Americans and Police: An Awkward Relationship

Americans and Police: An Awkward Relationship

Here at Liberty Revolt Media, we do our best not to act as an echo-chamber or parrot slogans that have been watered down by partisanship. In fact, we’re of the opinion that America needs both sides. More importantly, the American people need to hear arguments from either end and make up their minds accordingly.

Anyone with reading comprehension skills can see that we lean toward the libertarian-conservative philosophy here – to be clear, it’s simply a lean. I, Cole M., am a staunch independent and would never think of toeing the party line on every issue in this country.

Healthy disagreements dot the backbone of any functioning democracy – and, if they don’t devolve into seething saliva-swaps, they’re quite fun. So here we go.

Democrats and Republicans: What do they Believe?

Republican philosophy derives from a simple idea – the less government intervention in our lives, the better. Government tends to be expensive, inefficient, and inflexible. And frequently slows down entrepreneurship. The Republican platform, for all its historical meandering, always comes back to that simple idea.

Democrats, however, believe that a well-organized and representational government can build community, sow equality, and improve people’s lives.

There are many examples of either party eschewing these ideas generally for more specific policies, but these philosophical backdrops form the meat of either party’s rallying points.

Today’s America is one of brutal partisanship – I won’t say we’re more divided than we’ve ever been (there was that one time we went to war with ourselves, after all…) but we’re close. Such partisanship has spawned a momentous roulette game of Us vs. Them. That’s great for foreign powers who want us to ignore their flagrant human rights violations, but not so good for us.

An outgrowth of this has been the increasing number of people toeing the line of their party. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen formerly politically independent (political independence is easier to maintain in times of stability) acquaintances shirk their personal reckonings to side with Reps or Dems on [insert policy issue of significance here].

This is bad; what’s worse is the fact that people tend not to question whether their party’s policies are consistent with the philosophy that either one was constructed upon.

Republicans and Police: Why the Obeisance?

What do the police do? Easy. They enforce the law. Who writes the laws? Government employees do. More laws lead to bigger government, more bureaucracy, and a convoluted legal system. Police enforce. They’re an arm of the state, whether ‘the state’ obtains at a federal, state, county, or city level.

Most of the rights laid out in the constitution are negative; that is, they describe what the government cannot do to you. The constitution assumes that human nature holds supreme even in the upper echelons of government. That is, we cannot allow power-hungry people to enforce their whims upon the citizenry, and therefore we must limit their power.

My co-patriot said it best: republicans point to the constitution and say ‘that’s it’. We pay our respects to this document because it protects us from our government: that’s called freedom.

Why, then, is the Republican Party of June 2020 all of a sudden the party of the police?

The police represent the state’s monopoly on force. I believe in the rule of law and maintaining a safe living environment, as anyone would. However, I believe the police of today’s America have overstepped their bounds and are using the power granted by a government that republicans have traditionally wanted to limit to oppress private citizens at their (the police’s) whim and deride the constitution.

That’s about as anti-republican as you can get.

For years and years, the police have been absorbing surplus military weaponry if not purchasing it outright. If we treat them as the arm of the state that we, as republicans, want limited, then logic would dictate we ought not to militarize them. Or at the very least, expand the weaponry and equipment available to the police, to the citizens. We either de-militarize the police, or we re-militarize the citizenry

Republicans support a strong military because the buck stops with American citizens – the military doesn’t exist to uphold American law on US soil. To say that they and the police are in any respects the same would be a false equivalency.

As good republicans, we should, therefore, understand the meaning of defund the police. A police budget is a government budget, and police budgets are often over-represented in the distribution of government funds. This allows for the aforementioned militarization.

Defunding the police means we give them enough money to train properly and maintain the rule of law, and engage in community outreach – and no more. Not millions to maintain police unions. Not millions so every cop in a small mountain town can have 2 AR-15’s in their truck and a stock of drones from hostile foreign powers.

The republican financial mantra has for a long time been give government agencies enough to do what they need and spare the excess so citizens can pay fewer taxes. Government programs with extra money spend that money on frivolous pursuits so they can continue getting that amount.

Why are police departments any different? Sorry, but small-town police organizations don’t need choppers.

