There is a new piece of legislation making its way through Congress that proposes an extra fifteen-year penalty for people who commit a crime while wearing a mask, Antifa. There is already similar such legislation in many states and the federal government for people who commit a crime motivated by hate. Who opposes and supports such legislation shows us the bankruptcy of the ethical philosophy of both Democrats and Republicans.
The gist of the problem is that government is trying to give extra penalties to people who commit similar crimes for different motivations or because they are wearing a mask. So now we have three classes of assault. If you assault someone you have committed a crime and are punished. However, if you do the same and are motivated by hate, you get an extra penalty. If you do the same and are wearing a mask, essentially Antifa, you get an extra penalty. The crime is the assault; not the motivation behind it or the clothes you wear while committing it.
Largely, Republicans are opposed to hate crime legislation because there is no need for it. Assault is a crime in itself. There is no need to add the person’s motivation to it. Democrats are, generally, for this legislation because people who commit such crimes deserve longer punishment and hopefully that will deter them.
Largely, Democrats are opposed to Unmasking legislation because there is no need for it. Assault is a crime in itself. There is no need to add the person’s choice of clothing to it. Republicans are, generally, for this legislation because people who commit such crimes deserve longer punishment and hopefully that will deter them.
I’m confident you can see the tremendous hypocrisy in this situation and I won’t spend any more time on that. What I will talk about is the enormous danger the government presents to all of us when it attempts to legislate such matters. What the government is attempting, in both cases, is to legislate against groups they see as aligned against their interests. In one instance it is Democrats against white supremacists and in the other it is Republicans against Antifa.
In both cases such legislation doesn’t reduce the risk of violence but increases both it and the danger of armed revolution. If enough people feel the government is willing to make up laws in order to put them in jail, they will simply attempt to create a new government. We see this path throughout history. In the United States we have the ability to vote in a new government and have largely avoided violent attempts at revolt.
Our government seems increasingly willing to imprison those they see as political enemies. This course of action is expressly forbidden in the Constitution of the United States. The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eight Amendments all attempt to prevent the government from enacting such legislation. They do so not only to protect the people but to save the nation from the inevitable violent revolt that such imprisonments eventually engender.
A politician must not take sides in political debate. She or he must simply present arguments and persuade people to vote accordingly. Anything else tempts disaster.
Don’t be a hypocrite, be a Libertarian.
Good point. And it could backfire if the the definition of “masked” is vague in that law. Meaning that someone with sunglasses could be considered masked. But it kind of make sense, any crime committed while masked should automatically considered premeditated.
I get what you say, this law seems clearly aimed toward a particular group, AntiFa in that case because it’s clear that this law is only going to be used in certain scenarios, or it means that breaking a window with a mask on your face can grant you more jail time than an un-masked murder.
If the law is applied “correctly”, this will cause unfair condamnations (breaking a window with sunglasses = 15 years in prison for instance) and if it’s applied in a way that doesn’t bother you because you’re not AntiFa, then you can’t claim you’re a libertarian because there would clearly be a double standard. Anyway, this law is wrong and hopefully won’t be applied in real life scenarios (or reformed/canceled).
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