If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that police throughout the Western world will not hesitate to forcefully impose arbitrary and absurd government regulations.
Consider just a few examples from this month alone. In Australia a pregnant mother was arrested in front of her family for a Facebook post inviting fellow Aussies to an anti-lockdown protest. In Spain a fourteen-year-old boy who refused to wear a mask was thrown to the ground by an officer who then kneeled on the boy’s back as he screamed in pain. In the US two policemen removed a mother and her year-old child from an airplane because the infant’s face was not covered. Most disturbing of all, police in Quebec have been quietly seizing and detaining healthy citizens who have refused to comply with the city’s COVID-19 regulations.
All of these incidents were reported with indignation by pundits in the right-wing media. Conservative commentators rightfully warn us that government is overstepping its bounds and that we may be the next to get an unwanted visit from the police or even a shove to the ground and a knee to the back.
Yet it’s the same right-wing pundits who are the first to defend the most excessive police brutality whenever someone refuses to comply with an officer’s orders. They faithfully “back the blue” with almost blind loyalty and even support arming the police with military-style weapons and equipment.
Do these conservatives fail to see their own contradictions?
Ask yourself: if full-fledged socialism comes to the Western world, who will be on the front line imposing it? It won’t be the beta-male bureaucrats forcing you to comply. It will be the “thin, blue line” of the police—equipped with their military-grade weaponry—that will physically force you to obey orders. Don’t think they’ll do it? Just look at the cases I cited.
I am not advocating defunding the police. No sane person would propose that. Nor am I suggesting that a police force is antithetical to a free society. We need cops. Rather, I’m asking conservatives to reflect for a moment on their contradictory views. Government and law enforcement are one and the same. You cannot be critical of laws that infringe on our liberties while praising the men and women who dutifully enforce those laws—if necessary with violence.
Our freedom depends on a healthy skepticism towards government. That skepticism should be applied to all facets of the state, especially the police.