Bad Cops and Liberal Conversations

The end of moral authority.

Al Gore recently did conservatives a huge favor when he explained how liberals get what they want.  They pound and pound and pound away until they "win the conversation."

Once they've swung public opinion, it doesn't matter what laws conservatives pass: Americans are independent enough that if people don't agree with a law, they won't obey it.  At that point, the law might as well not be there.

We see this with speeding laws and laws against drugs.  Very few drivers agree with the posted speed limits, so most drivers speed most of the time.  The prohibitionists lost the conversation about drugs, so the fact that they're illegal doesn't affect many people's behavior very much except for the unlucky few who get nabbed.

When we discussed the unhappy fact that more and more police officers are being killed from ambush, we speculated that extra-legal behavior by police officers might be one of the causes.  This triggered a discussion.  One reader argued:

A more objective view of this trend would point out that the "pushing back" these thugs are doing is based on liberal lies. As with the London rioters, the American lower class has swallowed the liberal lie that the upper class has held them down. They're not "pushing back" for any of the same reasons you support - they wouldn't even understand your argument if it was presented to them. They're "pushing back" against the capitalist pigs that steal their money. That is the kind of "pushing back" you're supporting here, not a pushing back for freedoms and liberties.

The Entitlement Trap

The liberals won the conversation on entitlements several generations ago.  They've sold the idea that people are entitled to consume a great many costly resources such as food, clothing, shelter, and health care merely because they're alive.

Welfare recipients don't have to work or even think about working, they don't even have to be citizens apparently, all they have to do is exist and they're "entitled."  Although the Tea Party managed to elect enough fiscally conservative members to Congress to get the discussion about spending on the table, they haven't managed to get anyone to talk seriously about cutting entitlements.

Our reader is correct that people who feel entitled to something they haven't got seem to be more willing to turn to crime than people who believe they need to earn whatever they want.  That's the old conflict between those who believe There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (TANSTAFFL) and those who'd rather run the country on Vote For Me - Free Lunch (VMFL).

Welfare recipients have been voting VMFL for decades and still feel deprived; liberals argue that this shows how selfish rich people are in not wanting to share however much of their earnings other people decide is appropriate.  Conservatives argue that there is no limit to demand once people get anything for free.

Another reader pointed out that policemen have lost respect due to defects in the education system:

Further erosion of the respect for policemen occurred in another setting, the classroom. Children are allowed to backtalk a teacher early on and it is no surprise that later on in the classroom they cuss the teacher. There is little the teacher can do as she will be sued for harming little johnny or Susie's self respect by correcting them. Fight eventually break out and guess who is called in, that's right, the police. They are viewed by the students as the enemy and disrespect evolves from there.

In teaching that there are no moral absolutes, teachers have undermined their student's respect for all authorities - parents, politicians, pedagogues and police included.

There are beginning to be rumblings from the parents of today's grade schoolers that they wish their own parents would act more like adults and take responsibility for their wants instead of shuffling the debts off onto them.  This movement hasn't gotten a conversation going and therefore can't win the conversation yet, but there might be hope.

Outlawing God

Moral relativism isn't entirely the fault of the educrats; our courts chimed in, too.  Most schools used to have the Ten Commandments posted on the wall in the hall and I remember schools where they were posted in every classroom.

Those who seek to ban religion from the public square have sued to have such materials removed from classrooms.  Find Law discusses the arguments from a case that was decided in 2005: Stone, the Court held that the "[p]osting of religious texts on the wall serve[d] no ... educational function," and found that if "the posted copies of the Ten Commandments [were] to have any effect at all, it [would] be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments." 449 U. S., at 42. In each case, the government's action was held unconstitutional only because openly available data supported a commonsense conclusion that a religious objective permeated the government's action.

The Court ruled that the Ten Commandments "served no educational function."  They were banned because a student might "read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments."

In ascribing a purely religions nature to the Ten Commandments, the Court overlooked the obvious fact that "thou shalt not kill" and "thou shalt not steal" are the basis of civilization.  The lowliest jungle tribe, the meanest street gang, know that we shouldn't kill each other and or take each other's stuff.

Aren't schools supposed to teach kids how to behave?  What could be more educationally essential than "thou shalt not steal"?

The Commandments also forbid adultery.  If politicians such as Spitzer and Weiner had added "don't mess with each other's women" to their personal rules of conduct, their careers might have worked out a bit better.

What, we ask, is wrong with students meditating on thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not kill, and thou shalt not commit adultery?  Could it be that some of the cop-killers simply haven't been told often enough that killing is wrong?

Unconstitutional Government

Another reader pointed out that a great many plainly unjust things cops do fall under one of the many flagrantly unconstitutional laws our elected leaders pass:

Ultimately, the real culprits in these flagrantly illegal examples - civil forfeitures, most blatantly - are the SOBs who create such federal laws that empower themselves to seize your property without conviction, and judges who do not stand athwart these traitors yelling STOP. Any law that allows this behaviour is explicitly and undebatably unconstitutional.

