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.