all we want to do is talk about the Constitution.  Neither of these charges is accurate.

We do not stay home, even if the very party that bashes us has their entire team up on the ballot. Those candidates aren’t there because we stayed home.  We’re actually a small, but hardy band of civic-minded citizens.  They’re there because the politics-hating suburbanites stayed home during the Primaries.

Here in New Jersey, we had a measly GOP voter turnout of 25 percent during the Primaries in June. If you don’t like what you see on the ballot today and you didn’t show up in June, don’t whine to us or blame us, the Tea Partiers.  We warned you.

Radio host Michael Savage criticized Tea Partiers as Constitution-quoting bores. Poor Rush Limbaugh found himself on the defensive, trying to distance himself from a misrepresentation of the Tea Partiers.

We do not stay home on Election Day. Or Primary Day.  The only thing worse than voting for a Moderate Republican today is NOT voting for the Republican ballot today.  The General Election is not the day to be taking on the Establishment Republicans.  That’s what the Primaries are for.

Rush, who is always right, was right yesterday when he said that this vote today is a referendum on Obama and his anti-American policies. The National Review, in its last issue, noted that there are ways a strong, Conservative-minded Congress can get around Obama through funding (or defunding, as the case may be).

Stay home and allow the Democrats to rout the Republicans as a lesson to those cheeky bums who snub us politically, and there will be no hope for the Republic. Tea Partiers know that.  In meeting after meeting, we’ve always agreed on that point.  The problem isn’t us; it’s the Stay-At-Home Voter who figures their vote doesn’t count, or they want to teach the Establishment Republicans a lesson, or they want to send a message that they hate politics.

The Constitution, whether it strikes you as a boring civics lesson or not, is at issue in this election in some states, including New Jersey. Americans are largely ignorant of the Constitution because it requires memorization, and with our shorter-term memory spans shrinking alarmingly, they don’t want to be bothered.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse, as any police officer can tell you. As teenagers, we hated reading the state driving manual.  But we read it in order to get our coveted drivers licenses – and then promptly forgot what it said.  As long as we know the basics – following the speed limit, stopping at red lights, using your signal to change lanes – we figured we were good to go.

If you go speeding along Route 23 through Pequannock at 70 m.p.h. and the Pequannock Township cops pull you over (and they will because the speed limit is 50 m.p.h. until you cross into Wayne), telling the cop you didn’t see the posted speed limit will not avail you. Generally, the cops stop you right in front of speed limit sign, where you can’t miss it.

If you cross the double-yellow line on Macopin Road and the West Milford cops pull you over, the fact that you only speak Albanian will not get you out of that ticket. The election officials may not care if you’re an ethnic Albanian and neither will the cops.  Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

There are other laws of which most people are oblivious, such as safe driving and passing distances. The other day, I watched in horror on Route 208 West as an old lady cut off an oil heating truck, about two inches from his bumper.  Then, the driver pulled out, and cut the old lady off, two inches from her bumper.  While her car swayed back and forth in her lane, I kept a discreet distance back as did the impatient driver who had come out to pass me.

We don’t always like the laws or maybe we just don’t want to be bothered reading them, but there are usually good reasons for the traffic laws. They’re not always written simply to harass drivers and make money for the local and state police departments.

Many horrible accidents – and the concomitant traffic jams – could be avoided if automobile drivers were more aware of the safe passing distances regarding trucks. You can’t just cut back into a lane two inches off the bumper of an 18-wheel tractor-trailer truck, then stop at the traffic light up ahead that’s just turned red and not expect something to happen.  Those big vehicles need space to be able to stop.  I once saw an accident on Route 80 West where a big rig climbed right over a red sedan, instantly killing the elderly couple in front.

Everyone’s favorite targets here in Northern New Jersey are the dump truck drivers carting away what’s left of our pretty countryside. Sometimes they do drive too fast.  The other day, I was behind a truck whose load was lopsided.  Other times, according to a dump truck driver I met while waiting for my mom at a doctor’s appointment, the cars just cut him right off.

The dump truck, he said, has even less stopping distance than your average 18-wheeler. He said it was because the dump truck has fewer wheels with an equally heavy, if not heavier load, centered over a shorter wheel base.  People think that because the dump truck is shorter, that it can stop more easily.  But it can’t, and having been cut off, he’s had to roll the truck over when he can’t find a siding to pull onto in order to miss the car that cut him off.

That’s why knowing the rules is important. If Americans had read the Constitution, they’d know just how many rules Obama has broken during his double tenure as traitor-in-chief.  The Stay-At-Home voters may be right, this time; it may not matter who governs Congress in 2015, since Obama is inclined to use his magic powers and do what he wants by fiat, via the magical Executive Order.

As for the Constitution, let’s hope Garden State voters pay careful attention to the two public questions on today’s ballot. They are both Constitutional amendments.  One will take away a criminal suspects right to bail; the other is an environmental amendment dedicating state funds for everything from open spaces to hazardous site clean-ups.  The bill will involve raising the corporate business tax another two percent beginning in 2019.

Raising the business tax is the last thing New Jersey needs. We already have so few good, private sector jobs here that suburban family men are working double jobs in the retail sector to provide for their families.

As for amending the Constitution to deny bail, it’s very tempting to agree to this gutting of the Constitution, given the daily media feast of heinous crimes. However, it goes against the fundamental concept of American law, that a person is innocent until they’re proven guilty.  Keeping someone in jail without the ability to remain free until trial (under certain conditions) flouts the very concept of American justice.

You might think this is a great idea – until you are charged with a crime. And these days, more and more very common American freedoms are being turned into crimes.  Put the shackles on the other foot and ask yourself whether you would want to be jailed prematurely before the verdict is in?  Don’t give into this gutting of our Constitution.

That, Michael Savage, is why it’s important to know our Constitutional rights. Amendment VIII (8) says, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”  Amendment V (5), in part, states, “No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty of property, without due process of law.”

Judges have some leeway in deciding whether a crime has been too heinous and a criminal too desperate and too apt to flee to set bail for the suspect. The last thing we need is the elimination of bail which would keep too many suspects behind bars, at great cost to the taxpayer, in order to keep in check a small minority of extremely dangerous suspects.

Eliminating bail amounts to unlawful imprisonment. Dedicating funds to an already bloated state bureaucracy guarantees New Jersey will devolve into a permanent, social welfare state.

Vote no to these two Constitution wreckers. The Constitution was written to protect us: we, the people, not them, the politicians.

Published in: on November 4, 2014 at 9:01 am  Leave a Comment  

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