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Columns : In My Sights

The Age of Unreason

American culture is turning against law enforcement, but there is hope for the future if we stand up for what we believe.

June 09, 2016  |  by Dave Smith - Also by this author

Illustration: Sequoia Blankenship
Illustration: Sequoia Blankenship

The other day I was standing around with a group of young crime fighters during a break in my class, and they began asking the old guy questions: "Has it ever been as bad for law enforcement as it is today? Why do so few leaders in law enforcement stand up against the current wave of 'reforms?'" I had to confess to them that it is as bad as I have ever seen it in my lifetime.

I have always read weird dystopian novels about a world of totalitarian insanity, like George Orwell's "1984," but I never imagined I would watch the Republic slowly edge toward "doublethink" and "doublespeak" as a way of life.

We are being asked to change our culture in very critical areas and those of us who say "slow down" are stigmatized and punished without debate or defense. I recently lost a contract because I foolishly defended the term "warrior;" I was told I was now considered too "old school." Academies and schools are adopting entire curricula based on the "feelings" of this or that "expert," as long as the expert is part of the apparatchik.
American education used to be a gold standard; now it is becoming a hodgepodge of academic gimmicks that are not subject to serious evaluation and which continually fail. Americans are told those failures are due to the inadequate budgets when, in fact, we pay the most per capita for education of any country in the Western World.

Law enforcement and the criminal justice system have given the American people the lowest crime rate, the safest streets, and the greatest freedom ever known, only to be blamed for every social ill, criminal trend, and tragic incident, with very few leaders—other than a group of sheriffs and a couple of chiefs nationwide—who seem willing to wade into the fray to try to bring reason and rationality back into the argument.

Universities are increasingly "centers of indoctrination" instead of institutions of higher learning, and the linguistics and sociology departments seem to run the show. It must be understood that while criminology used to be science-based, and often provided law enforcement powerful tools to analyze social problems, it has been degraded as described in Dr. Irving Horowitz' classic "The Decomposition of Sociology;" it was "changed from a central discipline of the social sciences to an ideological outpost of political extremism." And the good doctor was a leftist.

So is our world lost? I don't think so. The odd thing about America is that this isn't actually our "first rodeo," so to speak. We have been rent asunder in a Civil War, survived social movement after social movement, including prohibition, seen socialism flourish for a short time under Roosevelt only to have a libertarian renaissance of sorts under Reagan; so the idea that the pendulum is broken and we are going to swing into extinction is greatly overstated.

I believe things are going to rebound, and I think this will happen sooner rather than later, but I want to get one critical point across before I run out words for this column: Freedom needs you to keep faith with your mission to protect the innocent, enforce the law evenly, defend the Constitution, and stay true to each other. We don't control many things in the world except ourselves, and I think the key to happiness is just that: control the things you can (your beliefs, your emotions, your dreams, and your efforts) and let go of the things you can't control (meaning the world.)

"Serenity prayer?" you ask. "What the heck is wrong with Smith?" Nothing is wrong with me; would you rather walk around as the sorrowful warrior all day or live life fully and make a difference? You can't control the thoughts of academics or politicians; you can only control your own. "Just warriors" have always done their duty with honor and selflessness, and you must do the same.

But also never forget your moral courage, the most important kind, and stand against lies and foolishness; speak truth to lies, defend the things you believe in, and exercise your right to vote. For I think the pendulum is swinging back, and America will remember again where her freedoms are born.

Dave Smith is an internationally recognized law enforcement trainer and is the creator of "JD Buck Savage." You can follow Buck on Twitter at @thebucksavage.

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Tony Bloom @ 6/12/2016 12:47 PM

Excellent commentary, Buck ("Old School? - Just what are them young whippersnappers hinting at?) !

It is unfortunate that our politically correct and video addicted culture has been able to finally mainstream the incorrect perspective of what a "warrior" is. I how often times been thankful that I tend to have the ability to put myself in the other opinion's shoes to see their perspective on things. But this long miss guided thought that a warrior is a mindless and ever violent inhuman force bent on destroying anything it pleases without accountability has never been something I've never been able to wrap my head around.

For those of us that still understand what the true warrior spirit is, in uniform and out-active or retired; thank you for the reminder that one of those character elements is selflessness. That trait today maybe the most important element, as our active colleagues today face even less and less edifying and fulfilling commentary than we retireds did from a runaway press and an unaccountable vocal minority of either misled, misinformed, or intentionally agendaed citizens (let's not lose focus that these individual too fall under our responsibility to serve and protect. Their level or lack of level of gratitude is a relevant).

Excellent encouragement Dave. Continue with your good work. Our brothers and sisters need to keep hearing that the quiet majority of Americans still depend and appreciate their service and sacrifice-even if their jobs, lives, and responsibilities prevent them from even considering the noisy options that the opposition avails themselves with.

To you Dave, and all of the others who understand what it means to be as soft and mild as a Sholan priest or Franciscan monk in moments of peace-but an adversary's most dangerous and dreaded nightmare when evil decides to pop his head up:

Stay faithful to your mission, yourselves, and your families; stay safe; keep hanging in there as the sun will rise again someday; and Godspeed!

Doug Hoffman @ 6/13/2016 11:41 AM

Thanks for continuing the profession Dave. I believe that the great analysis of Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs best describes the foundation for who we (LEO's past and present ) are. Dropping our guard is not an option!

Richard Vert @ 6/19/2016 11:11 AM

But what if somebody gets there feelings hurt ? I mean , isn't that the bar by which all actions are measured today ?

Richard Vert @ 6/19/2016 11:13 AM

But , what if someone get's their feelings hurt ? I mean , isn't that the by which all actions are measured today ?

Richard Vert @ 6/19/2016 11:15 AM

But , what if someone gets their feelings hurt ? Isn't that the bar by which all actions are measured today ?

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