Ben Stone is perhaps the best example in television drama of a true agent of lawful good; impartial in practice but morally consistent, passionate but measured in action, an intelligent theorist but a pragmatic arbiter in application. In conversation with his subordinate in title only partner Paul Robinette; the topic is the application of state laws across state lines regarding a serial murderer [Season 2: Episode 16]
Stone: “Maybe. But the New York State Court of Appeals says the death penalty is cruel and inhuman.”
Robinette: “And what do you say?”
Stone: “And I say we uphold the laws of this state!”
He is the sort of Republican Jefferson would have promoted and the Tea Party would denounce as a RINO. He is a Federalist of Ante bellum vintage, and a philosophical civil libertarian of the enlightened though stodgy faux-lksy Robery Kennedy sort. He will ride, but never crest with, the wave of social and political progress. He is indeed lithic in his staid but steady convictions and his ability to smoothly and methodically mold into a sympathetic state with the environment around him. If the Justice Department of the United States were staffed by Ben Stones the inevitable political disintegration of the same United States could be put off for another generation or more. But instead we have Ted Cruz’s and Samuel Alito’s so disintegrate it will, and on schedule.
Ben Stone is a Burkean conservative, a true conservative who seeks value in a society and attempts to cultivate the systems and ideas needed to create a healthy civic state. He does this through his everyday observations and in his fair, but vigorous, defense of what society deems good and just, and in his application of justice as a tool of preservation and not retribution. He is the sort of man, the sort of fixture of justice, one could hazard a guess, Burke had in mind when he said “It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do.”