Cards on the table. I am a white male, who grew up in relative luxury. I went to "good"schools, traveled all over the world, and grew up mostly in wealthy white and Asian suburbs. I am Jewish, but I never suffered for that; my friends were and are of all backgrounds and none of us gives a rat's behind about the other's religious beliefs or ethnicity. I am, in short, an American with the vices and virtues of the typical sample of that species. No complaints.
My many years overseas in some pretty rough and tough places made me increasingly a political conservative/libertarian, and evermore skeptical of the role of government in the lives of people. I also came to appreciate with an almost religious fervor the greatness of American ideals and the uniqueness of the American experiment. America is the best country on earth, and well worth defending with our lives. I am proud of the small role I played in those years overseas working against the Communist bloc, terrorists, international criminals, and various dopes in the UN, the media, NGOs, Congress, State Department, the NSC, the CIA, and the Pentagon, not to mention countless Eurobores.
That said, I am increasingly concerned about the state of liberty in our country. Speech codes, endless expressions of outrage, demands for apologies, increasing intrusion into our private lives, and a national and local bureaucratic presence cast an increasingly dark shadow over our lives. DMV, IRS, EPA, TSA, a host of law enforcement agencies, and legions of prosecutors, investigators, etc., threaten our freedom. I, for example, once was a strong supporter of local police. I dismissed almost out of hand the views of black friends, for example, about the arrogance, brutality, and stupidity of the police.
I am reevaluating my position.
Now that I am back in the US, and have had the opportunity to interact with cops at public events, on the highways, and other venues, quite frankly, I find most of them arrogant, abusive, quick to violence and to seek to humiliate the citizen with their power, and--sorry--rather stupid. They are not like the smart, hardworking, dedicated cops we see on endless TV shows. The ones I have seen remind me of the typical and overpaid public bureaucrats with whom I have dealt all my life, but these guys have guns, squad cars, and the power of the state behind them.
I am not happy with the state of the police, and fear we risk becoming a state of the police. How have we allowed so many things to be declared illegal and worthy of police and prosecutor attention? Why have we given uniformed, armed bureaucrats so much authority over our lives? We conservatives who are the true defenders of liberty in our Republic need to address this almost taboo subject, and not leave it to the ACLU. Along with cutting taxes, and spending, we conservatives need to insist on cutting drastically the size and scope of our legal codes and regulations, and to reduce the power of unelected agencies, the police, and the courts over our lives.