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Ed Driscoll

Oh, That Liberal Fascism

August 21st, 2014 - 1:08 pm

“Michael Brown and the paramilitarized Ferguson Police Department are two sides of the same coin,” Richard Fernandez writes at the Belmont Club:

Yesterday’s post about the inexorable expansion of government can be read in conjunction with Roger Simon’s current piece about how the Great Society laid the foundations for the riots in Ferguson.

Ironically, Michael Brown and the paramilitarized Ferguson Police Department are two sides of the same coin. They are the joint product of the politics of grievance and the growing expansion of government. The taxes that made the mobs dependent also armed the paramilitary police that contain them.   You have one government department handing out Obamaphones and another handing out MRAPs to the cops. HHS gives out Obamacare and the IRS enforces it.

A giant bureaucracy tasked with providing all “positive rights” rumbles on, even as progressive politics unleashes more “community organizers” while erecting a giant political machine to meet those same growing expectations.  It calls to and answers itself. The result on a community scale is Ferguson. The result on a national scale is Barack Obama.

Dependence is met with welfare; crime countered by replacing the family — after destroying it first — with state adoption and child protection agencies.  Two monstrous excrescences grow from the soil to dizzying heights. It was supposed to be a win-win: the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth (represented by the youths) would be governed and fed by the All-Seeing Eye of Agamotto. In charge of it all would be our very own Dr. Barack Strange Obama, who would preside over both the youths and their keepers.

And it continues apace. Soon Eric Holder will tell us whom to blame. And as Foxtrot Alpha explains, maybe systems like the “Wide Area Aerial Surveillance, the all-seeing eye in the sky that will change our lives forever” will tell us whom to find. Yet both, as Roger Simon notes, will utterly fail to spot the real culprit: the system that created this dynamic in the first place.

If only there was a book that explored the dangers of socialism run amok and how we got here.

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Ed, sorry, but I must quibble. I'm not saying you 'vomited' or anything and you're just repeating the same story we've heard over & over & over. But actually Ferguson's police department was not para-militarized at all. It's actually quite small. I forget the actual numbers, maybe 50--70? Anyway, no SWAT team, maybe one heavy duty vehicle, if any. The Ferguson PD seriously f'd up the handling of this situation but either St. Louis PD or the County took over with the heavy gun as soon as things went wonky as Ferguson had neither the manpower nor the equipment.

I hate the way that conservatives and libertarians are using the militarization of the police departments as an excuse for this mess when the rioting actually began before any of this so-called heavy force was brought in. And what would you call for when riots descend anyway? It's the one time you need the equipment. I've heard so many people say, "call up the National Guard" as if that can be done at a moment's notice.

Personally, I'm tired of hearing about the militarization of police forces by conservatives and libertarians. If your police department is militarized and you don't like it, vote the ba$tards out. That's what conservatives & libertarians are all about, right? Local control. All this pissing and moaning over something that we still have some degree of control over doesn't make much sense from either a conservative or libertarian perspective. Or perhaps we don't have confidence that we can govern at a local level? Maybe we've just been engaged in an academic discussion?

Local cops respond to local politicians and to the local population. Make it an issue and get the votes to get rid of what you don't like, if you can. We scream & yell that we want local control, that government is too big and then we come across a local issue and instead of tackling it locally, suddenly it's a national crisis!!!1eleventy!!1

I live in a beautiful but crappy, inner-ring, mixed-race suburb of Philly. We have a tough police department, just the way I like it because we're well on our way to becoming Philly. Our police department is incredibly responsive and reacts swiftly to both crime and public opinion. And they love law-abiding citizens. Law and order is still the only issue that I’m aware of that can still get the local populace to rise up demand accountability. And it works ffor the most part (even with the union, believe it or not!). Our force is a tough force, by design. Yet I’m told by pundits and academics, who live in expensive, upper-crust neighborhoods or rural areas that my police department has to be kinder and gentler. Do you have any idea what it sounds like on a Saturday night in my neighborhood?

I realize all the federal and state incentives to increase equipment and develop SWAT teams, etc. have had negative effects. So, OK, work to stop that money & equipment from flowing that way if you can get some legislators on board. But what really bothers me about this whole movement is that conservative & libertarians are using the libs’ hysterical, one-sided tactics to put it out there (no doubt with the help of others who have a more sinister agenda): constant scare stories / photos of dead dogs/ constant demonizing of cops / pictures of “scary” (cue Uncle Floyd voice) vehicles & equipment / impending doom-crisis / something must be done now/ demagoguery. Not only are these tactics dishonest, inflammatory and unbalanced by competing narratives but they rarely, if ever, address the conservative/libertarian message that this issue should be dealt with at a local level. In fact, this whole campaign seems custom built around the “Chuck Schumer” model.

/Rant over. Now I'm the one that vomited on your nice blog. Sorry. I've posted this several other places but everybody keeps repeating "PARAMILITARIZATION OF FERGUSON POLICE DEPARTMENT:". i'll go now. Love your work as always, best media critic on the whole world wide web.
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