Archive for the ‘politically correct’ Category

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Demise of Officer Clancy, and…

June 1, 2018

… Equality as the new opiate ….

I wonder what it must have been like to live at a time when, despite public claims of having crossed the fearful ocean to seek “religious freedom”, people had very strictly prescribed limits within which they were required to go about their day to day activities, all under the watchful eyes of the Puritan church leaders. The consequences for straying could be severe, and in some cases fatal. There are stories about Quakers being tethered behind horse drawn wagons and towed from town to town in the dead of winter, half naked, as punishment for their noncompliance with Puritan mandates and as a warning to others to mind their ways.

One can travel back through history and find similar periods when populations were held to very exacting standards when it came to what they believed, what they did, and how they spoke, by virtue only of the fact that their oppressors had the power and the willingness to abuse it. Every culture has a system of ethical and moral values, and “mores” that express who and what the people wish to be, and members of the group are expected to live within the generally accepted parameters. Times of extreme restriction by a minority faction of the “people” and enforcement of their parameters seem to be almost cyclical.

With that thought in mind, I would suggest that the United States is presently going through such a time, driven by two primary influences. First, when Middle Eastern “terrorists” hijacked three airliners and crashed them into the Twin Towers in NY City and the Pentagon in Washington, with the third being retaken by passengers and crashing into a Pennsylvania field, the military posture and the civilian approach to security and law enforcement changed radically. Laws were passed which permitted the government to violate traditional and expected standards of privacy, to set up checkpoints that restricted a person’s right to travel freely, and more. Anyone and everyone became quietly subject to extreme measures of surveillance without due process. The Department of Homeland Security has often been compared to the authorities of Nazi Germany, and not without good reason.

Our military forces became aggressively involved in actions in the Middle East, overthrowing the ruler of Iraq, who somehow became the targeted scapegoat of American rage over the September 11, 2001 attacks on America by terrorists led by Osama bin Laden who was holed up on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Middle East has been in turmoil for the past eighteen years and we have since been engaged in accelerated conflicts with most of the region.

The self anointed defenders of Freedom and Human Rights, and Exemplars of Democracy have not exactly been cherubs throughout this process, with examples of prisoner abuse, torture, and killings of civilians. The streets run knee deep with dopamine, adrenalin and testosterone during warfare.

Meanwhile, domestic law enforcement in the United States has taken on a new military atmosphere with a flood of surplus equipment. The days of Officer Clancy walking his beat are long gone and almost sound like a myth now. “Shoot first and ask questions later” makes no sense today when the slightest tic may earn a suspect the full compliment of a 15 round Glock 22 magazine, multiplied by the number of officers jumping into the fray, whether innocent or not. A civilian would likely get the death penalty for such an action; the uniformed shooters get time off with pay and a few privately whispered “attaboys”.

Those with the power, whether that is bestowed through election, assumed, or otherwise acquired without public oversight, apparently have the willingness to wield that power, enforced by whatever means they deem necessary, for their own gain or benefit.

The second issue that I see as driving our current retreat into an aggressively restricted and directed society would be the sudden explosion of power within the Politically Correct or “PC” movement, directly related to the Civil Rights movement and a number of other “rights” oriented campaigns, and driven by a neo-Liberal would-be dictatorship.

This is similar to other times when our society and many others back through history have ironically, and perhaps inadvertently, converted a positive into a negative. Several factions have taken the very moral and positive concept of equal rights for all, regardless of race, belief systems, and associations, a principle quite central to the very existence of the United States, and created a culture that restricts those rights by separating people into groups receiving special attention and groups receiving blame.

A new category of law appeared from the shadows establishing forbidden patterns of speech, belief systems, and identifying certain crimes and other behaviors as “Hate” based. This last is particularly scary because it would seem to violate at least two of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights. The use of certain words is deemed “Hate” based and is therefore subject to special consequences, such as perhaps the stepping up of some crime or misdemeanor to a more serious level and thus meriting more severe punishments. When crimes are committed by a “white” person against a person belonging to one of the designated “special interest” segments of the population, the offense may be automatically presumed to have been “Hate” based and therefore subject to additional charges by the Federal government. This smacks of the Puritan culture of the seventeenth century and obviously upholds the principle of Guilty Until Proven Innocent. There has been a huge growth in references to “Racism”, meaning the discrimination of one person or group against another based upon things like ethnicity and physical characteristics like pigmentation, which usually translates into the presumption of “Hate”.

