Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when most Americans still had a sense of humor, “The Chris Rock” show had a particularly humorous segment, “How to Not Get Your (Backside) Kicked by the Police.” He did not hold back and made fun of everyone involved, using real life examples. But if you watch, be warned of some adult language.

He starts off by asking, “Have you ever been face to face with a police officer and wondered, ‘Is he about to kick my (backside)?’ Well, wonder no more. If you follow these easy tips, you’ll be fine. First, obey the law. Laws were made for a reason. Think of them as hints.” He goes onto add, “Use common sense.” Chris Rock is, as the saying goes, “keeping it real.”

Now, this leads to the discussion on the difference between the “rule of law” and “rule by law.” The rule of law — a system where laws apply equally to all, whether citizens, elected officials, or the wealthy and connected — is a foundation of the American way of life and separates us from much of the rest of the world.

When I hear the words, “rule of law,” I think of two amendments: the Equal Protection Clause in the 14th Amendment and the Due Process Clause in the Fifth Amendment. From the Cornell Law website, they define both: “The Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause requires the United States government to practice equal protection. The Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause requires states to practice equal protection.”

The Cornell Law website goes on to add that, “The most obvious difference between the two Due Process Clauses is that the Fifth Amendment clause as it binds the Federal Government coexists with other express provisions in the Bill of Rights guaranteeing fair procedure and non-arbitrary action, such as jury trials, grand jury indictments, and non-excessive bail.”

The “rule by law,” on the other hand, seems to align with the old leftist saying, “Rules for thee and not for me.” Think of it as rule by a certain class of people who thinks of themselves as “the law.” Does the name Hunter Biden ring any bells? Rule by law is defined by the Van Norman Law Firm as, “a concept that sees the governing authority as somehow being above the law and has the power to create and execute law where they find it to be convenient, despite the effect it has on larger freedoms that people enjoy.”

Let us not forget Gov. Roy Cooper during COVID. He met a large crowd of people outside the Governor’s Mansion, took off his mask, did not practice social distancing, and appeared to be dancing in the streets like it was a street fair with his supporters. This, of course, took place after he had demanded, even ordered, the closing of “mom and pop” stores, cracked down on a rural North Carolina speedway, mandated North Carolinians to mask up and stay home, closed schools, and the list goes on. Old Roy followed the playbook of, “Do as I say, not as I do!”

Let us look at two realistic examples in modern day America. Disclaimer: I do not support any enemies, foreign or domestic, and their actions on American soil or against American citizens. The first example is Jan. 6, 2021. Everyone on the left loves bringing up Jan. 6. Yes, it was an embarrassing day for America and democracy, and I personally wish it had never happened. Unfortunately, it did. What started out as a peaceful gathering, ended up being a travesty of what America stands for. Several of those who participated were arrested, tried, and convicted for their actions.

Now, let us look at the so-called “civil protests” across America by ANTIFA and pro-Hamas demonstrators. ANTIFA took over several blocks in a major northwestern city (and we see how that turned out when that very city defunded the police). Everything from looting and vandalism to setting businesses on fire, rape, and even murder. Even though there were some arrests made, there were those on the left that were ready to post their bail.  

Now, let us look at a more recent event with pro-Hamas protests outside the White House. Shouting the usual rhetoric, like “Death to America,” then, attempting to break through a fence that was being used as a security barrier for the White House. How many arrests were made? ZERO! The Capitol Police officers were told to “stand down.” If this had been another Jan. 6, arrests would have been made. Two wrongs do not make a right.

Now, we clearly see the double standard and the difference between the rule of law and the rule by law. If certain members in American society coddle the criminal and chastise the victim, we are surely heading down a path that will all but certainly put some above the law, while others are expected to live under it. This circles back to what Chris Rock was saying about obeying the law and using common sense to avoid trouble. It is not that hard! It does not matter if you are on the left, the right, or in the middle. If you break the law, you should be punished just like anyone else.  

We, the American citizenry, should expect better of ourselves when it comes to following the law. However, we should hold our elected officials, Democrat and Republican, accountable and to a higher standard. Until we all do this, there will always be a double standard when it comes to the rule of law.