Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020 | 2 a.m.
So much for law and order?
I know what President Donald Trump was thinking — as usual, only of himself — but I haven’t a clue what the few thousand people who showed up Sunday night in Henderson to crowd into a building so they could hoop and holler their support for Trump were thinking.
Clearly, they weren’t.
Of course, Monday morning a few of those supporters were interviewed on cable news and they confirmed about themselves what most Americans think about those thoughtless actions.
These were selfish, willfully ignorant people who are full of the kind of bravado that has permeated the Trump cult for the past four years. It is a bravado that today has pitted Trump supporters against an infinitesimally small virus that continues to threaten the lives, liberties and economies of people around the world.
There isn’t much anyone can do or say to people who refuse to listen to science, to reasoned leadership and to common sense. Nor does public shaming and fact-based argument have any impact. As the president says, “They are what they are.”
History is replete with stories about pockets of society that refuse to believe their lying eyes, ears and common senses. And for them only, society has imposed an answer.
We have laws. And we have rules. And we have norms of decency that have grown over time and to which most sane people adhere.
That means in the case of Don Ahern’s Henderson building, which played host to the throngs of the unmasked who crammed inside to breathe all over each other, society has an answer.
Our laws. And they, in turn, provide the kind of societal order — or so it is hoped — that allows diverse numbers of people to live together. It is a law of nature that some, thankfully very few, human beings will choose to do what they want, regardless of any inherent danger or inherited mental infirmity, and that is where our laws provide the rest of us some measure of protection.
The good news is that one of our two major political parties has made its mark and created its brand over time on one, overarching theme — a theme that has driven voters to the polls in past years to acknowledge their support.
It is called law and order.
What Henderson’s gathering Sunday night represented was a complete breakdown of Nevada’s laws. And, in turn, Gov. Steve Sisolak’s orders pursuant to those laws requiring people to act responsibly and in a manner cognizant of the COVID-19 danger that is killing Americans at the rate of 1,000 people each and every day.
And, dare I mention it, a virus that has caused the almost total shutdown of the world’s No. 1 tourist destination — and the tens of thousands of Nevadans’ jobs lost — just because most people won’t get on an airplane to come to Las Vegas because they have no desire to gather around people who may and probably are infected with coronavirus.
So what has been done about this blatant violation of Nevada’s law and Sisolak’s health orders designed to keep all of us safe?
As far as I can tell — nothing but a slap on the wrist.
The city of Henderson released a statement Monday that said Xtreme Manufacturing would be fined $3,000 for six violations of the state’s emergency directives.
Meanwhile, all of those people will take their rights and liberties away from that Henderson building and force them in the faces, the lives and the health outcomes of every other resident of this state with whom they come in contact. What will $3,000 do to help those folks who may get infected as a result?
President Trump and his supporters scream to the heavens about the lack of law and order that, unfortunately, sometimes mars otherwise peaceful protests in our streets. But their silence is deafening when they violate Nevada’s laws and the order they are designed to produce, especially when they are the violators in chief.
So I ask: When the president and his followers were abusing the will of the people, where were the enforcers of law and order to which every Nevadan is entitled? Where was the governor when it was time to stand up to the lawbreakers? What happened to the city of Henderson and its police powers designed to protect the people?
Everyone took a hike when they should have stood tall to protect us.
Why did Nevada’s leadership allow itself to be complicit in this madness?
Brian Greenspun is editor, publisher and owner of the Sun.