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Why Boys Become Cops

In an encounter captured today through Facebook Live, political activist and libertarian presidential candidate Adam Kokesh was detained by highway patrol while traveling in his RV across the state of Texas.

While detained near the city of Decatur, part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Kokesh admirably attempted to reason with the arresting officer after he was apparently stopped for exceeding the speed limit, attaining the speed of 74 miles per hour in a reported 65 MPH zone.

After a discouraging exchange with the officer, a number of backup officers arrived on the scene. By all measures, the event appeared under control while Kokesh remained calm, composed and cooperative during the entire process.

After the original officer momentarily returned to his squad car, Kokesh initiated a discussion with the other two responding officers who had arrived as backup.

During this exchange, Kokesh introduced the officers to his book, Freedom, imploring them to consider the reasons which guided them to the profession.

As he then illustrated, many of those reasons are subject to interference by government and politicians who predetermine the primary interests of the law enforcement profession, whose own shortsighted agendas indeed purport to represent the interests of their community, but more realistically serve only the true interests of myopic bureaucrats and politicians.

During this interaction, Kokesh seemed to have reached the officers on a personal level, even appearing to have evoked smiles and excitement from his police audience.

Kokesh bolstered his commentary by specifically pointing to a quintessential question posed by the first officer, who asked whether he would prefer that a criminal be stopped and throughly vetted or permitted to travel freely until the next stop.

Kokesh explained that the nature of the stop and of the law is of eminent importance here, as not all laws are just.

Beyond this and the range of petty infractions which each of us is likely to violate at any given moment just as a mere function of the widening breadth of regulations, the more nuanced yet most relevant piece of this story, and others like it, is found in the manner in which policing, politicking and bureaucratizing have coalesced to distort the way in which individuals interact with each other.

Within the example of law enforcement and individual citizens, the increasing scope of a more militarized police force brings roles and responsibilities which challenge the principled officer to weigh his virtues against the value of his job.

Most law enforcement officers work to afford comfortable lives for their respective families.

In this sense, their ideological inconsistencies spawn from merely following orders, or from doing whatever they anticipate will draw less flak from leadership.

So the position of a law enforcement officer is often an unprincipled one where philosophical creativity is rendered dangerous, even superfluous, in an environment wherein the law's interpretation is reserved for judges, the supposed thinkers or vendors of justice.

And for those who eventually recognize the injustice, the pension and benefits are just too hefty, while the bureaucratic obstacles to remediation are simply too high, to warrant the cost of standing on principle.

Unfortunately, as Father of the Constitution James Madison proclaimed in Federalist No. 51, we are imperfect and we are mortal: "If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary."

Those controls are exercisable only through the mechanism of citizen participation, the breaking point of revolution historically marking the brilliant point at which the gears of the system turn disproportionately in favor of one of its levers, independent of the desperate will of those who built or implicitly ceded authority to it.

And where the controls have been so heavily manipulated to favor government to such an extent that so many stand to lose so much by standing against it, that is the end of free thinking and the free world.

Built into this case of the modern American experience, public service has been incrementally reduced to the rank of a mediocre job, bearing still the authority and relative pay of something mightier despite its lackluster performance becoming synonymous with sloths, as satirized in the 2016 animated comedy Zootopia.   

The brilliance of free enterprise, though magnificently multifaceted, is that the typical worker bears only such authority to interfere with the pursuits of another insofar as the contract dictates, while the failures of such an arrangement are concomitantly contained to that single engagement, the involved individuals or that specific enterprise.

So on the whole, whereas the failures of business are found to breed fresh ideas with improved and more suitable models, the ruins of government persist sloth-like across generations with changing guards bearing increasingly sluggish attitudes and naturally a growing affinity for the customs of the day, despite the vitriolic controversy attending their genesis.

And within mere blinks in time, remembrance of the latter begins to wane to the beneficial tune of acceptance or embrace where there once existed impassioned resentment or dispirited acquiescence, and once-invigorated men pass the torch to boys who inherit the customs and assign them to the times of their fathers.

