Skip to main content

We’re Not in Mayberry Anymore

Many Americans today fondly remember The Andy Griffith Show, the popular television series that spanned eight seasons from 1960 to 1968. The television show captures the sentiments of a generation and the nostalgia of another, and it represents what law enforcement could be. 

The show is still especially popular today among conservatives in America, who fondly recall sweeter times and the traditions of a bygone era. The show stars Andy Griffith, the widowed sheriff of the quaint little town of Mayberry, North Carolina. Griffith is the charming and charismatic sheriff who nearly always does right by his community. He’s an exemplary citizen and role model who respects his neighbors and leads by example, and he makes people laugh all the while. 








Unfortunately, the truth about modern law enforcement in America is far more sinister, yet the politicians are more than happy to exploit the sensibilities of their enemies who remember the good old days back in Mayberry.

Have you ever considered how convenient it is for the Left, and for government in general, that conservatives broadly consider law enforcement their allies? The benefits are manifold: the state can blame their opponents for their own failed policies and abuses of power; they can use their opponents’ own allies to force them into compliance, and even to quell or preempt rebellion; they can vilify their opponents for the wrongdoings of their officers; they can further their own political agenda through officers disguised as their opponents’ allies, whose disguises even afford the tyrants a friendlier and more familiar disposition.  

Regrettably, even my own father has confessed to me that, as a career law enforcement officer, he was perfectly willing to disobey the Constitution in order to obey a direct order. He's even gone further to claim that, in such cases, it is the responsibility of the judge to figure it out and to effect justice. 

Of course, the flaws in this train of thought are many: in such cases, the officers stand to absolve themselves from any responsibility for their actions; they place all of their faith in a politically-motivated judicial system; and they stand to suspend the individual's liberty, even on the suspicion that the order is illegitimate or unlawful. 

It is always and everywhere the obligation of every officer, and of every agent of government, to uphold and enforce the law of the land, and to accord with the public interest. This means rejecting unlawful orders, even at the risk of losing one's job. After all, those officers are ultimately accountable to the public, the law, and the Almighty who will cast the final judgment on their character, their integrity, and the life they led. 

Police officers like to claim that they’re public servants, that they go after "bad guys" to "serve and protect" the community; but from their point of view, they can't help but see "bad guys" everywhere they go. As they see it, their primary tool is the hammer, and the public looks like a bunch of nails. 

In modern America, law enforcement officers are trained to view the public as their enemy; they’ve come to believe that they are accountable not to the Constitution to which they explicitly affirm their allegiance, but to their supervisors, their captains, commissioners and mayors. Truthfully, as far as the officers see it, they’re accountable to whatever keeps them on the public payroll, and whatever keeps them on track for their pensions. As far as they're concerned, they're not in the business of enforcing the law or serving the public; according to them, the public is responsible for respecting them and their commands, for paying their bills and funding their retirement. 

Insofar as they're "enforcing the law", most officers know just enough about the law to be dangerous. In most cases, however, the officer operates at the behest of his supervisors, or otherwise from his own misguided conscience or misconceptions. It's for this reason that so many police officers have grown comfortable with certain phrases to bail themselves out of disputes with the public. 

They'll threaten to throw people in jail for disagreeing. They'll tell people to "take it up with the judge." They'll claim that they're "not going to argue with you", and yet they insist that they are right; and if you dare to reference the law, some officers will exclaim, “I am the law!” All the while, they claim that they’re “just doing their jobs.”

Public service has long been in steep decline: once a humble occupation, it has since formed the basis of further subjugation. Whereas public servants were previously regarded with suspicion or disdain, whereas they were formerly held accountable to the public, they have since developed a sense of superiority over the people. 

Public service ought rightly to be just as the name suggests. Thomas Jefferson famously proclaimed about public service, "When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property." As such, he is accountable not to his supervisors nor to the political whim, but to the public and to the Constitution to which he's pledged his allegiance. 

Regrettably, however, instead of serving the public, police officers generally treat them with contempt; and officers often act with impunity to boot. 

On the one hand, they claim to be proud Americans, but they’re perfectly willing to betray their fellow Americans, and to enforce orders diametrically opposed to American principles and the state’s very Constitution. In truth, they’re not as ambitious about being good Americans as they are set on looking the part, keeping their jobs and cashing their checks. 

Since World War II, the police state has developed into a virtual paramilitary force, and my own father has even described his career in just these terms. He sincerely believed that law enforcement qualified as a paramilitary force. 

The true American understands that these forces are anathema to the jewel of the public liberty; that our republic and our freedoms can endure only so long as the public remains skeptical and vigilant toward its government; that a decent society is born of respect and family values, from reverence for life, liberty and property, not from heavy-handed government seeking continually to bring the people into conformity. 

By all accounts, it appears that Kurt Vonnegut may have been onto something when he stated in a 1987 interview that, "my own feeling is that civilization ended in World War I, and we're still trying to recover from that.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

America's Civil War: Not "Civil" and Not About Slavery

Virtually the entirety of South and Central America, as well as European powers Britain, Spain and France, peacefully abolished slavery — without war — in the first sixty years of the nineteenth century.  Why, then, did the United States enter into a bloody war that cost over half of the nation’s wealth, at least 800,000 lives and many hundreds of thousands more in casualties?  The answer: the War Between the States was not about slavery.  It was a war of invasion to further empower the central government and to reject state sovereignty, nullification of unconstitutional laws, and the states’ rights to secession.  It was a war that would cripple the South and witness the federal debt skyrocket from $65 million in 1860 to $2.7 billion in 1865, whose annual interest alone would prove twice as expensive as the entire federal budget from 1860. It was a war whose total cost, including pensions and the burial of veterans, was an estimated $12 billion. Likewise, it was a war that would

Into the Wild: An Economics Lesson

There is a great deal of substance behind the Keynesian motif, “In the long run, we’re all dead.” If this is your prerogative, your axiom, we are destined to differ on matters of principle and timeline. Surely, any quantity or decided cash figure is relevant exclusively to the available produce yielded by its trade. The current valuation thereof, whilst unadulterated, corroborates a rather stable, predictable trend of expectations, whereas its significance wanes once reconfigured by a process of economic, fiscal or monetary manipulation.  Individuals, vast in their interests and their time preferences and overall appetites, are to be made homogeneous by an overarching system which predetermines the price floors, ceilings and general priorities of life. Of course, all of this exists merely in abstract form. However, the supposition proposed by those who champion the agenda of “basic needs” fails to complement the progress achieved by the abolition of presumed guilt by the sole mis

Cullen Roche's Not So "Pragmatic Capitalism"

In his riveting new work Pragmatic Capitalism , Cullen Roche, founder of Orcam Financial Group, a San Diego-based financial firm, sets out to correct the mainstream schools of economic thought, focusing on  Keynesians, Monetarists, and Austrians alike. This new macroeconomic perspective claims to reveal What Every Investor Needs to Know About Money and Finance . Indeed, Roche introduces the layman to various elementary principles of economics and financial markets, revealing in early chapters the failed state of the average hedge fund and mutual fund operators  —  who are better car salesmen than financial pundits, Roche writes  —   who have fallen victim to the groupthink phenomenon, responsible for their nearly perfect positive correlation to the major indexes; and thus, accounting for tax, inflation, and service adjustments, holistically wiping out any value added by their professed market insight.  Roche also references popular studies, such as the MckInsey Global Institute's