Speaking Plain About the LawOne of the things that’s never ceased to amaze, and irritate me, if the way lawyers can dodge and weave through wording like Neo dodged bullets in The Matrix. Many will remember back to the trial of then-President Clinton, and how there was debate over what the word “is” meant.
I have to give credit where it is due; those who study law have a great intelligence to them. They need a mastery of language very few possess. It is their greatest strength, but sadly a strength too often used against the regular people who seek to live their lives as free men and women.
No one needs to necessarily understand language as well as a lawyer does to know that the laws written and passed in this country are done so in terminology and lingo that is so complex and vague that the average person, and even many intelligent people as well, are left dumbstruck as to what is being written, voted on and passed in Congress and the state legislatures in America.
I’m no lawyer. I do possess stronger than average vocabulary skills though. But when trying to read some of the things that pass as laws in this country, it’s pretty clear that they are not written to be understood by anyone outside the elite circles of people who can create and manipulate them. Honestly, is it really necessary to pass laws that consume thousands of pages of text?
Let’s look at the tax codes – the one thing we all suffer under more than anything else, the legalized theft of the fruits of our labor. Is it really necessary to have it written in such overly complicated terms, unless the goal is to make is impossible for the average person to look into it…and worse yet, for those who wrote it and their friends to be able to manipulate it to their advantage? Even if the code of legalized theft were in a “flat tax” format, who needs more than “each person shall have X% of their wages deducted in tax”? Even though I despise being taxed on my labor, this would be sufficient to have 10 or 15% skimmed out of everyone’s pay. Period. No enforcement wing. No armies of accountants. No auditing, no 1040s and W-2s, no forms of any kind. No IRS. Gee, that would save billions of dollars in the federal budget, wouldn’t it? Of course it would. You know it. I know it. And rest assured, all those thieves in Washington know it, too. The common question is, “Why don’t they just simplify the laws?”
Because they don’t want to. It is not in their interests to have laws so simple that they can’t wriggle around them.
Look at other things that have been passed, like the NDAA, CISPA and so forth. You get reassurances from these cretin that the laws will NEVER be used on the people. But thanks to many enterprising people, the laws are shown to be full of legal vagaries that leave them wide open for interpretation in any way a judge sees fit to interpret them. Again, this isn’t some accident. It’s intentionally done to give the governments that “little bit more” of power they so crave.
Sadly, these vagaries can be seen in the Constitution. Think about it – yes, there’s a guarantee against “unreasonable search and seizure” – but nothing is specified as to what constitutes “unreasonable”. Was it left vague on purpose? I’m inclined to think it is – even if the term was commonly known in the 1780s to mean a certain thing, those wise men who crafted the Constitution would have to know that what was commonly known then may not necessarily be known in the future, or that its definition would not change over time.
Even back then, as we so often see today, there was an overriding effort to pass the Constitution quickly, without time to review or debate it. Think about now, with the thousand-page whoppers being voted on without a single representative of the people having actually even READ the document – but are expected to vote yes or no on it. What happens to you if you sign something without reading and understanding it? More often than not, you wind up getting screwed eventually. And boy, do we get screwed by Congress with all the laws they pass without review.
But then – maybe they already know what’s in them, and know that they are unaffected by them or can skirt the law. Or they just know that as Congress, they are not bound to the laws they create (which in and of itself is a horrid travesty) and simply don’t care what’s in it.
In short – is it really necessary to have laws so complex the average person can’t understand them? Who does it serve? It’s most assuredly NOT the people. If we are stuck in a society that requires laws, would it not be in the best interests of the people forced to live under them to have these laws written in simple language? In terms that can be easily understood by all, and not open to microscopic interpretation by wordsmiths?
As a voluntaryist, I personally don’t feel the need for an abundance of laws. Those simple truths we all know innately – treat others and their property with the same respect you’d expect yours to be treated with – is sufficient. (Yes, I understand that there are invariably transgressors, and some sort of methodology of restitution needs to be in place, but that’s for another article.) But since we are not there yet, would it be too much to ask that the laws that exist are written clearly so that all can grasp them, understand them, and be able to easily live within their confines so long as they are non-invasive?
It’s a simple proposition. It’s one you don’t have to be a member of any given political stripe to support, and it’s one that I think EVERY person who cherishes personal freedom can back.