Does the end justify the means? The answer has to be no. The difference between chaos and civilization is rules. Can you imagine a basketball game or a football game without rules and someone to enforce those rules? In every aspect of our lives, we rely on rules. We have traffic rules to minimize accidents and facilitate traffic flow. Sometimes we complain because we have so many laws and regulations. But we quickly notice when those guides to behavior are broken.
Vance Armstrong won the grueling Tour de France bicycle race seven consecutive times. Later, his wins were revoked because he had been using “performance enhancing drugs”. Those drugs defeat the measurement system used to determine the best cyclist.
The U.S. Government operates successfully because it is regulated by established procedures. There are attempts to subvert the rules, e.g. gerrymandering a voting district or pouring ridiculous amounts of money into a political race. But government, both local and national, operates successfully because we follow most of the rules most of the time.
Shooting people is rule breaking supreme. Violent behavior does not solve political problems.
We have abundant means to change laws and the rules we follow. That process allows society to function smoothly. Breaking the rules causes chaos. The end we seek may be very important, but the means we use to achieve the desired result is equally important.
Jack Stevenson is retired, served two years in Vietnam as an infantry officer, retired from military service, and worked three years as a U.S. Civil Service employee. He also worked in Egypt as an employee of the former Radio Corporation of America (RCA). Currently, he reads history, follows issues important to Americans, and writes commentary for community newspapers.