Where's the Dignity?

Column by Tim Hartnett.

Exclusive to STR

“Where’s the contempt for the common man?” ~ Montgomery Burns

As emotional trends go, hate has seen better days, in theory, anyway. The feeling is so far out of fashion they’ve made a crime out of it, which is a first for an emotion, I believe. Always make sure you are being objective before beating the be-Jesus out of anybody, otherwise you’re beneath dirt. The fact that Nelson remains indifferent when he works Milhous and Martin over is what has kept him out of reform school all these years. Never misinterpret T-shirts proclaiming, “I love haters,” they’re supposed to be about talking people out of that miserable condition and not advocating for it.

So it’s only natural that anti-hate is now a thriving industry and outing your ideological opponents as haters should not be confused with anything as self-serving as political convenience. People who are against having new rules and bosses perpetually imposed on them have sinister motives. Failure to recognize your own inferiority with so much love spewing down on us from the good people mass producing laws is the source of all the woe in this world.

Still, there’s no getting around the fact that knowing who someone’s enemies are almost always tells us more about a person than identifying his friends. There are some who take absolute loathing from certain quarters as about the highest compliment you can get. Especially when it comes from those high-minded souls claiming to be above that sentiment.

It’s dangerous business living to have people out there gunning for you. But the risk-free society that utopia-crats have planned for us all is a fate worse than death, anyway.

A brilliant example of a man relishing in the animosity coming his way from the very vilest took place on November 26, 2010. Nigel Farage’s 3 minute address to the European Parliament is an instant Youtube classic. The video cameos MEPs as a litany of their high-handed actions against the euro-serf is recounted. These are the faces of power-drunk and physically sagging pencil pushers having their world turned upside down. They are supposed to be giving what-fer’ to hundreds of millions not taking it from someone honestly representing these helots.

If you’ve never heard of the UKip leader, his “Who the hell do you people think you are?” speech is an ample introduction. This is exactly what the Bible is talking about when it tells us we should be “no respecters of persons.” Can there be anyone on Earth that Von Rumpuy and his gang hates the guts of as much as Nigel Farage?

An incident like this is a sign that things might be improving for the human race after all. Two hundred and twenty years ago, a man standing up and telling the truth in France would have produced the same response from the Committee for Public Safety. The difference is that the European Parliament is lacking resort to the guillotine for the time being, so Farage still has his head three years later. Powerful people are often known for a violent aversion to having the truth thrown down in their presence. The hungry flunkies surrounding them define etiquette, so confronting the ones in a position to do harm to the human race is still considered boorish and rude.

The attitude that rulers who openly rob you can demand respect for their authority isn’t strictly European. Here in the Land of the Free, nobody in power is asking more than one million employees in various branches of law enforcement who the hell they think they are. So the competition for which of our protectors can stoop the lowest in the daily news continues.

Dick Thornburgh was appointed Attorney General by a president who ran on the 1984 slogan: “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” This point was perfectly illustrated when Thornburgh used his office as a platform exhorting law enforcement to seize cash and personal property from ordinary citizens based on the whimsical suspicion the stuff was somehow “drug tainted.” In the following decades, thousands of travelers were routinely relieved of vacation money while out of state and vulnerable.

The dragoons justify their scores using a principle invented by Thornburgh’s predecessor Ed Meese: “If a person is innocent of a crime, then he is not a suspect.” And if he is guilty of being a regular guy, it’s a lot safer to suspect him. Media, running the gamut from John Birch Society publications to those of the socialists, have been reporting on this rampant state of affairs in aghast awe for decades now. But we have yet to hear of anyone connected in law enforcement, politics or big business getting mugged this way.

Unfortunately, no one was there to call out Thornburgh on his sleazy shakedown plan 24 years ago. Sure, he’d have wanted their heads on a platter for it, but a few waves may have averted the federal disregard for ordinary people that was seminal in the GHWB administration. Both Ruby Ridge and Waco were cooked up while Poppy was still babbling incoherently from 1600 Penn.

When public employees can stop you at random and take whatever they want without risking prison or legitimately being shot on the spot, you have no rights. Anyone arguing otherwise either hates the human or believes public employees have a fuller membership in it.

Since then, law enforcement at every level has erupted into a free-for-all of wild abandon: smashing people's doors down in the middle of the night over the flimsiest pretexts imaginable, groping, penetrating and rifling motorists at will, stopping everyone at the kind of checkpoints common in Third World despotisms, acquiring armored vehicles to deploy against no conceivable threat, shooting old men resisting medical procedures, murdering mentally deficient subjects who never presented a threat to anyone without a badge, bravely shackling 1st graders, tasing truant teenage girls who take flight and lots of other atrocities nobody would have imagined in this country 25 years ago. The various courts have responded in a series of inconsistent and opaque rulings that police hardly seem to notice.

These kinds of events are almost unheard of in discussions on the floor at Capitol Hill or state legislatures. They are too busy caring to be distracted by such things. An onerous new health care infliction is something only a hater could be against. The rawest edge of government only has its boots on the necks of a free people, free of connections, that is, out of the sincerest form of love.

The major media notices what’s up with police excess from time to time. But peasants with pitchforks are the sexier, more newsworthy threat. Eventually the FBI may even find one they can mentor into becoming some kid of threat. The theory is that mobs opposed to the onslaught of benevolence from Washington, D. C. secretly want to lynch gays, minorities and immigrants.

There’s nothing wrong with eradicating hatred, but eradicators have an odd habit of finding it everywhere their authority is getting questioned. The gendarme with a club, an informant, an agent provocateur, an Uzi, a tank, battery of government lawyers and bosses with Wall Street banking executives on speed dial may not hate your guts but will definitely make you think twice before standing up.

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Tim Hartnett's picture
Columns on STR: 20


Paul's picture

"When public employees can stop you at random and take whatever they want without risking prison or legitimately being shot on the spot, you have no rights."

That is the correct conclusion, because rights are a fantasy. There is only will. At some point people are going to decide they won't put up with it any more. The only thing that is stopping them, outside of residual fear that should hardly exist for the older ones among us, is the worry that their fellows will think ill of them for standing up. People do care what others think of them. But I think the fear is overblown. Most people who aren't completely asleep are by now just waiting for someone else to start the shooting.

Suverans2's picture

"That men should take up arms and spend their lives and fortunes, not to maintain their rights, but to maintain they have not rights, is an entirely new species of discovery..." ~ Thomas Paine

Every generation has 'em, Thomas.