AmeriCAN-DO Attitude

Are you an AmeriCAN or an AmeriCAN'T?

Life Gets Easier if You Build Up an Immunity to It

Spot. On.

May 16, 2020 , 3:51PM Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on Life Gets Easier if You Build Up an Immunity to It

Adversity Does Not Build Character, It Reveals It

I have seen this quote attributed to American novelist James Lane Allen.

I have also seen the quote “Sports don’t build character, they reveal it” attributed to basketball coach John Wooden and influential sportswriter Heywood Hale Broun.

Attribution of these quotes aside, the sentiment I think rings true for the majority of people. And I think we are seeing this in action during these times of adversity during random “stay-at-home” orders, Governor decrees and the selective enforcement of such.

Unfortunately, I am seeing the lack of character revealed on all sides of the political aisle. From the Karens turning into little Stasi agents and reporting their fellow Americans for daring to appear in public without masks or stand within 5 feet of another person. To the Leftists who on the one hand claim they want all people to wear masks in order to save lives and on the other hand wish death upon people who do not wear masks.

And now recently, I have been noticing the lack of character revealed of people I had previously thought to be rational and logical. I am talking about those on the right smearing all cops, police and law enforcement as basically corrupt and evil. The rhetoric has been getting so bad that there are times I have to remind myself that I am still reading a “conservative” blog and not a Black Lives Matter radical activist blog.

I had been thinking about this for a couple days now after seeing one thread on the blog I read seemingly full of anti-law enforcement, anti-police rhetoric. And then this morning I came across this comment on that same blog:

Great point discussed by Dave Rubin and Mike Rowe — the degradation and social danger of calling people “non-essential.” True liberals don’t do that. [Fvcking] dehumanizing Marxists do, though.

I found this quote extremely ironic considering many of those who comment on the blog — including some of the blog authors — lately have been completely degrading and dehumanizing police officers and cops with their comments. Comments which have painted a broad brush smearing every cop and law enforcement officer as corrupt and bad.

[NOTE:  I am not linking to the blog, nor naming it, because my intention of writing this is not to smear the blog, its authors or its commentors due the comments of a few, but simply to address the attitude.  My opinions, views and principles align probably about 90% of the time with those who post and comment at this blog.  So this post is not so much an attack as much as it is an expression of being disheartened to have read this attitude from people there.]

This is bigotry, plain and simple. According to Merriam-Webster, a bigot is:

“one who regards or treats the members of a group (such as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance”

As is noted, typically we think of bigots as those who show intolerance with regards to race or ethnicity. But, it applies to hatred or intolerance to any “members of a group”.

Thus, when one treats members of the group of law enforcement or police officers with hatred and intolerance, one is being bigoted.

Now, I can understand the frustration of people right now, as most of us in the United States are dealing with the consequences of the decrees and orders of state Governors to strip away Constitutional rights in the name of “safety”.

However, in times of adversity such as this, it helps to try to put oneself in the position of others and try to understand the adversity they are facing as well.

For example, over the past few weeks, those who work at grocery stores have had to deal with and adjust to rapidly changing policies for employees as well as customers. Policies with requirements such as mandatory mask-wearing and mandatory “social distancing” have made a thankless and stressful job even moreso. These new policies have made things more stressful for both employees and customers and everyone is on edge. Employees have pressure from their bosses to follow the policies so that the store can remain open according to government rules. They also have pressure from customers to follow the policies so that the customers feel “safe”. Employees have to try to balance the enforcement of the new policies to appease their bosses and worried customers with the comfort of customers to not feel even more inconvenienced and stressed than usual during their shopping experience.

So knowing that, I try to give all those working in service areas — grocery store employees, hardware store employees, food service and drive-thru employees — the benefit of the doubt and a lot of leeway. Especially since I have experience working in the retail industry. I know how stressful it is and how seemingly the majority of customers do not see you as a person, but rather their personal lackey. As I said, it is a thankless and stressful experience.

So when I read or hear about people getting fed up with some of these employees and share anecdotes about Point of Sale operators (cashiers) seemingly turning into little Hitlers about the enforcement of store mask and “social distancing” policies, I cringe. All one has to do is take a figurative step back and remember all the stress these people are under. From rude and obnoxious customers, to the run on toilet paper, to angry and violent customers to bosses reminding them to make sure customers are following the rules, etc. And then, take it a step further and put yourself in their shoes and think about how you would be handling all the stress and pressure.

