Military and Police

America’s (Not So) Peaceful Transition of Power

As a law enforcement officer and American citizen, there are certain aspects of the United States I’ve particularly admired because they set us apart. One of those qualities is America’s constitutional emphasis and commitment to equal justice for all. Another admirable aspect of our nation is our tradition of a peaceful transition of political power following a presidential election. Legal traditions such as these create a sense of confidence, security, and well being for a nation’s people.

And while we don’t always hit the mark trying to achieve equal justice, it is an ideal for which the American legal system strives—you know, “in order to form a more perfect union.” Still, with the current slide into a multi-tiered justice system, our national cohesion is threatened. And now, sadly, it seems even our great republic’s peaceful transition-of-power tradition is also at risk. Having been a peace officer, I have a great interest in peaceful transitions—peaceful anything.

America offers anyone willing to apply himself or herself an opportunity to succeed—a chance to pursue happiness in whatever way he or she defines it—a chance at the American Dream. While there will always be differences between people with regard to birth circumstances, intelligence, abilities, disabilities, talents, and deficiencies, everyone can pursue their happiness as far as their commitment to success will take them.

As many problems as the media and academia tell us America has with racism and xenophobia, studies consistently show that people who migrate to the United States assimilate better than in other countries. Why is that? I’d argue it has to do with the opportunities Americans provide for immigrants and the confidence they have in a fair, stable, and limited government.

I was watching the new Netflix series “Jack Ryan” the other night. In one scene, a Syrian immigrant (terrorist) to France lamented that a person can go to America and become American. But, he concluded, you can’t move to France and become French. For all its talk of liberty, egalitarianism, and fraternity, and its professed desire to help “migrants,” French society, in large part, still resists accepting foreigners into their culture. The Muslim “no-go” zones in France, that leftists deny exist, convey this quite clearly.

President Ronald Reagan put it better than I can: “America represents something universal in the human spirit. I received a letter not long ago from a man who said, ‘You can go to Japan to live, but you cannot become Japanese. You can go to France to live and not become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Turkey, and you won’t become a German or a Turk.’ But then he added, ‘Anybody from any corner of the world can come to America to live and become an American.” For all leftists who accuse conservatives of being anti-immigrant: I believe President Reagan qualified as a conservative.

I’ve heard this assimilation comparison before about how Muslims (and other foreigners) who move to America from the Middle East and elsewhere assimilate better than they do in European, Asian, or African countries. No matter what the left would have you believe, America has an immigrant mindset. Immigration is in our national DNA—E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many, One. In my own case, my mother emigrated to the U.S. from France and, on my father’s side, my great (x2) grandfather and grandmother, from Germany.

The left’s intentional conflation of legal immigrant and illegal immigrant creates a debilitating, semantic fog. If you oppose illegal immigration, the left accuses you of being anti-immigrant. But that makes no sense on its face. All of us on this continent, even Native Americans if you go back far enough, have ancestors that came from a different continent.

There is nothing wrong with wanting people to follow laws. You can add rule of law as another of those aspects important to the American experiment. If the left doesn’t like the laws, work to change them, don’t ignore them.

Equal justice helps immigrants assimilate; social justice harms assimilation through encouraging identity politics rather than promoting American individualism. The proverbial strongest chain is one comprised of the strongest individual links.

Immigrants learn that, in America, the laws are supposed to apply equally to all people. Within the U.S. Constitution, the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause guarantees this right to immigrants. Ideally, immigrants and naturalized or native-born citizens have as much chance of prevailing in a U.S. court as any other person—equal justice.

As I mentioned, another tradition that builds confidence in natives and newcomers alike is America’s peaceful transition of political power after a presidential election. For many immigrants, they are used to rival factions in their native countries using corruption, intrigue, and violence to gain power. Or a certain political faction holds power through tyranny. This is not supposed to be the case in America.

Whenever Americans elect a new president, the previous administration not only relinquishes power, peacefully, but also should do what it can to make the transition as smooth as possible for the incoming president or, at least, shouldn’t make the transition harder.

The outgoing administration doesn’t only do this for the new president’s benefit; they do it for the benefit of America and the American people. A peaceful transition gives Americans peace of mind and confidence in its government’s stability. It assures the people that the government is theirs, and they do not belong to government.

But what happens when that stability is threatened? What happens when equal justice and the peaceful transition of power are no longer America’s ideals? Today, are we witnessing the decay of equal justice, the peaceful transition of power, and the rule of law?

When Barack Obama won the presidency, most Republicans, conservatives, and libertarians weren’t happy about it. Not because he was the first black president but because he was the most committed leftist ideologue the country had ever elected.

Conservatives knew his presidency might spell disaster for many of the rights, traditions, and institutions conservatives, libertarians, many independents, and even some liberals still cherish. Nevertheless, President Bush shepherded a peaceful transition and, once out of office, maintained the tradition of the previous president refusing to publicly criticize our new president.

And were the conservatives ever right about the disaster that man wrought on American liberty. Personally, regarding healthcare alone, ever since my wife and I retired from our police and fire departments, we’ve been fighting the Obamacare legacy, attempting to get decent, affordable health insurance. Affordable Care Act, my ass!

We’ve heard the Washington Post’s and Politifact’s lie of the year ad nauseam: “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” But repetition doesn’t diminish the consequences of President Obama’s lie’s. Our own president severely damaged what was, though admittedly flawed, as all institutions are, the best healthcare system on earth.

But, I digress. Obamacare was only one facet of President Obama introducing Americans to what he was ushering in as a “new normal” for the United States. One where individual achievement is derided—“You didn’t build that.” Where equal justice is replaced with social justice. Individual liberty and the pursuit of happiness are treated as quaint, archaic notions that would be rejected in Obama’s “transformation of America.” President Obama would replace these laudable American ideals with the pursuit of mediocrity, achievement of bare subsistence, and regard for the collective over the individual.

So, instead of a peaceful transition of power, for the last year and a half, we seem to be in the midst of a protracted, bloodless (so far) coup. Democrats are leading a self-proclaimed “resistance.” The Dems are being assisted by the mainstream media, Hollywood, academia and, to a lesser degree, tacitly by establishment, never-Trumper Republicans. There is now clear evidence of an overt undertaking by Obama-Clinton acolytes, having weaponized several federal agencies, to overturn a presidential election. While it may not rise to the constitutional definition of treason, aren’t these actions, at least, sedition?

How revolting (pun intended) that major political party establishment elites and their sycophants and allies feel they know better than the Americans who elected their choice of candidate for president while abiding by all the rules. When even the previous President of the United States, Barack Obama, is now an open participant in the “resistance,” attempting to undo his successor’s election, you know something is drastically wrong—Americans don’t do this.

Could it be the increasing volume of evidence of a conspiracy to prevent, and when that was unsuccessful to remove a sitting president, is getting too hot? Is it now worth it to President Obama to adopt such an overt stance, to throw in with the “resistance?” Could it be that changing the congressional majority to Democrat this November is the only way he can avoid responsibility and, possibly, culpability in the massive corruption that attempted to prevent and then has been attempting to remove a sitting president?

Can you believe we’re even talking about this—in the United States of America?

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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