As the United States continues to cope with the fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic, many citizens are growing impatient with what they perceive as a long wait for economic recovery.
By any measure, this is a frightening time in American history. With many people struggling to put food on the table, it is easy to see why emotions would run high.
As the economy lags, moreover, many small business owners are seeing their dreams evaporate even as their employees face long-term unemployment. It is a situation that would cause anyone to feel emotional burnout.
In recent months, protests have emerged across the country for a variety of different reasons. These protests have come from all sides of the political spectrum; each contingent has had its own particular viewpoints and agendas. As we have seen in recent weeks, the danger of these protests spilling over into violence has been profound.
As one of Fox News’s most prominent political commentators, Andrew Napolitano has cautioned individuals against taking such drastic measures in response to the pandemic or in response to other political grievances.
He was particularly critical of the political leadership of Portland, Oregon when the city saw rioting early last year; however, the Fox host has also vented about President Donald Trump’s inflaming rhetoric in recent weeks.
To a large extent, he views the pandemic as a test of American resilience. To wit, if the American sense of law and order cannot be kept together and maintained under times of duress, the value of national stewardship in difficult times has little meaning. It is easy enough to maintain law and order during peaceful times, in other words, but testing the mettle of the American spirit can result in long-term instability and even chaos.
That shouldn’t be the case even under the worst of circumstances. If they are anything, Americans are remarkably strong when they choose to work together.
Even a quick glance at US history will show that Americans have always rallied together during times of difficulty. During both World Wars, for example, Americans banded together to create an atmosphere of resilience and optimism. During the Great Depression, moreover, Americans provided support to one another until better times emerged.
Indeed, there is nothing that says that we cannot come together under trying circumstances once again. Andrew Napolitano is certainly correct that law and order must be maintained in times of stress: When we look at past conflicts, it is easy to see that a lack of order has led to chaos.
We are experiencing unprecedented difficulties in this country; at this point, it is unclear how we will emerge from the current pandemic unscathed. Certainly that would be an unlikely but desirable outcome: But if American history teaches us anything, it is that the populace of the US can rebuild when necessary.
But giving way to baser instincts and foregoing law and order can prevent even the most resilient people from moving forward. As we push through to a new stage in our country’s history, we must heed Andrew Napolitano’s words: Now is not the time to test the boundaries of our legal system.