Hopefully, this exercise will make most people realize that it’s okay to cut them some slack. In fact, hopefully most people will go out of their way to show some appreciation with a kind word or a thank you. Usually, the majority of employees who lose their cool with a customer will calm down after they realize the customer can empathize with them. Sure, there are some who enjoy their little power trip. But, the majority will appreciate the empathy and reciprocate in kind.

Of course, when one does not bother to put themselves in the shoes of another or empathize with someone else’s situation, we end up with comments like the following:

That being said, people like me (the good guys) are getting fed up with the current state of law enforcement. From the FBI to the local bicycle cops that were featured in last night’s ONT. So if my definition isn’t up to your standards you are free to entertain yourself someplace differently…

“The current state of law enforcement.” So some local bicycle cops screw up and now that reflects the current state of the entire nation’s law enforcement? I thought I was reading a conservative blog which did not make ridiculous broad brush generalizations, instead of a blog written by Black Lives Matter activists, who make these irrational generalizations all the time.

Of course, that was just the beginning…

we have a lot of Good sheriffs and cops in PA, but our lovely Staties have come out and said they’ll be enforcing Wolf’s illegal “orders” with gusto

because Staties suck

sorry but they all really do suck ass

They all suck ass. All of them? Really? I wonder if this person has even met a “Statie”. Recall the comment I noted at the start of this. About Marxists degrading people and dehumanizing people. I doubt the person who made this comment thinks of themselves as a Marxist.

On we go…

I generally support LEO’s. I want a low crime neighborhood where laws are enforced. That doesn’t mean I want to live in a police state. Cops make decisions all the time on how to respond to a situation, how harsh to be, whether to arrest, whether to issue a citation, whether to respond at all.

When someone calls 911 to bitch because a neighbor has let their kids play with their friends, or because someone has a few friends over for a cookout, or because someone has gone to the beach, the cops need to understand that this is not Soviet Russia, and use discretion. Some aren’t.

Ah, some sanity in a sea of irrationality. This used to be the general consensus opinion of conservatives regarding law enforcement. General support of what they do to keep crime to a minimum, general expectation that the majority of them make good decisions for each situation and a general understanding that while most law enforcement officers are good, some are not.

Keyword there: SOME

Just like in any other group, you will have SOME who are not good. People who are thinking rationally understand this. But those who simply dehumanize and degrade all law enforcement to fit their bias…

Law enforcement – like journalists, the judiciary and the Catholic Church – shouldn’t expect to be respected just for existing. If it is no longer seen as acting according to the principles that earned it respect then it deserves the opprobrium for its failure to do so.
==========

This.

The problem is that most Americans believe that if you put on a blue uniform with a nice, shiny badge, it:

1) Entitles you to respect
2) The wearer can do as he or she will damn well please
3) They are the law and are always right

Which is all bullshit. The cops have to earn respect just like anyone else, and they also need to learn to respect US.

I found the first part of the comment rather interesting. The commentor declares that certain groups should not expect to be respected. But lists only law enforcement, journalists, the judiciary and the Catholic Church. Why not the military? I have known PLENTY of military people who were assholes. And there are plenty in the military who are left-wing and vote Democrat. So why not include military members as those who do not earn respect by default?

And why just single out the Catholic Church? I have known PLENTY of Christians of various sects who were assholes. And plenty of them vote Democrat and plenty of them support things like abortion and socialism. So why not say Christianity, instead of the Catholic Church? And why not religion in general? Why not Judaism, Mormonism or Islam?

My point is that it is very curious that this commentor deems it quite alright to dehumanize certain groups. Why not say that no one — of any industry or religion or group — should expect to be respected for existing? I think someone’s bigotry has been revealed.

As to the second part of the comment, they got one thing right: it’s all bullshit.

I don’t know where they got the idea that “most Americans believe” law enforcement can do what they want and are always right. In fact, I do not believe *anyone* actually believes that. Maybe law enforcement in movies about bad cops believe that. But here in the real world, I doubt it.

That said, point 1 is actually correct and should be the default for everyone in every way of life. Everyone, by default, deserves respect. Until they prove otherwise. If that was the attitude of everyone regarding everyone they met on a daily basis — from law enforcement officers to journalists to the judiciary to the Catholic Church to grocery store workers — this world would be a much better place.

