Is it conservative to back the blue?
By J. Freeman on 01/29/2018 02:54:41
If you've paid much attention to politics in the years since I was kidnapped in Hall County, then you know that support for the police is a "right vs. left" issue. When Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson Missouri (a mere 3 days after my release from jail), the issue of police abuse exploded into the national spotlight, with "conservatives" supporting current police practices and "liberals" seeking to reign them in. Since then (as if society would like to add further insults to my injuries) I've had the pleasure of hearing Rush Limbaugh (toward whom I am generally favorable otherwise) call me a thug about 1,000 times, proclaiming that if I would just obey the law and do what the police tell me, I would have never had problems like this one. Of course, all of this pro-police talk climaxed in the election of Donald Trump, who has proudly given the police military grade weapons and the right to steal on a whim through civil asset forfeiture. This was a stark contrast to the position of his opponent Hillary Clinton, who proudly used the families of black men shot by police as props at the Democratic National Convention.
Incidentally, I have a highly disfavorable view of both of them, and I voted for Gary Johnson. That's beside the point though.
The point is this: I've made demonstration that supporting the practices of modern police is opposed to Christian morality, but today I want to show you why conservative support for modern policing is political hogwash.
So, you say you're a conservative, a strict constitutional constructionist, a real supporter of American tradition. Well, what does that normally look like? Here's a list of some things that people labelled "conservative" almost always claim to support:
- The right to keep and bear arms - usually without qualification.
- Low taxes and decreased government spending
- Decreased government regulation and intrusion into everyday life
- Strict construction and even-handed application of the law
- A certain fondness of colonial America, and particularly the revolutionary war
I read that list and I think, "Hey, those all sound like generally good things for the government. I must be a conservative." But then I hear that conservatives support the police, and my head explodes from the din of cognitive dissonance. Consider:
- Police have a pretty strong tendency to kill anyone who has a gun or who might have a gun. Sometimes, they even use "he had a gun" as an excuse to kill people who pretty obviously didn't have guns (see Daniel Shaver). So... how exactly do you support "Guns everywhere!" and "Shoot everyone with a gun!" at the same time?
- Policing is expensive. They've got lots of people, cars, guns, giant brick police stations that look like fortresses, and even tanks. They're prone to shooting and kidnapping people for pretty terrible reasons, costing taxpayers loads of money in settlements. Here's my point: they're expensive. They aren't public-schools-expensive, but they're expensive. So, why do the people who support lower taxes, less spending, and fewer government bureaucrats on the Irish welfare dole support police officers?
- No one loves to regulate you and intrude on your life like a police officer. Pay attention to the news, and you'll see that the police unions are always supporting the newest traffic law, always opposing the deregulation of marijuana, and always supporting the steady erosion of your liberties. Why? Because if there aren't a bajillion laws for them to enforce, they've got nothing to do and can't rake money in off of you. It's bad for business. So, do you support freedom, or do you support the police?
- Conservatives love to talk about holding government officials accountable, enforcing the law evenly over everyone, and sticking to the law very strictly. Well, all that immediately flies out the window when it comes to the police. "Conservatives" are always supporting whatever carve-out they can give to support the police, and we've reached a point where they are quite literally above the law. You're not allowed to bring a gun to the courthouse, but I can bear you witness from my own experience that when a police officer comes in to testify against you, he'll have a gun on his hip. So, do we want even, fair laws that are strictly applied, or special privileges for government bureaucrats?
- If someone starts throwing rocks at officers, the conservatives will fly into a tizzy. "ANTIFA! THUGS! ANARCHISTS!" They'll scream. Well, they'll scream that if the officers are wearing blue that is. If the officers are wearing red then they'll forever honor those rock-throwing hoodlums as the brave men who lost their lives freeing us all from the British. Turns out that the early united States had no police, and they hated being policed so much that the constitution doesn't even give the government the power to maintain a standing army. "Come now." You say, "Apples to oranges; those were soldiers and these are police." Well, you can call them whatever you want, but if you ask me, the guys in the uniforms driving the tanks, carrying the assault rifles and calling each other names like "sergeant" are pretty obviously a domestic military.
So, what do we make of the so-called conservative and his unabashed love of the police? We're left with no real choice but to call it utter hypocrisy (if not bold-faced stupidity). Honestly, the trend of police support among conservatives is so bone-headed that I'm left really struggling to find an excuse for it. I think that (while racism itself isn't the answer) race plays a part in the equation. Blacks are traditionally democrats. Blacks are traditionally abused by the police. Ergo, democrats oppose police abuse. Republicans ("conservatives") naturally oppose anything that democrats like, and draw supporters from those repelled by the opposing party. The result? Republicans jump into bed with the police on the completely and obviously wrong side of the issue in total contradiction to everything they claim to believe.
And that, my friends, is why I now vote Libertarian.