Why Am I Upset About the Yates Verdict? by Tammy Bruce

Reader Response to “Don’t Marry Career Women” – Why Am I Upset About the Yates Verdict? by Tammy Bruce

Why Am I Upset About the Yates Verdict? by Tammy Bruce
Regular Contributor
Maynard grasps for the fundamental problem

Okay, there’s the obvious sense that, yet again, justice hasn’t been done. A woman murders five children in cold blood and evades responsibility. That’s the symptom we all witnessed, but let’s move beyond that and consider the underlying disease.

The core problem is that there’s always a price to be paid for evil, and the ideal of justice is that the perpetrator pays that price. When a perpetrator walks away, somebody else is going to pay. The price will be a subsequent loss of freedom for all of us. We live with more fear, and look with greater suspicion upon neighbors. We isolate ourselves from strangers. The politicians blame the tools, and make it harder to acquire anything that can be used as a weapon, such as a firearm or maybe (in Andrea’s case) a bathtub. Society becomes more hostile and intrusive and bureaucratic.

In a word, when we fail to administer individual punishment when it’s practical and appropriate to do so, we end up administering collective punishment upon ourselves.

I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t want to be overly regulated and scrutinized. I’d rather to live in a relatively free society where I’m allowed to get on with my life. I admit that it’s often a struggle to make the right choice. We’re all tested one way or another. When the test comes, it’s the knowledge that there will be consequences that helps keep us on the straight and narrow. If we’re not 100% good people in our hearts and minds (and we’re certainly not), then we’re motivated to fake it in our words and deeds.

And that’s what civilization is, boys and girls: A collection of people who agree to fake it as we deal with each other. We’re walking wounded, every one of us. We’re hurt and angry and ready to fly into a rage, and it’s a chore to remain civil and civilized. And if we want civilization and freedom to persist, then we’ve got to find some motivation to control our base natures. A big part of this motivation comes from a knowledge of consequences, either earthly or (for those who are religious) Divine.

The bottom line is this: Freedom and responsibility are linked. Responsibility implies consequences. If we fail to enforce responsibility, then we’ve got to curtail freedom. Is that the world we’re deciding to live in? Let’s hope not.

These are the things I think of when I witness the triumph of Andrea Yates.

10-31-2006 06:13 PM

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