Liberals are prone to two particularly unattractive behaviors: hysteria and hypocrisy. And because these two behaviors so often go hand in hand, it is hard to tell sometimes whether liberals have succumbed to hand wringing hysteria or are engaged in cold calculating hypocrisy. And when you factor in liberals’ ignorance and susceptibility to delusion, it can be difficult to even know how self-aware they are of their own duplicity.
The most recent sanctimonious bleating over a minor incident in some Texas suburb has all the elements of the same ritual we see over and over. In this case, a white police officer wrestles a black teenage girl to the ground and draws his weapon when approached by several teenage bystanders who appear hostile in intent. Nobody is physically harmed, but based on watching the famous YouTube video I would say the officer perhaps didn’t really have to pin the girl down, and was maybe unjustified in pulling out his gun. I say maybe because I wasn’t there and I generally hesitate to second guess the actions of police officers.
According to one calculation, there are 765,000 police officers in America working for local and state law enforcement agencies. Assuming five days a week, 50 weeks a year, that is 191 million aggregate police officer working shifts. So let’s assume for the sake of argument that this one officer used bad momentary judgment in responding to what seemed less than a full scale riot but more than just a handful of harmless happy-go-lucky kids.
One reaction would be, uh so what? On a scale between the Nazi invasion of Poland, starting a second World War, and my waitress forgetting to bring my coffee refill, this incident seems closer to the latter than the former. And I am not at all unsympathetic to the teenage girl involved here. It was no doubt an unpleasant experience, even “jarring” as one paper described it. But puh-leeze, can we have some perspective here?
When I was 15 I was arrested and put in a jail cell for five hours. I used to race bicycles and would routinely ride 100 miles a day. Once I had a flat tire about 40 miles from home, and a passing cop stopped and asked me what I was doing. He literally couldn’t believe a 15 year old would be a on a bicycle 40 miles from home as part of his training regime (this was in 1976 in rural Virginia). He assumed I was a run-away and took me to the local police station where I was held until my parents could be reached by telephone (like I said, this was in 1976).
I was annoyed, and when they let me go it was already dark, so I insisted they drive me at least to the county line half way home, which they grudgingly did. Actually, I was pissed off. If Barney Fife had made a habit of reading the French press and followed the Tour de France, he’d have known better. But by the time I had pedaled the last 20 miles home, I was pretty much over it. And looking back, he made a reasonable judgment call, at least for a guy who didn’t subscribe to Le Cog Sportif. And at no point would it have occurred to me to demand his resignation.
So of the 700,000 so so cops working that day, one of them did something probably bone-headed. Well, knock me over with a feather, and bring the smelling salts. The girl certainly should file a complaint, and should probably get an apology. But for liberals, this ridiculous little incident is fodder for their habitual screeching that America (with a KKK to the A!) is just really the most horrible country in the world, and our police out-of-control racist, fascist brutes.
This tendency is rooted in several fundamental weaknesses of the liberal psyche. One is a childish belief that anything not 100% perfect must be 100% bad (unless it’s Obamacare). Another is a deep seated need for self-congratulatory moral smugness. They weren’t around to fight the Nazis, so to make themselves feel brave and morally superior they need to create imaginary injustices to fight. So writing on some blog that this incident is evidence of an immense evil that must be fought is their equivalent of landing on Omaha Beach and heroically taking out a German machine gun-nest with nothing but a knife and their bare hands.
Are all cops perfect saints who also never, ever err in judgment? Uh, no. Do they do a sometimes difficult and even dangerous job, and do we depend on their performing their duties to keep our communities safe and civilized? Absolutely. Is it reasonable or morally defensible to condemn our police officers every time one of them makes a mistake that ends up on Youtube? Absolutely not. And we conservatives need to recognize liberal hysteria and hypocrisy for what it is, an infantile and uninformed reflex response to the simple fact that life and our institutions aren’t seamlessly perfect, and that sometimes you do have to just accept that graciously and get over it.