Refuting Cop Worshipers

I have seen this post going around on my social media feed that seems to be semi viral. It is a rather lazy attempt at defending the immoral behavior of police as a whole by those that like to worship at the altar of the state. I thought I would take the time to refute some of the nonsense that is said in this post to demonstrate why viewing police as “Heroic” is both moronic and dangerous. I would like to start out this refutation by giving a quote by Austrian Economist Ludwig Von Mises:

“The police officer and the fireman have no better claim to the public’s gratitude than the doctors, railroad engineers, the welders, the sailors, or the manufacturers of any useful commodity. The traffic cop has no more cause for conceit than the manufacturer of the traffic light.”

– Ludwig Von Mises, Bureaucracy

Please keep this idea in mind as we proceed through this intellectually lazy social media post. Let us begin with the first paragraph:

“It’s not the police who need to be retrained, it’s the public. We have grown into a mouthy, cell phone wielding, vulgar, uncivil society with no personal responsibility and the attitude of ‘it’s the other person’s fault’, ‘you owe me’. A society where children grow up with no boundaries or knowledge or concern for civil society and personal responsibility.”

Right from the beginning we see an over generalization of those that are critical of police. By lumping all of those who have critical concerns regarding police powers with rapscallions and ne’er do wells means that police apologists do not have to deal with the content of any argument. Through this method of just attacking the character of anyone that questions the methods of police, these state worshipers attempt to avoid dealing with the actual content of the legitimate arguments of people like myself. No doubt this is because they cannot intellectually refute the valid concerns voiced by those that call out police for their misconduct. This laziness in critical thinking is rooted in the cultural conditioning of the lionizing  of law enforcement officers. They are a “protected class” of people who are placed high above the average person in an almost demigod way. “They are police” these people say, “so they must be right and anyone that questions them must be wrong!”.

But this is incorrect. Police are people and they are not cut from a finer cloth than you or I. The simple act of putting on a magic suit and badge does not make them morally justified in engaging in behavior that would be immoral if they did not have those things. They are human like you and I, therefore, they do not have extra rights or ethically justifiable reasons for engaging in behavior you and I would be condemned for. Any perceived rights above you and I are illusory and illogical. It’s interesting that they condemn filming police with cell phones here as it plays into the idea that “police have rights beyond you and I”. Police film us all the time. They have dash cams and body cameras (that they often turn off when they wish to be devoid of moral culpability). They have these cameras for their own protection. Likewise, why are citizens not allowed to film police, particularly on property they own, for their own protection as well? Are these cop apologists so moronic that they believe every officer is an angel? That they never have immoral reasons for doing immoral things against those they swear to protect and serve? Sometimes filming police can be for police safety as well. What if a women with devious motives claims an officer raped her? Perhaps a citizen that filmed the altercation between the officer and the women can be the deciding factor in saving the officer from defamation and unjust punishment. Likewise, perhaps filming an officer keeps that officer from violating a citizens 4th amendment right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures”. Many of these cop defenders also love the Constitution of the United States. They foam at the mouth in rage as someone like Obama violates their sacred document, but give a free pass to police to do the very same thing they wish to crucify politicians for. Filming and asserting one’s inalienable rights should not be something that is frowned upon.

The next hilarious bit I find is that they accuse society of being an “uncivil society with no personal responsibility and the attitude of ‘it’s the other person’s fault’, ‘you owe me’.”. Yet here these police are saying “It’s not our fault we killed upwards of 1,199 people last year, many of which were unarmed. That’s your fault.” Isn’t that the same kind of attitude of passing blame this pro-police post is condemning the rest of us for?  Are they not slamming their fists down demanding that we “owe” them respect by the simple fact that they have chosen a particular profession? These cop apologists are hypocrites and they could not reasonably debate their way out of a paper bag if they devoted the entirety of their mind to it. It isn’t because they are stupid though, it’s because they are just trying to argue from incredibly inconsistent and false premises. Premises they have never really thought about validating or critically thinking on since, as I stated already, society has just told us to praise police and it simply questions our moral character if we do not.