Interestingly, the concept of “race” has long been challenged by anthropologists as it has no meaning in the science of taxonomy, or the classification of living things. I have written elsewhere about this issue.

All things considered, it would seem we are living in one of those highly restrictive periods of irony, with “equality” appearing to be expressed as some are more equal than others. This is the opposite of the original reason for the sudden increased interest in ensuring all are seen as equal under the law. Freedoms of speech and association have been reduced to the proscribed and the “approved”. Any expression of negativity by one against another is subject to a rather strict filter to see if it might be “Hate” based. Certain groups are called “Hate” groups because of their beliefs and are discriminated against because they do not pass “PC” muster.

There are many reasons for an observer to suggest that the United States has strayed from its historic values and its purpose, and those who might be most likely to, and capable of putting the nation back on course are also the most likely to be demonized and socially isolated, prosecuted under unconstitutional “thought control” statutes, and otherwise eliminated somehow if possible.

I, of course, oppose any and all tyrannical movements, whether they are popularly based like the “PC” epidemic, or government based like the invention of the “hate” crime designations and a decided shift to more authoritarian, prescriptive and proscriptive methods. I believe in the Constitution as written, and urge extreme caution during the quite necessary process of periodically adapting it to the changing times. Reinterpreting terminology to justify one perspective in a nation that boasts of itself as a world haven for Freedom of Speech, Religion, Association, et cetera is nothing short of an obscenity. These freedoms were officially acknowledged specifically to protect the liberty of those who disagreed with the self-anointed dispensers of morality and wisdom.

Some people seem to have forgotten that “equality” means having the same rights as everyone else; it does not mean suddenly meriting a parade, banner headlines, documentaries, or special certificates to tape to the family refrigerator just for doing the same things everyone else does as a matter of course in the day to day conduct of their lives.

Perhaps it is normal behavior for young people turning 21 to celebrate their “emancipation” by kicking up their heels a bit, making the rounds of the local bars, and so on. But the life of a society or nation is not subject to adolescent mile markers when breaking the rules or stretching the boundaries a tad may be somewhat forgivable. Those rules were painstakingly put to parchment precisely because the act of stretching boundaries for a selected group within a society restricts them for all others.

I’m pleased that certain populations are finally being given the fundamental human respect they deserve, but I am reminded of something the Admiral said at my Commissioning: We were told that respect must be earned, it cannot be commanded. All who continue to demand special laws, special treatment, and special status because of their newly protected rights need to be reminded that no law can or ever will earn them respect. Wielding power over people who may resemble those who once unfairly wielded underserved power over you or people who resembled you is not “Equality”…it is simply changing deck chairs on the Titanic.

My suggestion to those whose lives have finally been given the constitutional and judicial recognition they have long sought would be for them to tone down the parades, the temptation to seek special recognition over and above actual equality under the law. Live, enjoy your newly expanded access to your guaranteed liberty, and pursue happiness. Pay no attention to those on the sidelines demanding more and more on your behalf; truth be told, they serve their own needs, not yours.

My suggestion to the “PC” Police and all of those chanting and demanding and “occupying” on behalf of different groups and causes: Support those in need and those who are oppressed, to be sure, but know that if you attempt to take from me to give to another, you do so at your own peril. Being an advocate does not mean one spontaneously acquires any special status or authority to collect and redistribute anything on behalf of anybody.

My suggestion to legislators who have supported the redistribution of wealth and power in the name of various glibly and overly glorified causes or for your own benefit in the often vicious battlefield of politics: Retire. Apologize and go away. You have apparently become what you once despised when you first ran for public office. The Scarlet Letter for those who have betrayed the sacred trust given them to legislate honorably and protect the Constitution is almost universally the act of being the man or woman who first walks into his or her office with a dollar and walks out a multimillionaire with lifetime benefits only enjoyed by a few of the most successful of civilians.

 

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