Military and Police

Bottom Line: Power and Control vs. Freedom and Liberty—No Contest

I’m a bottom-line guy. When I was an active cop, I hated meetings. It’s one reason I chose to stay on the streets my entire career. I despised administrators and politicians pandering, prevaricating, and pontificating. I didn’t want to talk everything to death. Just give me the bottom line, and I’ll go do it.

I’m that way with politics, too. That’s why the conservative-libertarian political philosophy attracted me back before I could vote. And while there are intellectually honest conservatives and liberals, those on the left seem to be shrinking in the latter category. They’re all about party over everything else. Just look at the Mueller report. It’s over, no collusion. Yet the congressional Democrats, who told us to wait for the report, are continuing the investigation, which everyone knows is not good for Americabut it’s good for the Democrat base.

Ironically, libertarianism (don’t tell me what to do) forces you to be intellectually honest and consistent, politically. There are many things the left does that I don’t agree with but must support to remain consistent in my commitment to individual freedom and American liberty.

For example, recently on Lars Larson’s radio show, he was interviewing a retired sheriff who had also served as a police chief. Larson and the lawman are political conservatives. Larson asked the retired cop what he thought about a ruling that the First Amendment protects a person who flips off (digitus impudicus) a law enforcement officer.

Both men, despite believing the act is vulgar and disrespectful, defended the gesture as constitutionally protected free speech. I do, too. But the left does not similarly defend conservatives’ and libertarians’ free-speech rights. Instead, they attack their political opinions as “hate-speech.” I’m thinking there’s a bit of hate flowing from a liberal finger-flipper to a conservative flippee.

The incidents of leftist bias, free-speech restrictions, and even violence toward the right are well-documented. Just look at university administrators who blame peaceful conservative speakers for the violence when they come to speak. They’ve even attempted to extort prohibitively high fees from conservative groups to exercise their First Amendment rights. Hey, academia! It’s the conservatives who are victims of the violence. It’s the left-wing counter-protesters who perpetrate the violence. Thought you guys didn’t believe in blaming the victim.

So, bottom line: if the Democrats/socialists get their way, the lives of Americans on the right and left must change to conform. And that’s the point, isn’t it? If they could, the neo-left would control all aspects of an American’s life: healthcare, nutrition, housing, education, environment, transportation, self-defense, etc.

In their socialist Utopian fantasy, it seems women would be allowed choice but only with abortion, even late trimester abortion, and now, tragically, infanticide. The only other choice all of us would have is which recreational drug we want to use. In this Venezuelan-like Utopia, the left would also take the side of criminals over cops. They would mandate all Americans comply with myriad edicts implemented according to an oppressive leftist political agenda.

However, the bottom line if conservatives/libertarians get their way, of course, the right would remain free. But so would the left. Leftists would also be free to pursue their happiness as they choose, just as long as they don’t interfere with another’s right to do the same. Everyone would. But, as Hamlet might say, “there’s the rub,” isn’t it? It is about power and control—over others.

The left wants to interfere with other peoples’ rights to choose how they will live their lives. Among so many other things, they would decide whether you can use a plastic bag or straw, whether you can buy a large Slurpee, what car you can buy, which lightbulb or toilet you can have, what materials you’re allowed to build your house, and even whether you have a God-given right to self-defense (guns).

The neo-left doesn’t believe in what one of the left’s biggest heroes, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, a Democrat, wrote about American freedom and liberty. Americans have “[T]he right to be let alone; the right to liberty secures the exercise of extensive civil privileges.” Neo-leftist socialists who have taken over the Democratic Party no longer believe this essential tenet of individual freedom that had been so important to the left.

Bottom line: If the modern left Democrat, liberal, socialist gets its way, power and control over the people ensue, and we have Utopia—Venezuela.

If the modern right Republican, conservative, libertarian gets its way, freedom and liberty for the people ensue, and we have Pursuit of Happiness—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

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