“When an officer says ‘Put your hands up,’ then put your hands up! Don’t reach for something in your pocket, your lap, your seat. There’s plenty of reason for a police officer to feel threatened, there have been multiple assaults and ambushes on police officers lately. Comply with requests from the officer, have your day in court. Don’t mouth off, or fight, or refuse to comply… that escalates the situation.”

The post then gives us some of the worst advice imaginable. After telling us it is wrong to assert our rights when they are being violated, it then tells us to just go along with the officer as they violate us. Keep in mind that advocating your constitutional rights to an officer that is violating them is considered “mouthing off” to these people. That means we can apply the same logic to them when liberals pass laws violating the second amendment, right? Stop mouthing off and just go along with your rights being violated conservative cop worshipers! Of course this is illogical and unethical and if we apply it to Democrats passing anti second amendment legislation (or Republicans passing anti gay marriage laws if they are liberals that worship police), these people immediately reject this logic they are attempting to foist upon us regarding interactions with law enforcement.

The concept of “having your day in court” is likewise moronic. It’s not like the police and the courts are all controlled by the same entity and perhaps there is a moral hazard involved in seeking justice against those that are all part of the same system in pronouncing said justice and violated your rights in the first place. That isn’t problematic at all! And when police are, on rare occasions, found to be guilty of misconduct (usually through citizens filming the altercation and providing irrefutable proof), the officer is never given the same treatment you or I would be given if we made the same immoral actions manifest. Perhaps they get a 30 day paid suspension (on the tax payer dime) or compensation to victim is paid out of tax revenue rather than officer salaries and funds. This means that there is no incentive to actually change the reason an officer maybe engaged in inappropriate behavior in the first place. Why would there be incentive if police never really face true consequences to begin with? The tax payer will bail them out or they will do an “internal investigation” and find that the officer acted within good judgment because they are incentivized to not indict themselves. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could investigate yourself if you were accused of wrong doing? Such an idea is a broken concept yet cop apologists see no problem with this and their godlike police.

“Police officers are our sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters. They’re black, white, brown, all colors, all ethnicities, all faiths, male and female, they are us. They see the worst side of humanity… the raped children, the bloody mangled bodies of traffic victims, the bruised and battered victims of domestic violence, homicide victims, body parts… day after day.”

And yet it is not brought up that these individuals made a choice to take this profession and can leave it when they so desire. Many of the above things occur because police have created it in the first place. The war on drugs and other immoral laws that punish people for engaging in victimless behavior increases the opportunity of violent interaction with the public. Again, isn’t this the same attitude of “passing the buck” the post criticizes someone like myself for? What about the innocent people bullied, killed, and stolen from by the monopoly on violence enforced by police? Are they not also “our sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters. They’re black, white, brown, all colors, all ethnicities, all faiths, male and female”? Are those people not also “us” as well? Why does the plea for sympathy go one way but not the other? All this does is show how cop worshipers view anyone that is not police as almost subhuman.

“They work holidays while we have festive meals with our families. They miss school events with their kids, birthdays, anniversaries, all those special occasions that we take for granted. They work in all types of weather, under dangerous conditions, for relatively low pay.”

So does the bag boy, cart wrangler, and cashier at the grocery store, yet, they do not demand from the rest of us gratitude for the service they provide us. Again, isn’t this playing into the posts original criticism of the public? The “you owe me” attitude? Are these people so blind that they fail to continually see the hypocrisy of saying “the police are just like us” along with “you owe us” and then saying “stop acting like people owe you anything”? I give them a 10 out of 10 in Olympic mental gymnastics. They have earned the gold medal.

