When a man is savagely attacked in his own neighborhood, traumatizing him, unfortunately kills his attacker in a clear-cut case of self-defense, traumatizing him again, the police (knowing they have no evidence to the contrary that it was self-defense) decide to drop the case, but political pressure from above (responding to a mob of angry, misinformed, racists) sends a special prosecutor to put him on trial, jeopardizing his future and traumatizing him yet again, you live in a tyranny.
When the Supreme Court negates a law, making it impossible to successfully prosecute someone for breaking it, but the decision is interpreted by lower courts as compelling one to break the law, in essence creating a new law (something only congress can do), and a woman is placed in jail without trial for breaking this non-law that doesn’t exist, you live in a tyranny.
When a state government can abduct the daughter of the citizens of another state, prevent her from receiving her needed treatment, allow her to get progressively sicker, and issue an order prohibiting the family from even discussing the issue with anyone else, you live in a tyranny.
When a company that has built its brand on designing secure (and perfectly legal) file storage is told that it must commit man-hours to find a way to breach its own security system, effectively putting itself out of business and making the data of its millions of customers potentially available to the same government that was outwitted by Edward Snowden and co-opted by Lois Lerner, you live in a tyranny.
When prosecutors at all levels withhold evidence, police plant evidence, police escalate situations that could have easily been resolved peacefully, and when this corruption goes all the way to the top, you live in a tyranny.
When police can mistake a man for someone else, not introduce themselves as police officers, attack him from behind, and yet somehow expect him not to fight back, you live in a tyranny.
When the government engages in a gun-running operation, never even tries to keep track of them, covers the whole thing up, and actively obstructs the investigation to the point that congress holds the attorney general in contempt, you live in a tyranny.
When the Supreme Court can rule the ACA constitutional twice (and for opposite reasons!), you live in a tyranny.
When the president declares that he has every right to order drone strikes in sovereign countries we have not declared war on to kill American citizens without trial or oversight of any kind, you live in a tyranny.
When the government can collect private phone data of millions of people without telling anybody, you live in a tyranny.
When those in US custody are subjected to indefinite imprisonment and torture without trial or solid proof that they know anything worth torturing them over, you live in a tyranny.
When the IRS and EPA believe that they can garnish your wages and confiscate your property without even charging you with a crime, and making it your responsibility to appeal to get your money back, you live in a tyranny.
When the government can confiscate your land, not to use for roads or bridges, but to hand over to private entities to build shopping malls, you live in a tyranny.
It is nearly impossible now to tell the difference between the law, the criminals, and the vigilantes. There is practically no difference. We are so close to the edge now that we cannot afford to make a mistake in electing someone without a heart for justice, especially with upcoming vacancies in the courts. Keeping the current set of candidates in mind, ask yourself some questions:
Is it just to return people to Mexico who have no memories of being there, who were brought here without consent, who have spent years here, who have friends, families, a career, and dreams here? Is it just to refuse to issue them a passport?
Is it just to allow Christians to enter the country, but not Muslims? How does one tell the difference?
Is it just to prevent American citizens from expanding a mosque/community center – only because it happens to be near a place that was attacked by others who also claimed to be Muslims?
Is it just to execute those who happen to be related to criminals and terrorists?
Is it just to refuse to investigate crimes because the victims of those crimes are in the US illegally?
It does not matter that many of these things are impractical, illegal, or at the very least not actionable by the executive branch acting alone. The fact that some are even considering these as possible actions proves they do not have a heart for justice. How do you know they won’t try something else easier to get away with? If your candidate will not protect others, how do you know he/she will protect you?