Cicero said, “We are all servants of the laws in order to be free.” Until now.
This is an unabashed tribute to our nation’s law enforcement officers. Counter to the spurious messaging and negative indoctrination you get from the MSM and progressive organizations about cops, they fill one of the most important roles in American society. Law enforcement officers have the solemn responsibility of helping maintain the “rule of law” in our nation that can be traced to antiquity.
Many of antiquity’s major philosophers elaborated on the concept. Aristotle advocated the rule of law in society in these words: “It is more proper that law should govern than any one of the citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.”
John Locke stated in his Second Treatise of Government (1690): “The liberty of man, in society, is to be under no other legislative power, but that established, by consent, in the commonwealth; nor under the dominion of any will, or restraint of any law, but what that legislative shall enact, according to the trust put in it.”
The American Bar Association “rule of law” as, “A set of principles, or ideals, for ensuring an orderly and just society… to uphold the rule of law where no one is above the law, everyone is treated equally under the law, everyone is held accountable to the same laws, there are clear and fair processes for enforcing laws, there is an independent judiciary, and human rights are guaranteed for all.
The Oxford English Dictionary has defined rule of law as: “The authority and influence of law in society, esp. when viewed as a constraint on individual and institutional behaviour; (hence) the principle whereby all members of a society (including those in government) are considered equally subject to publicly disclosed legal codes and processes.”
Correctly viewed, police officers are not merely enforcement agents in a nation governed by the rule of law, they are the guardians of that society. A law only has meaning to the extent the it protects the rights, liberties and safety of each individual subject to that law. Police officers are routinely the first to be called upon to protect each and every individual in our society according to the law.
Since the 2020 Summer of Hate, the principle of the “rule of law” has been virtually abandoned in the United States. Rioting, mingled with violent BLM protests, became acceptable forms of expression, regardless of the infringement on the rights of others, clearly outside the “rule of law”. The Biden administration, has completely ignored the established immigration laws of the United States to the point where our borders are porous and only those trying to enter the country legally are bound by the rule of law, and consequently punished for adhering to it. Border agents are vilified by the MSM and threatened by Biden for trying to enforce the immigration laws
It is against this backdrop that out nation’s police officers, and other law enforcement agents, are demonized. They have made policing paradoxical and consequently, untenable for many police officers who are leaving the profession in alarming numbers. Heather Mac Donald reminds us, “When proactive policing and public-order enforcement are universally denounced as racist, officers do less of those activities. When crime rises as a result, officers are charged with racism as well. Now, as shootings surged, the NYPD was accused of indifference to the ‘community’.” If you’re a police officer and constantly feel damned if you do your job and damned if you don’t, you are caught in an untenable paradox.
The lauded psychologist Gregory Bateson once said, “…only a schizophrenic is likely to eat the menu card instead of the meal, then complain of its taste.” We would add, only a progressive would complain about inner city violence and blame the people tasked with ensuring peace—cops! As Mac Donald puts it, “It is a virtually inviolate rule that if police crack down on disorder by black people, the New York Times will accuse the police of racism.”
Jason Riley points that “the left blames Covid-19, but the [violence] trend predates the pandemic Violent crime, which more or less had been steadily declining since the early 1990’s, began reversing course in 2015 [toward the end of Obama’s second term], not 2020…The left’s obsession with social inequality is at cross-purposes with its coddling of criminals, who prey primarily on the poor.”
On June 28, 2018 when Jarrod Ramos using a pump-action shotgun and, armed with smoke bombs, flashbang devices, and grenades, shot through the glass door to Maryland’s Capital Gazette newspaper office and opened fire on multiple employees, killing four journalists and a staffer and wounding several others he was swiftly (6–second response time) taken into custody by police who risked their lives by rushing into the building.
One would think journalists nationally would laud these brave police officers for taking down the mass murderer of fellow journalists; instead, they painted cops with “toxic masculinity” shibboleths, along with the dreary progressive line about a white (perp was Hispanic) allegedly conservative shooter; but crickets about the brave police officers who secured the area.
Mac Donald has chronicled progressive’s taste for shackling police nationally, “Biden routinely announced that black parents were right to worry that their children would be shot by the police, an assertion formalized in his campaign plan for ‘strengthening… justice’.” Addled Joe Biden is desperately searching for anything he can use to build back better since most of what he has done has turned to sh*#.
In “Mostly Peaceful Mayhem,“ Mac Donald states: “No trial of a police officer [except Derek Chauvin] to date has been preceded by the anti-police sentiment and admonitory violence seen over the last year. It is improbable, therefore, that the Chauvin jury will vote to acquit, whatever evidence the defense presents.” Sadly, the jury voted to give Chauvin 22.5 years in prison. You can count on the MSM to always portray police crackdowns on riots as the very cause of riots even when they succeeded the actual mayhem.
The progressive exploitation of George Floyd’s death prompted the “defund the police” movement nationally, birthed by Black Visions Collective (BLVC), an American non-profit organization for black liberation based in Minnesota. This group was active in much of the violence and mayhem in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, and has been a supporter of much of the Black Lives Matter protests calling for police department’s to be defunded nationally.
Police officers are paid less for some of the riskiest and most important things we Americans enjoy—our personal safety. They rush into life-threatening situations where even angles fear to tread.
Thom Nickels discusses the recent case of a missing couple and the ensuing Laundrie-Petito story and how it may be the direct result of the 2020 Summer of Hate against the police. He argues that “the story is not only about the tragic death of a young woman, it’s also about how the changes in society since the 2020 George Floyd riots have caused police departments in the United States to be viewed with suspicion and hatred. The bad press directed against police departments, as well as calls for their disbandment, is bound to have consequences. The Laundrie case is Exhibit A.”
Asking rhetorically, aren’t there bad police? The answer is unequivocally yes. But there are some bad actors in every line of work—bad teachers, bad bankers, bad physicians and nurses, bad accountants, especially bad lawyers and politicians, etc., etc. The fact that they are also represented by the progressive AFL-CIO unions like the Fraternal Order of Police, Police Benevolent Association, etc. confuses their standing. But on its face, membership does not a bad police officer make.
Founding Father John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Traditionally, America has been seen as a moral nation with a moral citizenry who fully embraced the “rule of law” and afforded a certain respect for those who were given the task to uphold and protect it The Socialist and the left are doing everything possible to undermine the laws of our land and our peacekeepers. The resulting chaos and confusion created by progressive abandonment of law can transform America into a completely socialist nation.
So, the next time you are in line while shopping, eating in a restaurant or passing by in any public setting and encounter a law enforcement officer, make sure you stop and say hello and thank them for the sacred service they give to our democracy.
Loyd Pettegrew is a Professor Emeritus in Organizational Communication at the University of South Florida. Jim McCoy is a n Associate Professor Emeritus in Education at Southern Utah University. Together they have written articles for FrontPage, The Federalist, American Thinker, and Townhall.