Alas…

Plenty of Americans would find ways to call this “GREAT police work!” and would wax rhapsodic about those who “serve and protect” and “put on their uniforms every day and put their lives on the line for us”. Which is a part of the reason cops are never held accountable for their actions.

Never held accountable. Annnnd we’re back to Black Lives Matter rhetoric… on a supposed conservative blog. Wonderful.

Are there bad cops? Of course. Do it seem that sometimes some are not held accountable? Of course. But to smear the entire nation’s law enforcement as never holding anyone accountable? We’re in Black Lives Matter irrational territory again.

I will end with this lengthy comment which contains a personal anecdote basically explaining this commentor’s bigotry against cops and law enforcement:

Here’s the sad reality of the American legal system as it presently exists.

Every offense is punishable by death.

If I go into work, start pouring beers for people and the cops come in and tell me to stop, and I don’t. They will attempt to subdue me. If I resist, they are authorized to murder me under the farce that they are protecting themselves.

And they can do that because I was driving down the street with a taillight out and don’t stop.

Or because I walk my dog off of a leash.

Or because I don’t send my kid to their indoctrinating education system.

Or for whatever reason they choose.

When I was 16, my father ran for sheriff. My mother came and woke me up at midnight on a school night and told me my father was in trouble, to please get up.

The existing sheriff who he was running against sat at the entrance to the 1.5 mile gravel road that led to our house, waiting for my father to come home (presumably from a bar). When my father turned on the road, the sheriff turned on his lights. No violation of the law. No suspicious behavior. No swerving or speeding.

My father did not stop, instead he used his old phone-in-a-leather-bag cellphone to call my mother and tell her to bring his gun outside, that the sheriff was behind him ready to frame him or kill him.

My mother, having sense, did not bring the gun out. When the two arrived, as I watched out the window, my mother intervened, having already called 911 herself to get another officer on the scene. The sheriff was drunk, and she told him to take his drunk self home. He drew his sidearm and she told him to put it away. He refused, so she repeated her order, standing between my father and the sheriff, all 120 pounds of her.

Finally after what seemed an eternity, another cop car pulled up with 2 officers. My mother talked with the officers, one of whom went up to the sheriff, ordered him to get in the cruiser with the other one, at which point he got in the sheriff’s cruiser and drove it back to the station as the drunken sheriff rode with his other deputy.

This was 5 years after the previous sheriff in our county, who was later arraigned for selling drugs to the state bureau of investigation, had his deputy burn our family’s horse barn down with horses inside it. The B.I. showed us video of the incident occurring, but stated they didn’t intervene because it would have blown their undercover operation.

So when people tell me to “back the blue”, I’m sorry, but you can f*ck right off.

I’ll back honest men and women doing the right thing all day long. But I won’t back a badge, or a title, or an organization.

When you are wrong, you are wrong. It doesn’t matter if you are a priest or a pirate, a cop or a con.

Do the right thing and you won’t have anything to worry about. Act like a thug, get ready for a fight.

Wow. So this is all over the place. And while I do not disagree with the concluding point of supporting honest men and women, the irrational attitude here is taking this person’s bad experience with local law enforcement and expanding that to law enforcement in general.

Again, I have had extremely bad experiences with some asshole and bigoted Christians as well as with some asshole military members. I could easily allow those experiences to frame my attitude towards all Christians and everyone in the military. But I don’t. Though, at times, admittedly, it is a struggle to remain objective.

But that is what it means to be an adult and not a bigot. If everyone’s default was to respect instead of bigotry, to empathy instead of dehumanization, the world would be a much better place.

I have more to say about the topic — regarding how it’s not helpful to default to distrust of police and to give them attitude when they are already on edge from actual criminals and other assholes making their day hell — but wanted to get this out for now.

Not to mention, it is ridiculously stupid to foster and spread this bad attitude about law enforcement in general when the majority are good and shouldn’t suffer because some dipshit sheriff in podunk arkansas did something stupid and now brainwashed asshole in North Dakota is going to give his local law enforcement shit, not for any good reason, but just because he’s been told by some guy, on a conservative blog of all places, that all law enforcement suck.

But that discussion will wait for a future post…

May 16, 2020 , 1:36PM Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on Adversity Does Not Build Character, It Reveals It