If cops got in trouble for abusing citizens, they'd do it less.  As it is, it's more or less open season on citizens who're perceived as not being able to "lawyer up" and fight back.

The Tea Party speaks about restoring the constitution.  So far, the left hasn't even admitted that the Constitution is up for discussion.  We have to get into a conversation before we can win it, but at least the opening moves have been made.

The conversations about moral relativism, respect for authority, and constitutional checks and balances must be won if we're to pull back from the precipice we're skirting.  Our thanks to our readers who pointed out additional root causes for the ambush attacks on cops - which, let us be clear, we repudiate and abhor whatever the underlying reason.

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments

The reason there are so many different reasons for everything is because our cultures, races and ethnicities are far too diverse.

Setting aside cop shootings, think about something basic like the healthcare debate.

Most of the time, a constructive conversation can't be had because the various sides are arguing from too-different a perspective to even agree on a premise.

If tomorrow the government stopped all quota counting and never said the word "black" or "white" again, you'd have ludicrous amounts of screaming from the media and the inner cities about all the horrible levels of racism in everything from education to justice based on minorities being arrested more or graduating at a lower rate or vanishing from ivy league schools. It's screamed about already even though our government bends over backward to "level the playing field". Jesse Jackson once said that to "not count is to cover up". He believes that removing race as an issue makes it MORE of an issue.

It appears that both Denmark and Sweden have done national healthcare in a way that works, is relatively cheap and everyone likes. Israel, the same. Britain less so.

Everywhere it has worked, the country is small and homogeneous. Everyone it fails, cultural diversity is rampant. Suppose that 15% of all Swedes waiting in line for an expensive surgery fail to get it - they die first. The Swedish view of that isn't corrupted by "well, those people were mostly poor blacks so the system is obviously racist!!". But the American view would be.

The US is too large and culturally diverse to have any useful safety nets. Too many people are seeing reality through a different lens.

Same with cop violence. If a SWAT team breaks down a door in Detroit and a little girl is accidentally killed by a stray bullet, those in the community say that cops are bad and them getting ambushed is payback. Outside the community, others point out that little girls shouldn't live in drug houses and when SWAT teams go in, violence is the point. You send in SWAT when every other option has been exhausted.

Too many Americans see the news from too many different angles. We'll never have unity because it can't exist.

September 13, 2011 11:54 AM


You seem to be saying that we are no longer, "out of the many, one." Is e plurbis unum dead? If so, mourn.

September 13, 2011 8:57 PM


"out of the many, one" only works if we are all on the same page.

September 13, 2011 9:05 PM

@bassboat - are you and scaragged saying we took in too many immies for our culture to survive? That we're doomed? I hope you are wrong but I tend to fear you are right.

I guess the earlier ones wanted to be American and the new ones don't.

September 13, 2011 9:30 PM


Overall what Offensicht of Scragged and I am saying is that in today's society the liberals have won the conversation and a result of that is that their constituencies are allowed to blame everything and everyone for their lack of taking responsibility. What you said "out of the many, one" is indeed noble, but cannot be adhered to because of the collectivists in government. We need a through cleansing in government and we have to win the conversation before this can be accomplished. What happened last November 2010 was a good start but is really only a tiny step. The people have to realize what has been done to them and that is hard since they think that government provides, when in reality it is the people or the achievers that provide. Have you not noticed that 47% do not pay federal income taxes? They will vote for more freebies until the producers decide to quit producing or paying taxes by pulling in their guns. One of the greatest things we could do would be to close down the department of education and make school vouchers the law of the land. This would be a giant step towards reclaiming our country for its citizens. Keep your ideals but realize that if you are a conservative the great sounding ideas of the liberals/progressives/marxists/communists all sound good but lack the sound every day reality when the rubber hits the road.

September 13, 2011 9:54 PM


If you like to read, may I suggest Ayn Rand's epic novel, Atlas Shrugged, written in 1957 and is uncanny in predicting what is happening today because of government interference in the economy. It is long, about 1200 pages, slow to start, but riveting once you get into it. After the Bible it is the best selling book, I hope you decide to read it, as it will forever change your outlook on government for the better. Bassboat

September 13, 2011 10:00 PM

"E pluribus unum." Sure, that was a noble sentiment form our Founders, but who were they talking about? All Americans at the time were members of only two sub-races: Germanic and Celtic. Celts include the Welsh, Irish, Scots, and descendents of the Britons. Germanic peoples were the Swedes, Dutch, and English (Angles, Saxons, Jutes). These are the people the Founders referred to as 'the many', but there was very little ethnic diversity there. That's why it worked for almost a hundred years.

September 16, 2011 7:30 PM

Oh, I forgot the real Germans, as well. Here since 1685.

September 16, 2011 7:32 PM
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