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The military, science, and the law: what happened?

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Victor Davis Hanson writes,

until recently there were still a few institutions we considered sacrosanct, incorruptible, and invincible amid faith-based assertions, toxic woke fads, civil dissension, and hatred of the past. One certainly was the military. Another was “science,” or rather the scientists, researchers, and investigators who devoted themselves to disinterested empiricism. And, a third, was the sacred idea of the “law,” or the idea that Americans respect our statutes because they were crafted by ourselves and applicable to all, equally, and without exception.

All three have lost their luster. Americans do not trust them, at least not in the old way. Perhaps it was the 2020 perfect storm of plague, quarantine, recession, riot, a contentious election, and red/blue antipathies that ripped off the scab and exposed beneath something far different than what the public had assumed.

The Pentagon seems to have lost its way. It has transmogrified into a cultural engine of change from a defensive force devoted to battlefield supremacy. The Defense Department is chasing its tail, supposedly on the scent of white supremacists of the armed insurrectionist sort who stormed the Capitol.

The only problem is that none of the rioters now sitting in jail without bail and in solitary confinement have even been charged with insurrectionary crimes, treason, or conspiracies. None used arms. None even possessed them inside the Capitol. None killed any law enforcement officer, contrary to what we were told. So far, no architects of the supposed insurrection—most likely a spontaneous riot of ragtag misfits—have been arrested. Four of the five who died were protesters. None died violently at the hand of another—except an unarmed military veteran who was shot entering a window by an officer, whose name, age, and race remain concealed, as does most of the video evidence of the Capitol melee itself. Thousands of hours of Capitol videos of the entire mess have not been released.

Fauci is only a totem of the decline in public health expertise. When we were told the science mandated national quarantines, state and local officials on that prompt began arresting dissenting pastors, hair stylists, and gym owners—any who reopened their livelihoods in violation of the “science.” Except there was no science at all when 1,200 of our “health care professionals” swore to us that protesters, both violent and peaceful, could with impunity violate the quarantines, because their “science” dictated that exposure to the virus was less harmful than the mental anguish of not being able to demonstrate, scream, congregate, and march en masse against social injustice and police brutality.

Finally, in 2021 it was not so much that Americans lost respect for the law as they were bewildered by it. Or rather they wondered whether it still even existed.

Is it illegal to enter the United States without permission? Or does unlawful entry warrant instant state subsidy and federal legal help to further violate the law? Is everyone or just a few anointed allowed to carve out an entire urban no-go zone that even the police dare not enter? Is there a crime such as arson or looting? Are there even criminals such as arsonists and looters anymore—or just those naïve enough to try torching buildings or stealing from pharmacies in small numbers and without ideological pretenses? Does attacking Jews and Asian Americans constitute “hate crimes”—or does it depend on the race, ideology, or ethnicity of the attacker?

Most conservatives and traditionalists have given up on their once cherished FBI that transmogrified into James Comey’s “I cannot recall” and “I don’t remember” ideological swamp. Ditto the CIA and NSA run by the likes of partisan wheeler-dealer John Brennan and partisan incompetent James Clapper, who both lied under oath with impunity and politicized the very security agencies of the United States.

Our most important and cherished institutions are losing the trust of Middle America. I doubt they will easily recover it, or find any such loyal supporters among their new coterie of fair-weather, progressive sycophants—and to the detriment of us all.

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