“They have extensive training, but they are human. When there are numerous attacks on them, they become hyper vigilant for a reason, they have become targets. When a police officer encounters any person… any person, whether at a traffic stop, a street confrontation, an arrest, whatever… that situation has the potential to become life threatening. You, Mr & Mrs/Miss Civilian, also have the responsibility of keeping the situation from getting out of control.”

This is hilarious for how false it is. As an example, it requires more hours of training in New Orleans to be a hairstylist than a police officer. So much for the “extensive training”. Not to mention that 40.7% of law enforcement is “obese”. It’s one of the fattest professions around. What kind of “extensive training” are these guys going through to produce such results? And not only that, why is the “untrained public” required to stay calm while the officer can unload his gun at any moment that he “fears for his life”? That sounds like some lame “extensive training” to me. This post also continually references how dangerous the job of law enforcement is. This is also a gross exaggeration. These people act as if police are waking up everyday to continually storm the Nazi held beaches of Normandy. In reality, law enforcement is not one of the most dangerous jobs in America after all. Lumberjacks, garbage men, pilots, fishermen, roofers, construction workers, power line workers, truck drivers, and farmers all die on the job with greater frequency than police. All of their jobs are incredibly important to our modern way of life as well yet, we don’t see “the thin plaid line” for lumberjacks or any kind of worship for these professions. These cop apologists can never objectively and rationally explain why police are given such praise and these other professions are not. They only have personal attacks and insults in response to this. Not only is law enforcement not one of the most dangerous jobs, it’s actually never been a safer time to be a cop.

cop deaths
The graph above should show how police make their own jobs more dangerous by enforcing stupid laws like alcohol prohibition and the war on drugs. You see immediate spikes in officer fatalities that correlate to the enactment of those instances of idiotic legislation. The trend as a whole is trending downward so the idea that there is a “war on cops” is just plain false. Only the ignorant and dishonest would continue to spread such an idea.

“Many law enforcement officers are Veterans. They’ve been in service to this nation most of their lives, whether on the battlefield or protecting us here at home. They are the only thing that stands between us and anarchy in the streets.

If you want to protect your child, teach them respect.”

Now we get to the best part of this post; the use of the word “anarchy”. Of course it is used negatively in the modern way where it is synonymous with “chaos”. But as the data provided thus far has shown, government monopolizing the service of protection has only created more chaos than it has mitigated. It’s humorous to see these people believe that if police did not exist, society would not find a voluntary solution and we would all be at each others throats saying “well, government is gone now so I guess I’ll just go be a criminal.” Police do in fact serve, but they serve their political masters, not us. That is what is meant by referencing the abstraction known as “the nation” in the original post. Not only that, because of their service and how it is organized, there can never be such a thing as a “good cop”. Why? Because all cops take oaths to enforce all of the law. Some laws are unjust and wicked and are designed by corrupt politicians and lawyers to generate revenue for the state at the expense of our freedoms. All cops swear to uphold these laws so the profession is immoral by default. This kind of throws a wrench in the whole “they are heroes” rhetoric. The solution to this is to get rid of the government’s monopoly on defense and protection and privatize police. Anyone in opposition to this idea is socialist because you are saying you want someone else to be forced to pay for your socialized protection service. Yes, even you red blooded patriotic “conservatives” that celebrate colonists from 1776 that were “cop killers” are “socialists”. What makes you better than a “leftist” that wants others to be forced to subsidize their healthcare or education? Protection is a service like any other that can be bought and sold on the free market through voluntary exchange (through *gasp* ANARCHY!). Bastiat said the following in regards to socialists that want the government to fund and control something:

“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

The author of this post says “If you want to protect your child, teach them respect.” I could not agree more. We should teach our children that no amount of magical or mystical statist ritualism (democracy) can justify the initiation of violence against other people. That doing this is inherently “disrespectful” of the victim’s right to self-ownership. These cops and their cult like acolytes want undeserved respect. “Respect” that comes at the violation of our own right to self determination and individualism. If that is the cost of the “respect” they demand, they are tyrants and tyrants are to be resisted to the very end.

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