And all the while, the uniforms remain the same, the badges as shiny as ever, and yet the foundation fortifies over crystallized notions of a generation of men who knew no better then than they do now, who have always hidden behind third-party verbiage, and whose contempt for their fellow man distinctly radiates the type of self-contempt and personal insecurities which led them there.

The primary difference, however: today's men commit these errors with greater munitions and the assumed backing of tradition. 

As it turns out, most police candidates pursue law enforcement for a short list of reasons: either they are demonstrably deficient in categories of intellect or creativity or they are deluded enough to believe that the field enables them to become real contributors to civilization by systematically distilling the evils of their respective communities.

The life of a law enforcement officer is largely oriented around forcing other people to live in accordance with the way he or she, or some remote sophist, believes others ought to live.

Indeed, this lifestyle is as prominent in the average law enforcement officer's personal life as it is when he is on duty, bearing the badge and holstering his gun.

In fact, an array of research shows that incidence of household and family violence is two to four times higher in the law-enforcement community than in the general population.

Now, the causal relationship between law enforcement and outcomes of abuse can likely be related to a rather narrow set of explanations:

1. Those who enter into the law enforcement ranks tend to have a greater propensity for violence and authority as demonstrated by their volition to carry out such work.

2. Veterans of law enforcement tend to be disproportionately exposed to conditions conducive to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In fact, a plurality of studies show that as much as one-third of active law enforcement officers exhibit some form of PTSD.

3. The bureaucracy and demands of the position condition law enforcement officers to assume attitudes of righteousness, disregard the plights and rights of others, and even insulate themselves from consequences attending their actions, as evidenced by the National Center for Women and Policing: "Even officers who are found guilty of domestic violence are unlikely to be fired, arrested, or referred for prosecution."

Unfortunately, the bulk of evidence here creates the profile of individuals with mighty ambitions outstripping their capacity to accomplish them through nonviolent means.

If they cannot achieve this through patient deliberation or thoughtful discussion, for which the vast majority of them have neither the appetite nor the tolerance, they will programmatically triumph through force.

As one of the officers candidly admitted in his discussion with Adam Kokesh, he became a law enforcement officer because he "doesn't like the way people drive."

The other officer didn't even have a well-discovered answer to that basic question, a response that any consummate professional would be expected to deliver on moment's notice.

In fact, this is famously known in sales parlance as the elevator pitch.

In summary, the majority of the law enforcement community is comprised of disappointments who never quite realized their potential and others who latched onto the career field as a way to enhance their reputation or increase their authority over others.

The total of the bunch became law enforcement officers to desperately salvage a life, and a legacy, that would be better served by some serious introspection and a dose of humility before leveraging a career field, a badge and a gun to imperil the freedoms of their fellow man to merely continue pretending to be something more exceptional than they are organically as sheer human beings.

Unfortunately, government has made it all too profitable to ignore those principles in favor of institutionalized force and coercion.

For this reason, law enforcement officers are known to evade debate, or otherwise to prematurely shut it down, by declaring, "I'm not going to argue with you," or by physically punctuating the event with a takedown and an arrest. 

Whether the consequence of intellectual inadequacy or a staunch unwillingness to participate, the outcome is the same: an empowered yet ill-guided malefactor employs his favorite tool, violence or the threat thereof, to force his subject to submit to his control. 

In the case of today's arrest of Adam Kokesh, booked on suspicion of contraband, it appears that this has been just another episode of the same systemic misconduct that we've grown to expect from the intolerant and hypocritical agents at the helm of the unrelenting machine over the immunized public. 

And stubborn figures of power have all too often been ennobled through comics, motion pictures and heroic caricatures for the human race to have even the slimmest chance of surmounting the deep social and psychological conditioning which has accompanied the growing delusion.



The police state is here, ladies and gentlemen, and it permeates our roads, our commercial activities, and our personal lives more intimately and more broadly than ever.

We can either contest these margins or relent across each inch until they have encroached miles upon our freedoms as individuals, extinguishing that final flame of intellectual hope and reason in the eye of an uncompromising storm seeking to destroy it. 

It starts with you.

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