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Mailbag: Pluralism is how we should be governed

Mailbag: Pluralism is how we should be governed


My will is often not reflected in our laws, but I obey laws that follow the legal process.

Part of the 2020 landscape has been perpetual riots in Portland. Many businesses shuttered, some were burnt, a man was murdered, the federal building was under siege.

The spirit animating this movement was supposedly racial justice, but any credible claim to being something other than collective violence was forsaken when an unconscious man’s head was being kicked like a ball, and monuments were torn down. The persistence of this lawlessness would indicate a state’s inability to overcome the mob.

The night after the election, the arm of the state mobilized the National Guard. The riots ended: Businesses were protected, neighborhoods were allowed to sleep. The tools furnished by the state to enable the governor to enforce its laws are effective.

The governor impartially applies the constitution’s laws. Representatives create laws to reflect the people’s will. Whose will was being enforced those many months when the rioters ran the streets? This governor’s head directs the strong arm of the state. Her other hand is the mob, which would continue adjudicating which properties and parks should be vandalized or respected.

My politics often part with the governor’s. Would the governor selectively pull back law enforcement if mobs threatened me or my family? The governor gives me little confidence.

We are divided politically, but the law makes no political distinction. Politics is the process of election, but pluralism is how we should be governed.

Scott Fairbanks



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