In 2018, a disillusioned liberal by the name of Brandon Straka started the #WalkAway Campaign. Tired of the lies and the bankrupt leadership of the new Left, Straka encouraged other disaffected liberals to stand up for themselves and leave the Democrat plantation. As a grassroots effort, it was impressive in its independence and willingness to speak truth to power.
After all, how long does one have to deny reality and continue fealty to a political party and ideology that is a falsehood built on lies and grift?
It’s a good question that traditional Americans should also be asking themselves right about now. How long have we been denying reality and mouthing the empty mantras of the Republican cult? How long have we been blindly and reflexively giving our loyalty and hard-earned money to people and institutions that have zero respect for us? The answer to both of those questions is too long.
Law and Order
One of the longstanding planks of the GOP—and most of traditional America—is law and order. Traditional Americans like order. They generally want to follow the rules because it is an important part of the social contract, and quite frankly, everyone following the rules makes living together with one another much more pleasant.
One of the primary components of the GOP law and order plank is the mantra back the blue. You see it everywhere, the thin blue line flags, the bumper stickers, and the reflexive need by our elected representatives to grant warrantless authority after warrantless authority to infringe on our civil liberties—because, you know, making law enforcement get a warrant before searching your house is so disrespectful and definitely not backing the blue.
In 2018, during the height of the Trump-Russia collusion fabrication, when it was obvious the FBI and Justice Department had used FISA surveillance authorities to spy illegally on the president and his aides, the Republicans in a bipartisan effort with the Democrats voted to renew FISA Section 702 warrantless surveillance authorities. The very same Republicans who were screaming over the FBI’s abuse of FISA went ahead and passed a renewal of these authorities, which codified and consolidated the FBI’s ability to repeat its criminal conduct again and again.
To make matters worse, the Trump Administration advocated a clean reauthorization without any reform measures. Why? Because it is a habituated and reflexive position of conservatives to back the blue—even when that “blue” is corrupt and the antithesis of the founding principles of the Republic.
Last year during the mostly-peaceful-but-fiery-but-definitely-not-COVID-super-spreader summer of our discontent, conservative politico-celebrity Michelle Malkin held a “Back the Blue” protest to show support for the embattled thin blue line. It took place in Denver, Colorado, under tight security by the Denver Police Department—because, of course, the whole thing reeked of right-wing extremism and white supremacy.
Shortly after taking the stage, Malkin and several other speakers were physically assaulted by a mob of Black Lives Matter and Antifa miscreants. The Denver police stood back and allowed the BLM and Antifa mob to violently beat and injure the back the blue rallygoers. They didn’t lift a finger to help them. There were no arrests, and it was discovered after the fact that the chief of the Denver police instructed his officers to not interfere with the BLM and Antifa actions against the peaceful back-the blue demonstrators.
Imagine that. The pro-cop protesters were beaten to a pulp right in front of the very Denver police they were ostensibly rallying to support. Priceless.
In Greenville, Mississippi, last year, more than a dozen police officers raided a church that was hosting a drive-in Easter prayer service. They broke up the service and handed out $500 fines to the congregants. All because Greenville’s mayor ordered all churches closed due to the COVID pandemic. Let’s be clear about the circumstances: these U.S. citizens were exercising their First Amendment rights, while appropriately masked and isolated in their automobiles . . . in a parking lot. The crime? Disobeying the unconstitutional orders of the mayor. Those police officers took an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution—which they arbitrarily disregarded. While they were clearly serving the mayor’s dictatorial whims, they were obviously not protecting and serving the citizens of Greenville, Mississippi—or the Constitution.
Currently, the Justice Department is detaining political protesters in indefinite solitary confinement, an act that the State Department routinely condemns in places like Russia, China, and Iran. Non-violent, first-time offenders who participated in the January 6 Capitol protest are being transported to Washington, D.C., and held without bail because of their political beliefs. All while the Justice Department looks the other way after Capitol police shot and killed an unarmed Trump supporter and the Portland federal courthouse is firebombed nightly by Antifa and BLM protestors. At this point, does anyone still think the Department of Justice has anything to do with justice?
