I’m sure most of you here know me well enough by now to have heard my oft-repeated declaration: “No cop-sucker, I.” That said, you no doubt are also aware that I don’t harbor any reflexive distrust or dislike for the po-lice either. I’ve known and been around cops my whole life long: as neighbors, as friends, as family, even. Around a third of the customers in the Harley shop I turned wrenches and busted knuckles in for years were cops; another third was black guys, and the last consisted of a mix of what we used to call RUBs (Rich Urban Bikers) and the more authentic and likeable old-school Harley trash. Almost all the cops I’ve spent any time around were perectly decent guys, although it must be admitted that I and my cop buds alike were all too aware of the existence of some wrong ‘uns in the law enforcement field.
Thankfully, bad cops tended not to last very long on the force in those days. They usually wound up either fired because of some variety of excessive-force hassle; being shot, whether rightly or wrongly; or just going mental from the stress and frustration, enough so to make them walk away from the job more or less voluntarily. The ones that did hang in would find themselves patiently schooled by the older, more experienced heads, resulting in a much more relaxed and professional attitude that served both the officers and the public much better than the eager-beager, gung-ho aggression ever would have.
So no, I don’t really have a problem with cops. Most cops, anyway. My cop friends are all retired now, and they tell me it’s a whole different ballgame out there nowadays. Without exception, they say that they wouldn’t take the job now for any money, and are damned glad to be out of it.
As y’all know me and my opinion on the police by now, we all likewise know Angelo Codevilla to be one of our most sober-minded and judicious pundits. He’s a bona fide intellectual heavyweight, with not an ounce of the wild-eyed, snarling radical about him. He constructs his arguments meticulously, according to the facts as he perceives them, then presents those arguments passionately but without excess heat. He unflinchingly confronts difficult or unpleasant truths, without ever lapsing into bomb-throwing or inflammatory rhetoric.
All of which means that when Codevilla expresses alarm about something, we are obliged to listen, and listen well.
Turkeys cheering the arrival of Thanksgiving would be only marginally more pathetic than the conservative luminaries on Fox News who cheer for the police as civilization’s saviors. The police. You know—the heroes who stood aside as mobs looted and burned Minneapolis, Portland, Kenosha, Chicago, Macy’s in New York, downtown Chicago and so on while organized mask-wearing Antifa thugs beat whoever got in the way? Yes, the police we watched tase a woman for not wearing a mask in a stadium and arresting people for singing Christian hymns in a park. The police, who don’t answer calls from people who are being threatened in their homes. Those police.
Ah! the conservative luminaries tell us: the cops really would rather protect us. They don’t want to hurt us. Yes, the police fine us and jail us on behalf of politicians who hate us. Yes, effectively, they are protecting the mobs. But that’s only because they are duty bound to obey the duly constituted authorities who also pay them. They’re just doing their jobs even if they don’t like what they are doing. What should they do, disobey orders and get fired? So, let’s give them more money and more power.
The more we think about that, the more we realize that this attitude corrupts citizens as well as police. Let us reflect.
Begin by dismissing the idea that serious repression, criminalization of people for their religious and social identity, or for political opposition, can’t happen in America. It is happening. And it is sure to get a lot worse because the people in charge of the permanent government, the media, and corporate entities, increasingly are united in making it happen. More so than just about anywhere, ever.
And that includes Germany in the 1930s.
We have already experienced that, unlike even in Nazi Germany—and much like in the Soviet Union, China, etc.—the farther up the ordinary citizen looks in the hierarchy of the American ruling class, the more likely one is to find all manner of corruption and enmity. Dangerous to our health and liberties as the police and judicial system of California may be, the FBI and the Department of Justice are worse.
What then shall we do with and about the police?
He has some ideas about that, and you must read them.