Spirit AND the letter matter. They do.
It’s school board election day in the friendly little village I live in. I am always excited to do my duty as a citizen and fully exercise my rights as such. I have been active, on and off, in school board meetings since I was about 12. So, happy day for me, I get to feel good about participatory democracy in our glorious federal republic.
I park the car and walk the short path to the High School gym. Wherein, I am accosted by two people who are currently on the ballot that I will be using in just a few moments to cast my vote.
When you get involved with local politics, little quirks in the law become gigantic points of conflict. One of those is “The 100 Feet Rule”. By law, there is no electioneering, campaigning or loitering within a 100 feet of a polling place. And it is often argued where exactly that 100 feet line is. Like fisticuffs erupts kind of fighting.
The law states you must be 100 feet away if you are electioneering. What if you are 101 feet? 110 feet? What if you form a gauntlet surrounding the path that people have to walk to and from the polling place?
The law is to ensure that a citizen does not suffer undue pressures about casting a secret ballot. We cast our votes freely in this country and we expect no pressure and no consequences for the votes we cast.
The SPIRIT of the law is to not bully voters. The LETTER states a particular distance.
And, this is my humble opinion, which really isn’t humble because I’m not humble when I’m right, if you obey the letter of the law but vomit all over the spirit of the law you are a big fat jerk. It makes me feel slimy and dirty watching you subvert the intent of the law like that.
Oh and yeah, this was in the news today too… Its totally legal for the President to leak classified information to adversaries BUT IF YOU DO YOU ARE A BIG FAT JERK FOR PUTTING THE COUNTRY AT RISK. OK, done now.