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White's column shows how far we've fallen

Date published: 7/10/2014

Where did our nation go?

Linda White may be conservative, but that doesn't make her wrong ["Disagreement isn't bigotry," July 6].

Many of us have the same questions and share the same concerns. Happily, we have a writer with Ms. White's ability to pose those questions so clearly and articulately.

(The Fredericksburg area is also fortunate that, for the moment, we still have a local newspaper to publish her. There are still some ideas that cannot be done justice in a 140-character "tweet" or crammed into a smartphone display.)

With regard to her July 6 column, I believe most American citizens' roots tap into the fundamental values and ideals embedded in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Ms. White's column reminds us how far we have drifted from those ideals.

We willingly tolerate a U.S. Code of Federal Regulations so bloated, arcane and convoluted as to defy understanding.

We docilely accept the executive branch appropriating the power to enact and enforce its interpretations of "law" at will.

The number of provisions constraining ordinary citizens and criminalizing their actions now defies compilation.

(John Baker, a retired Louisiana State University law professor who has tried to count federal crimes, has opined that, "There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime.")

At the same time the language of the federal code makes it virtually impossible to hold anyone in the government accountable for his actions.

This, as Ms. White's column points out, is not anything like a reasonable rule of law.

Jim Ramsbotham

King George