Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Note on the Police

With Ferguson going on, a lot of people have said a lot about the cops lately. About the militarization of the American Police and the need for journalists and ordinary citizens to monitor the actions of the police.

When this sort of thing comes up, it is customary for someone to point out that there are a lot of good cops out there (most cops are good, nearly all cops are good, only a few of the apples are bad). This may be true. But it is beside the point.

Our republic is not built on the idea of trusting the good intentions and good judgment of those with power. It is built on constraining those in power, constraining them with the law. We subject them to the law and we subject them to the scrutiny needed to make sure that they abide by the law. Or at least, that is what we must do if we're going to keep up this whole liberal democracy thing going.

If cops were angels, we would need no rights.