In the midst of former President Donald Trump facing federal charges for his statements about the 2020 presidential election, Senator Rand Paul wonders why government officials on the opposite side of the political spectrum with criminal accusations don’t face punishment.
The senator zeroed in on two examples: first son Hunter Biden, who is in the center of speculation about his overseas business dealings that allegedly include his president father, Joe Biden, and former White House top doctor, Anthony Fauci.
“One of the things that annoys people more than anything else, is like, why do any people on their side never get prosecuted?” Paul said on Friday at the annual conference for the libertarian youth organization, Young Americans for Liberty.
“How come Hunter Biden’s not in jail?” he asked.
“Why is Anthony Fauci not in jail?” Paul added.
Paul recently requested that the attorney general investigate Fauci for allegedly lying before Congress, when he told a Senate committee in 2021 that the US did not fund gain-of-function research in China possibly involving COVID-19. Now that recently obtained documents seem to indicate that the US did fund such research, which was illegal at the time, and that Fauci was aware of it, many Americans want to see repercussions.
If true of Hunter Biden or Fauci, one would think this would attract serious attention from the federal government. To date, this hasn’t occurred.
Paul sees a dangerous double standard.
“It’s because there simply is two sets of justice,” Paul said Friday night. “And it’s something that’s driving the country apart.”
“We are becoming a balkanized nation, where people don’t believe they will get justice,” he added. “That’s a bad problem. That’s a recipe for disaster for the country if you don’t feel like you will be treated justly.”
Paul noted that disparities in injustice weren’t new in America, but the emphasis on who is treated less than has somewhat shifted.
“There was a time in our country where we weren’t just, to African Americans, women and others,” he said. “But we’ve come a long way.”
Though traction has been made on criminal reforms across many states and the federal level, the reality is that poor people and people of color are still treated radically different in the US justice system than their wealthier and whiter counterparts.
But Paul still had a point about a newer and growing divide regarding injustice, in addition to racial disparities.
Paul claimed, “But now we have a society where the injustice isn’t based on race so much, but it’s based on ideology.”
“This is a real problem. This is driving us further and further and further apart,” Paul said. “If people don’t believe in justice, we are going to have a real problem in our country.”
Stepping away from the controversies involving Trump, Hunter Biden and Anthony Fauci, the federal government and major social media platforms seem to have increasingly instituted more censorious and penalizing policies toward right-leaning Americans and this has had a chilling effect on the behavior of many.
It might be harder to expect fairness and justice in an environment where establishment institutions value only certain views and speech, yes?
Oxford University’s Political Science Quarterly conducted a study, reporting in June, “Over the period from the heyday of McCarthyism to the present, the percentage of the American people not feeling free to express their views has tripled.”
“In 2020, more than four in ten people engaged in self-censorship,” the study noted. “Our analyses of over-time and cross-sectional variability suggest that, first, self-censorship is connected to affective polarization among the mass public, with greater polarization associated with more self-censorship. Second, levels of mass opposition to full civil liberties bear no relationship to self-censorship.”
“Third, those who perceive a more repressive government are slightly more likely to self-censor,” the study added.
“Fourth, conservatives report engaging in more self-censorship than liberals,” Oxford noted.
America has long promised equal justice to all, and while racial minorities and others have often been denied this promise, the idea is to improve, not regress. Things have gotten better for minorities compared to decades past, yet many injustices still remain.
Rand Paul says the political establishment now disfavors certain ideologies, punishes those who hold them, and lets those who oppose those ideologies off the hook for potentially criminal deeds.
The Oxford study showed that for those who lean Right, self-censorship is more pervasive and thus, there is a sense to downplay or even hide center-right views.
Because they are disfavored. They could even be punished in ways left-leaning Americans need not fear.
That is justice for some, not all.