I believe the push against defunding the police (from republicans) comes as a push-back against Black Lives Matter and the riots and protests that movement has spawned. However, the oft-repeated Republican mantra of ‘Blue Lives Matter’ seems less to oppose the BLM movement (which, if the party could be more eloquent, Republicans could likely discredit on ideas alone) and more to strike at the base of their own small-government hearthstones. In other words, too many republicans are misinformed about wasteful police spending.

They are literally using your tax money to build and support the apparatus of government power that the rest of republican ideology is predicated upon opposing. Most of this is constituted by local communities, funding police at the behest of the community, but since 9/11 more and more federal funding has been the trend. Which in some instances can be understandable. If a certain community has very little tax revenue but high violent crime, government assistance may be reasonable.

however, I don’t care if protestors are democrats and the president is republican; when they are dispersed using tear gas and rubber bullets then those protestors have had their first amendment rights violated. If the president is going to support an arm of the government that undermines the first amendment then he is threatening the constitution as well.

The constitution and the ability to peacefully assemble are more important than partisanship, full-stop. When I saw people on their porch being paintballed by cops, protestors and children being tear-gassed by cops, and private citizens getting run over by cops, I realized that those who allow this institution to continue unchanged only do so out of partisanship. It’s republican-trendy to support the police right now and democrat-trendy to oppose them.

The parties have, ironically, switched ideological standpoints on this issue.

So yes, this patriot supports defunding certain aspects of police practices as heartily as he supports defunding the Chinese-shill WHO. Because I’m a fan of small government and less government interference in my life. Because, if I am at any point afraid to express my first amendment rights, I won’t hesitate to argue vehemently against the people trying to suppress them, whether they’re police or left-wing activists who oppose freedom of speech.

And, by the way, I do believe that these reforms need to happen on a city-by-city basis, not federally. Unfortunatley, most cities have seen an increase in militarization of police accompanied by an increase in use of force (as detailed by the peer-reviewed article linked previously).

Still No Excuses for Liberal Hypocrisy, though

What, you think I’d get through an article without taking a jab at the left?

The problem with the #BLM movement, and the broader narrative that police are targeting black Americans and that police brutality is among the biggest issues facing the black community is counter-productive and hurts black communities. Overwhelmingly the police save black lives. If we want to be serious about the evidence, cops are systemically sacrificing their own lives to try to make a positive difference in these communities. A black man is 2000x more likely to die from violent crime. A cop is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a criminal black that a black man is to be killed by a criminal cop. The leading death for young black men in America is homicide, overwhelmingly at the hands of other blacks in the inner cities. And every time the anti-cop systemic racism narrative takes over and the protests and riots start, police withdraw from proactively enforcing crime in these communities and the violent crime rate goes up drastically, typically something like 90% in the first two months and 140% over the course of the year. This is called the Ferguson effect and is confirmed by the director of the FBI. Between 5000 and 8000 black lives are lost every year from violent crime, the last thing innocent patriotic law-abiding citizens need is for cops to withdrawal from their communities out of fear of being labeled as racist. And we have been seeing the Ferguson effect in real-time in the after math of the most recent protests.

These communities need a restoration of the family structure, job opportunities, and investments in their community, all of which are being undermined by the riots, looting, and the broader narrative that police are out to get them. If protecting black lives was the objective, we would be focusing on these problems, and promoting a stronger relationship with law enforcement. Instead of pushing to hate and distrust the police they would be pushing police to do community outreach and encouraging young people to join the police force and do the right thing and be the change they wish to see.

The political left must also face their contradictory stances in this movement. It was they who (in my opinion rightly) rallied for a stringent quarantine so we didn’t infect our collective grandparents with COVID.

And yet, somehow, million-person marches in every capital city in the US is totally fine? No vitriol for the maskless protesters and petri-dish conglomerations of protesting citizens? Such a contradiction discredits their original arguments for the merits of strict quarantine. Thanks to the protests and states opening up too early we’ve now got more virus than we’ve ever had before.

If you want to get your point across, don’t sound like a hypocrite when doing it.

Right or left, it is the responsibility of the US citizenry to defend the constitution.

That is why the second amendment serves as enforcement to all the others; if liberals really want to be successful in protesting the government-mandated institution of the police, they better get serious about supporting the second amendment.

If conservatives want to remain the party of the constitution and small government, they better get serious about calling out abuses of the first amendment, whether they’re by a republican president or police officers.

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