Unintended consequences of the George Floyd protests and riots, part three

I had an interesting discussion re. the post I shared a few days ago about defunding the police and unintended consequences. It was a good-faith discussion, but we were very much at odds in our POVs.

One of my points is that you shouldn’t tear down a fundamental structure of modern society without a) having a detailed plan to replace it b) have broad support for it the citizenry c) most of all, you don’t cut billions worth of funding before a and b are a reality.
This has not happened; the contrary has. The consequences, LEOs moving away from those cities, retiring en masse, etc. are happening too.

The consequences to that are best illustrated by a French proverb:

“Si tous les dégoûtés s’en vont, il n’y a que les dégoûtants qui restent.”

Translation:

“If all the disgusted leave, only the disgusting stay.”

That means less than qualified officers on the job, corrupt officers can more easily do as they please; lowering of hiring criteria because nobody wants the job (going on in my country as I write this), etc. Many people can’t realistically foresee the results of such a dynamic so I wanted to explore that here.

One of the points I made to my discussion partner is that people have been throwing around terms like “fascist police” for years now. My position on that is:

  • If there is abuse, I’m all for prosecuting it to the fullest. LEOs should be held to a high standard. Period.
  • In my experience, the vast majority of people have no idea what that standard is. As in, not a single clue, because they have never read a police training manual, nor do they know the law enforcement policies and procedures their city or town approved and demands LEOs follow. And then there’s the “everybody is a lawyer” mindset. Hint: along with your constitutional rights come a series of obligations. It’s a package deal. If you can’t name them by heart, maybe look them up before you claim LEOs break the law when they come after you for doing just that…
  • “Facsist” has been so overused and devalued as to become meaningless. Same thing for “dictatorial” and “corrupt police force”. You can look at things on a sliding scale; that is one way and I won’t deny that. But you can also look at what clear examples of those terms are and compare them with your examples to get some perspective.

Here’s one:

Look up the reasons why this happened and then read on…

To the best of my knowledge, this is not consistently happening anywhere in the US right now. Nor is it pretty much accepted as normal life and no longer headline news after a few days, as is the case here. In most Western countries, political heads would roll…

I’m open to change my mind if you have evidence to prove me wrong.

Before you do: if your response is along the lines of “But Kent State!!!” then I will assume you only selectively read what I wrote here above and are cherry-picking sentences to make a failed comparison. That would make you a bad actor and I would not bother responding. Been told…

I’ve been fortunate to travel the world extensively throughout my life. I was in a fair number of countries where there was no such thing as democracy the way it is viewed in the West. Law enforcement and the use of violence by the authorities reflected that. The citizens there lived with it because it was a part of daily life. E.g.: insulting a police officer, as is commonly done in the West, gets you an instant beating at best, a bullet at worst.

Does that happen in the West too?

Yes.

But it is not the norm, which is my point.

An often neglected follow-up point is to ask how do you get to that point?

There are multiple factors but one of them is to:

Demoralize your LEOs by painting them all with the brush only the corrupt ones deserve.

Defund your police, which makes sure standards go down and thugs will replace the honest cops.

Repeat this cycle for a while and eventually, the breakdown will be complete.

 

What I find striking is how the folks shouting ACAB not only fail to understand this dynamic, but how they apply their solutions selectively. In most other professions, the first response to sub-standard performance is more training, not vilifying, and people are fine with that. But when it comes to law enforcement, that suddenly doesn’t apply anymore. Which brings us back to people not knowing what the standards are:

First, guess how many hours of firearms and use of force training the average LEO gets in a year. I mean official training, not what they do on their own dime.

Write it down.

Then contact as many officers as you can all over the country to see what the number really is.

Then ask yourself who decides how much money is spent on LEO training.

Answer: politicians. Of all parties, I might add…

If you want good doctors, engineers, programmers, etc. you train them. Not just once, but throughout their careers. If you don’t want to do that, then don’t expect to have professionals on the job. The same goes for law enforcement.

Which brings us to the final question:

How much additional taxes are you willing to pay to make this happen?

Joe Rogan and Jocko Willink often say that a LEO should be a BJJ purple belt.