Maybe one of the things we traditional Americans can stop doing is reflexively giving our loyalty, respect, and cooperation to institutions and organizations that no longer deserve it.
Make Your Community Your Community
Unfortunately, short of state nullification of federal actions, there is very little we can do about the rogue federal law enforcement agencies operating out of Washington, D.C.. Trust me when I say that those agencies are way past caring about what you think of them; that battle has been lost for now. But we haven’t lost our communities . . . yet.
Traditional America needs to make our communities our communities again. In other words, we need to take control of our local government and shape it to reflect the values and culture of its citizens. This means the citizens need to step into the breach when it comes to deciding how local law enforcement agencies should protect and serve their communities. This isn’t about dissing law enforcement or defunding the police. This is about setting boundaries as a community, and making sure the people you pay to protect and serve your community are actually protecting and serving your community, not the coastal elites.
The U.S. Marines pride themselves on making leaders—at all levels. One of a Marine leader’s primary missions is taking care of their Marines. Taking care of your Marines doesn’t mean making life rosy and easy for them. It means looking out for their welfare, giving them meaningful work, being direct with appropriate guidance, and holding them accountable for their actions. Maybe there’s a lesson here.
If a local law enforcement organization’s culture views the citizen with contempt, then the community does not have an organization committed to protecting and serving it.
What can traditional Americans do to fix this? Start by holding leaders accountable. If local law enforcement leadership is a political appointment or civil service hire, make it clear to the mayor, or whoever makes that hire, that he or she will be held accountable for the performance of law enforcement in the community—and then follow through with it. If local law enforcement leaders are elected, such as a sheriff or constable, and they are not implementing policies and organizational culture that reflect and protect the community, then the citizens must organize and vote them out of office.
Calm down, dear reader, it’s OK to stand up for yourselves. After all, this is your country and you are organizing on behalf of your rights. You don’t have to back the blue when it doesn’t back you.
Just as holding law enforcement leadership accountable is important, it is also critical that when you have a sheriff or chief of police who is truly dedicated to protecting and serving the members of the community—and who has set an organizational culture that supports that mission, you actively protect them. That means being vocal and active in your support when that law enforcement leadership is under unwarranted attack from those with malicious political agendas.
Likewise, citizens should make sure the employees of those departments are receiving the appropriate pay and benefits due to them when ballot initiatives and budgets come up for a vote. Citizens should not sit by quietly while effective and loyal public servants are thrown under the bus, nor should they pinch pennies when it comes to funding appropriate training and a living wage.
Create the Conditions for Success
Law enforcement is made up of humans, and not all humans are good or honest people. We ended up with James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and Peter Strozk at a weaponized FBI because, instead of holding that organization accountable, we repeatedly gave them the benefit of the doubt under the guise of backing the blue.
There is an authoritarian leviathan coming for traditional America. Local government and, in particular, local law enforcement can be one of our most effective lines of defense—if we choose to create the conditions for that defense. We simply cannot afford to make the same mistakes we made at the federal level in our local communities.
Like it or not, America’s default view of law enforcement has been a mostly childlike belief in the good guys, like Norman Rockwell’s Officer Friendly and the untouchable Elliot Ness. It is a bug, not a feature, of the GOP that it has embedded this childlike illusion so deeply into conservative thought. It has led to some incredibly foolish and self-destructive decisions, as we saw during the Trump Administration, when we placed our trust in those law enforcement officials who were undeserving of it. It’s a tough illusion to break.
If we are to survive as a Republic we need to carefully choose our friends, and give our loyalty only to those whose actions support our values and culture. And, most importantly, we should give our trust only to those who deserve it. We need to leave behind the childish beliefs of our past and embrace the cold hard truth of what we are about to face . . . and in doing so, put in place trustworthy law enforcement leaders and allies-in-liberty for the struggle ahead.