Military and Police

When Someone Tells You They Want Socialism…Believe Them

During my career, I endured more riot lines and worked more political protests than I care to recollect. In fact, by the end of my career, leftist demonstrations were occurring weekly—in my precinct alone. Sometimes, we had several protests per week. And it’s continued since I hung up my gun belt.

At one time or another, you’ve probably awakened with a song stuck in your head. Well, I used to wake up with lefty protest chants in my head. “This is what democracy looks like!” and “No justice, no peace! No racist police!” Ah, the good times.

Reportedly, Seattle has some 300 demonstrations per year. And what’s the ratio between the number of left compared with right political protests? Um, I’ll take a stab at that one: 299.99 to .01, give or take .01.

I’ll never be able to erase totally from my mind the images of all those radical socialist, anarchist, and communist faces shouting at me that I should be ashamed of myself. That I should know better. Their smug, unearned self-righteousness and self-importance was astounding.

So, according to the protester, I’m the one of the two of us who should be ashamed. Really? If so, then why am I the one who always held my tongue and said nothing to those smudges of excrement (apologies to the movie Sideways) standing before me, spewing their self-satisfied, un-self-aware loathing for cops and civil society?

Do I use such disparaging comments because I disrespect leftist protesters, generally, as human beings? No—well, not completely. My strong sentiment is in response to their actions, sanctimony, sense of entitlement, and fallacious assumptions—about me. The caustic description is a response to those belligerent demonstrators. The ones who so often become violent and who didn’t care about how their unruly activities deplete police resources, which affect their fellow citizens who call 911.

The irony is: If a catastrophe occurred during an anti-police political demonstration, officers on the riot lines would protect and defend the protesters who’d been spitting venom at them—oh, and just plain spitting at them.

Police officers consistently demonstrate their patience at demonstrations, and their service-to-community response to people in need in both subtle and dramatic ways. In 2016, in tragic and dramatic fashion, a racist murderer shot and killed five Dallas police officers. What were those cops doing? They were protecting a crowd of anti-police demonstrators, including members of Black Lives Matter, some of whom openly call for the death of cops.

In a subtler demonstration of what most cops are about, let me transport you back to the 2009 White House beer summit. You’ll remember the event occurred after President Obama declared that the “Cambridge police officers acted stupidly.” Why were they stupid, according to Mr. Obama?

Because they arrested an uncooperative homeowner, Professor Louis M. Gates Jr., a black man who’d forgotten his house key and had “broken into” his home. Gates immediately accused the officers of racism.

Apparently, Gates was incensed the officers couldn’t somehow divine he was the homeowner. Remember, Gates’ neighbor had called 911 to report the incident. If the neighbor didn’t know it was his neighbor breaking in, how were the cops supposed to know? Professor Gates is renowned for his intellect. Shouldn’t he have realized this, too? Or did his leftist ideology create an opportunity to exploit police officers to make a point too tempting to resist?

(Credit: Facebook/Evan West)

Meanwhile, back at the beer summit, something interesting happened that supports my point about the nature of most cops. It was a heartwarming, spontaneous, and kind gesture from one good man to another. In beer summit photos released by the White House, President Barack Obama can be seen walking ahead of Professor Gates Jr., who uses a cane, and Sergeant James Crowley, the officer who’d arrested Gates. The photograph clearly shows Sgt. Crowley hanging back and assisting the professor down some steps.

It is these organic, unscripted moments that can reveal the true character of a person. President Obama and Professor Gates are friends. In fact, Obama admitted he might have bias about the incident because of their relationship. Shouldn’t the President have thought to assist his friend himself? For Crowley, a police officer, it was instinct.

Okay, I admit I might be nitpicking here. Still, you can’t erase who did what during that stroll out to the beer summit. Which brings me to a general observation.

There are an awful lot of calls, especially from the left, for compromise, civility, and coming together—to heal the political divisions in our nation. Well, that can only occur if both parties are civil.

When you have one side that believes the other side is simply wrong, but then one side believes the other side is evil, it’s hard to find common ground. I mean, where does the conversation go after someone calls you racist?

I think it was Ben Shapiro who recently said, “The right feels the left are people with bad ideas, but the left feels the right are bad people with ideas.” This changes the equation from being political opponents to cultural enemies. What else can you call people who don’t respect your free speech rights and try to shut you up? You can’t debate with people who won’t let you speak.

The left calls for civility on the right, but I feel it’s the right who behaves too civilly. There are myriad examples of the left actively shutting down the right’s free speech. Through political alchemy, they deem free speech to be “hate speech.” Conversely, the prevalent attitude on the issue from the right is the quote from 1906 by Evelyn Beatrice Hall, said when summing up her view of Voltaire’s position on free speech: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

I find it frustrating when some on the right attribute the left’s nastiness and intolerance to ignorance, or otherwise excuse their anti-constitutional behavior. The truth is, some people on the left actually want socialism, even communism—and they don’t like you because you don’t think like they do. I know, they’ve told me to my face. Many times.

When I think about people on the right who excuse the left’s intolerance, I think it’s like a naive British infantryman just arriving in WWI France. Peering over the edge of a muddy trench, he’s shocked when German soldiers start shooting at him. He can’t believe they want to kill him. He’s done nothing to them. If only he could talk to them rationally, he could convince them. Why haven’t the Prime Minister and the generals thought of that? Yeah, right.

The young Brit thinks, if only the Germans understood the obvious truth as he does, they’d be reasonable—and stop trying to kill him. No, the Germans wanted a different world than the Brits did. The German soldiers serving in WWI wanted whatever Kaiser Wilhelm told them they wanted. It’s like the radical left masses do today. They want whatever their leftist leaders tell them they want. In some cases, pay them to want.

It’s important to understand, though some radical leftists are indeed ignorant (they’d have to be to follow an ideology that has failed every single time it’s been tried), they cling to the mantra “We’ll do it right, this time.”

(Credit: Facebook/Facebook Conservatives)

They want socialism, and they’re going to try to get it through social justice activism: restorative justice, environmental justice, food justice, distributive justice, procedural justice, and, I don’t know…Scooby Dooby-justice.

And they are prepared to stop you from having your say on the issues. Remember, even though the vast majority of people are miserable (at best) under socialism, a few elites do incredibly well. And herein lies the problem; all the lefty demonstrators believe they’ll be among the few elite.

So, compromise, discuss, debate, and negotiate ‘til those tardy cows come home with those who first show you the respect of acknowledging your right to have and express your political ideas. Deal with those who understand that your questions about race, or racism, don’t automatically make you racist.

Recognize the difference when you are up against a cultural enemy rather than a simple ideological adversary. You know, enemies, those far-lefties who believe you must be in 100 percent agreement with them before they’ll allow you to speak. They are the kind of leftists who believe that your opposing political beliefs are hate-speech. They are the people who tell you that you’re a racist even if you don’t know it because of your “unconscious bias.” Unconscious baloney is what it is.

When you are dealing with civil lefties, true liberals who still revere civil rights such as free speech, you’ll know it. How? Because they’ll be listening to you rather than throwing things at you.

As for leftist radicals, don’t expect them to “come around.” Peaceful discourse is not their way. If some do, that’s great. But don’t expect it. Deal with far lefties as if they really want what they say they want. No matter how difficult you find it to believe they are serious, take them seriously. In other words, if someone tells you that nothing will stop them from “shutting you up” and creating a socialist state, believe them!

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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