That’s a great idea. Some thoughts:

  • How long does it take to become a purple belt? How many hours? How much does that cost?
  • All training means the LEO is not on the job. Who covers for them while they train? How much does that cost?
  • If the previous bullet means daily service can’t be guaranteed, that means hiring extra personnel. How much does that cost?
  • How about all the other training LEOs have to do? Firearms, driving, First Aid, etc. Is that important enough to increase those training budgets too or do those things suddenly don’t matter anymore? How much does that cost?

I could go on, but the point stands: how much more do you want to pay in taxes to get the job done properly? Failing that, which programs do you want to defund to fund law enforcement training?

Just because the questions aren’t comfortable to answer, doesn’t mean they are invalid or unimportant. Welcome to life among the adults, where things are rarely simple and easy and almost always complicated…

 

Conclusion.

I’ve said it before: for many people, you could make the case that everything they know about violence is wrong. So then it is not surprising they come up with unworkable solutions to problems they can’t even begin to understand. There used to be a time people accepted it as a given you couldn’t be an expert on everything, let alone having even a basic understanding. Today, having an opinion on everything is seen as critical, regardless of how uninformed it is. Multiply that by many years and you get to where we are now: fundamental pillars of modern society are torn down…

History is an able teacher. Look to what mankind consistently did when society got rid of the watchmen. While you’re at it, also look into the reasons why modern policing was created a few centuries ago. Hint: community policing failed miserably once population size and density increased…

Actions have consequences and this will be the same. I don’t fault activists for trying to create a better world, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We’ll see where it all goes, but invariably, societies with a bad police force tend to be violent, dangerous places to live for the average citizen.

Which is the exact opposite of what the activists claim is their goal…

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Comments

  1. 1. Defunding the police is not about tearing down a fundamental structure of modern society. It is about refocusing the police on their primary responsibility. Far too many police have been burdened with excessive responsibilities that can and should be better served by other organizations.

    2. The current system contributes to the disgusting staying because it has overloaded the police with too many disparate responsibilities causing excessive strain and premature burn-out.

    3. For years I have heard officers complain about all the things police are expected to do that is outside the scope of what they felt the police were supposed to be doing (hint arresting criminals and dealing said criminals and inspections). Now when the public is suggesting that those responsibilities be removed, they are upset???

    4. The same people that are asking for the police to be defunded are also asking that they be better trained and reach higher qualifications before being hired,

    • 1. I disagree. If it were, it would happen gradually, methodically and well-planned. That is not the case in so many instances, by far.
      2. That’s one reading of the situation. Another is that that lack of manpower, administrative overload and the brass/public/press not supporting them when it counts is causing strain and burn-out.
      3. “Suggesting”? There is no “suggesting.” There is yelling and screaming they are all bastards. There are trials in the court of public opinion that lead to being fired without due process or even an investigation to yield results. There is doxing and threatening their families, and that’s just a few of a long list of things happening. As for the rest, see 2.
      4. See 1. Also already answered in the post: how much does it cost and how much more taxes are the willing to pay. Those people don’t seem too willing to answer those questions, which brings you right back to 1. and leaves me with very little faith in the credibility of their motivations.

  2. Wade Wellman says

    You are exactly right… Only the disgusting will stay. That is the goal of the activist. Defunding the Police is a means to an end; not for the benefit of society, but rather for the destruction of democracy.

    Once the ranks of the police force are populated with the disgusting, they will readily do the bidding of anyone allowing them to exact violence on those they were meant to serve, minus the consequences. History tells the story through Hitler’s rise to power. His lawless thugs cleared the way of all honorable and respectable opposition, eventually bringing a new war to the world.

    All it will take is 51% of the elected officials to plunge the US into darkness. That process is underway in every major city and state. Blood will be shed. Whose blood, and how much?

    W

  3. It is a crazy time in the US now. A couple of years back we had protests over wall street or really whatever one wanted to protest about… they petered out after a year.

    The George Floyd protest were at least about something… elsewhere what is symbolized. But it was taken over by the progressives that want change that the majority does not. So for a few months we kept firearms close just in case.

    I will say not even the African Americans in poor neighborhoods want less police. All people want to feel safe in their homes. If that changes – it will have unintended consequences. Good post.

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