I normally don’t use this space for political rants, but the unfolding events surrounding the murder of Michael Brown in St. Louis have made it impossible to not weigh into the situation.
Where are the Republican Libertarians? Where is Rand Paul (update: he has finally arrived)? Where is Paul Ryan? And where are the countless other voices who bemoan the lack of support Republicans receive from African-Americans.
If I was a Republican who wanted to be President of The United States, I might sense the opening. I might head to St. Louis, like Nixon did with China or Reagan did in opposing Proposition 6, and take up a cause on behalf of the people I claim to want to represent.
For too long, the inner cities in this country have been transformed into mini-Gazas, experimental grounds for increasingly weaponized police. Displaying their new toys, they march militaristically into disenfranchised neighborhoods, ratcheting up the tensions to justify their provocations, and abandoning patrol presence for the trappings of martial law.
Isn’t this what the right fears? Jack booted thugs? A police force that looks like muscle for a junta?
Perhaps they’ll start asking for these citizens paper’s next.
No Democratic politician could put a stop to this. The standard sighs of pandering would follow and wouldn’t get the electrifying press coverage a Republican would.
It is going to take a Tricky Dick going to The Great Wall.
Winning over a constituency isn’t about condescendingly talking slower in the hopes they’ll accept your supply-side, Horatio Alger bromides. Sometimes saying something your base doesn’t agree with tells the rest of the country that a committed half of a small primary isn’t going to dictate how to speak to the majority of Americans.
And if you are a Libertarian, this should be a no brainer. The state, in the form of its steroid induced law enforcement arms, is violating the civil liberties of a minority that has proved one of the most loyal, religious, and patriotic in its history.
Nick Gillespie’s Reason is giving this coverage, but I am amazed at the silence from the supposed civil liberty Republicans.
Imagine a sitting Senator or Congressman with a national following walking into the one of those neighborhoods and calling for deescalation of the fear and intimidation that plagues people who are already terrorized by crime. Imagine them leading a march against cops who look like a U.N Peacekeeping force in Mogadishu.
Imagine them saying, turn the Humvees, tanks, and helicopters around. Imagine them saying release the name of the officer in question, imagine them calling for a top to bottom investigation of the police force, and imagine them saying, “This is America, and I stand here today in defense of your rights.”
And not give a damn that some asshole in Mississippi sees them standing with Black Folk.
Oppressed peoples have long memories. They remember not only the vicious voices that cried out against them, but they also remember the courageous figures who stood with them when no one else would.
Sounds like a Libertarian Moment to me.