Some degree of Right--Left consensus on Ferguson, Missouri
So often in U.S. politics these days, we see a sharply polarized right--left divide on whatever news story grips America.
The smoldering cauldron of Ferguson, Missouri, could have been the latest example.
But, shockingly, the words of many prominent politicians - including would-be Presidential hopefuls - have been rather measured, nuanced, and cautious. Has libertarianism tempered the strict law-and-order impulse within the G.O.P.? Could it be the unique circumstances of Ferguson, with the arrests of reporters at a McDonald's the final straw? Do people, both right and left, sense a threat to freedom with the gradual militarization of police forces?
The WASHINGTON POST's Dan Balz crystallizes the political community's response to Ferguson...
Rand Paul is correct about our local police departments becoming too "militarized" (given billions of dollars-worth of surplus military-grade gear/vehicles)... there are times when the riot gear and police snipers are needed, but most times, all that's needed is a calm leader to settle things down... someone like Tom Selleck's character on BlueBloods or even a Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith/Mayberry).
On the flip-side...the New Black Panthers, Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jackson were there to instigate/fan the flames... we saw how "well" that worked out in Florida... add in all the news crews trying to "create" spectacular news and it's a very dangerous mix.
It sounds like a Tom Selleck-type cop has been put in charge...according to the NPR story this morning, he put away the riot gear, talked to the real protestors face-to-face and listened to them...he treated the real/local protestors with the respect they deserve and is finding out who the troublemakers are (TNBP, looters, those throwing Molotov cocktails and the ones shooting at news/police helicopters)
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Aug 15, 2014 8:57am
The militarization of the local police forces around the nation is kind of scary. They've become the new "National Guard". The old National Guard rather than being here doing this sort of thing is overseas fighting our wars along side of the much smaller fulltime military. So in one sense it isn't too surprising that our police have taken over the real National Guard's job, but is it a good thing?
One big difference between the old National Guard and this "new" National Guard is the arrogance that typically seems to be a part of a cops DNA. Military folks, especially the National Guard soliders generally are just doing their duty as ordered as they have a life outside the Guard. I was a teen in 1968 and knew some of the Delaware National Guardsmen who patrolled the streets of Wilmington after the MLK riot. These were teachers, musicians, engineers, carpenters, etc. They were scared to be there, they were weekend "warriors" who served in mild mannered boring Delaware, but they went and did their duty. They didn't have an attitude, they just wish they didn't have to be there and didn't want any trouble to happen. They were worried about making it out alive so they could go back home to their families.
Cops, on the other hand, seem to approach this sort of thing in a different manner. They seem to be looking for trouble as they're ready for a fight. Even in a traffic stop where you get a ticket for some minor traffic violation, there's that hostility and readiness that says, go ahead, give me some lip, give me a reason to pull your butt out of that car. This happens even with female police. So seeing the police playing soldier is a scary thing and should be stopped, because they seemed to be wired to not want to listen to anything a civilian has to say and will spread eagle you for the slightest reason. This seems even more so in a "working class neighborhood".
The other issue is cops protect their own. So here is this very violtile situation in Ferguson, Missouri where a white cop is accused of shooting a black teen. So who is there doing soldier duty to stop riots, looting, and crowd control? Those same cops who's fellow brother cop has been accused, so this is an explosion just waiting to happen. The community is angry and so are the cops. Wouldn't it have been better to get the cops out of there and have the Missouri National Guard patrol those areas. A neutral group not involved in the conflcit.
Police make poor soldiers. In a situation like this it's too personal for them to be objective. I believer we should use the real National Guard for this sort of "peace keeping" mission and keep the "flat foots" patroling their beats. Both have a valuable role to play in keeping all of us safe, let's not mix the two.
Fri, Aug 15, 2014 7:23pm
Sorry, but I've been warning you all this time that Obama wants a police state. Hopefully, we can beat it back before it's too late.
Sat, Aug 16, 2014 10:12pm
Pizza, you are factually inconsistent. Earlier you said Obama was on the side of the protesters and so he shouldn't be trusted. Now you say he is creating a police state. When do you stop making things up?
Sun, Aug 17, 2014 5:13pm
0bama (Community Organizer), Eric H0lder (DOJ), Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jessie Jackson and the New Black Panthers are all on the side of the looters and violent protestors... I fully support the peaceful protesters who want to know the truth in this case but the looters and riot-instigators should be placed in jail.
As an update on the case...sounds like the cop was telling the truth:
Sun, Aug 17, 2014 9:32pm
Earl: Thanks for setting Kavips straight. I am factually consistent. The fact that he's on the side of the protesters proves he's creating a police state. It's like love and marriage: You can't have one without the other.
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