Lawyers don’t define virtue

Sam Smith – One of the ways in which the current scandals have altered our thinking is a broad acceptance of the notion that it all is mainly a matter of law. What will judges and juries decide?

We seem to have forgotten that virtue, fairness and decency are not legal matters but ones we used to go to ministers, teachers, historians and philosophers for guidance. This doesn’t mean that the Jan 6 committee shouldn’t do its job but that their decision will not adequately define what happened on that day, much of which we already know. Regardless of the legal result, Trump and his mob engaged in an attack on democracy such as we haven’t seen since the Civil War.

For the media in particular to leave the judgement of what happened up to legal decisions is a gross misrepresentation of reality and actually has contributed to the collapse of democracy. If we can’t define it without the decision of lawyers, we have already lost it.