The apocryphal Biblical tale relates that Moses, the leader of the  Hebrews, fleeing from Egyptian enslavement, ascends to the summit of Mount Sinai, and returns to his people, bearing a two-part stone tablet, upon which are inscribed, the fundamental moral imperatives, commonly known as the “Ten Commandments.” The Seventh Commandment, “Thou Shalt not Steal,” is the present topic of discussion.

What is divinely proscribed, by this Commandment, specifically, is the unauthorized taking [theft, stealing] of another’s private property. The offending verb, “steal,” seems to be unitarily simple, in its objective consideration; however, human history, inclusive of certain recent events, has indicated that compliance with the Biblical admonition is convoluted by subjective determination.

 The, now infamously known, violent and unprecedented insurrection, staged against the Capitol Building,  on 1/6/21, violently mounted by pro-Trump terrorists, declared to the world, “Stop the Steal;” the mantra conjured up, for such violent, undemocratic event, by the loser of the Presidential election, Donald Trump. The “steal” appears to relate to the political event of the regular, transfer of the office of the American Presidency, to a successful candidate, by the Board of Electors, symbolically, overseen, by the outgoing Vice-President, the designated official; in this case, Mike Pence.

The multi-certified, Presidential election, attested to the clear victory of the Democratic Candidate, Joseph Biden. Donald J. Trump, the accredited loser of the election, refused, or was egotistically unable, to accept the reality of defeat and, without benefit of inquiry, determined, or defensively constructed the paranoid ideation, that, in truth, he was the true winner of the election; his delusional ideation of victory was articulated by his martial summons to his cult followers, to “Stop the Steal.”

Many hundreds of violent Trump supporters, in response to such call to arms, stormed the Capitol Building, causing injury, damage and even murder, due to their neurotic leader’s inability to accept defeat. Their mantra, was tactically, worded in language, relative to the prevention of sin, referenced to the Seventh Commandment, proscribing theft. However, as a semantic matter, one might ask in what manner or circumstance was a danger of theft [“Stop the Steal”] possible, or in any way, relevant or even, rational. Whose private property was it that was in danger of theft?  Neither, the Office of the Presidency, nor the existence of the elective results are, in any respect, “property,” and clearly, not the property of any deprived or aggrieved owner.

One can confidently assume that members of the insurgent “mob,” never chose to inquire into the semantical or philosophical issue, as to whether an “election,” per se, can indeed, be “stolen.” It would seem more evident, that the insurgents concluded, pursuant to Trump’s distress call, that their ballots had been miscalculated or altered and, as a consequence, the [accurate] results of the election were, perverted or “stolen” from them.    A maddened and incendiary, “patriotic” lynch mob actually called for the hanging of Trump’s Vice President, Mike Pence, the official charged with the ceremonial duty to deliver the tabulated results of the election, denigrated by Trump.

Thus the use of the words, stop the “steal,” was the tactical misuse of a punitive phrase, which when rationally or appropriately used, denotes the prevention of an activity that is Biblically and societally unacceptable and preventable. What was, in reality, instructed by the delusional mantra was: reject and oppose the official, certified, count of the election, which, “falsely” demonstrated the success of Joseph Biden. The prevention of such a travesty is vital to the continued existence of our Democratic Republic; accordingly, severe punishment for Trump and his minions is mandatorily required, to serve as a future deterrent.

It is of existential importance, that the American public, eternally, be obliged to be on guard against those whose ignorance can be wrongfully stewarded to oppose democracy, the rule of law and moral reason.


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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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