MINOT, N.D. — The law, even laws that are very stupid, should be enforced.
That’s a philosophy I’ve believed in for some time now, and there are two excellent reasons for believing it.
First, we should be governed by laws, not people. This is the idea upon which the American system of government is built. We choose people to make the laws and the process by which we make the laws, and we choose people to enforce the laws, but ultimately we are governed by the laws themselves. Not the people.
This is an important distinction because the alternative to the rule of law is the rule of man, which is essentially just monarchy or other forms of despotism in which a singular ruler, or ruling group, decides what the law is at any given moment.
Second, the best antidote for moronic policymaking is to make everyone abide by its outcomes. Democracy is a wonderful form of government, but one of its great weaknesses is that imbeciles frequently find their way into positions of power.
I’m a proponent of voters getting what they voted for, good and hard.
Make them face the consequences of how they voted, and perhaps they’ll choose better next time. That cause-and-effect relationship between votes and consequences breaks down if we get choose-your-own-adventure enforcement of the law.
Which brings us to the question of North Dakota’s new mask mandate and the growing chorus of law enforcement officials who are indicating that they’re not very interested in enforcing it.