In its simplest terms, many citizens of the United States have lost trust in their government. Many do not trust the government to do the right thing. Like all rebellions, it doesn’t start overnight or with one action, but rather it grows slowly until it explodes into an armed rebellion. Is the United States on the way to an armed rebellion? Possibly, but it is not too late to avert it.
All governments, whether from the far left to the far right, have one thing in common, they have to subjugate a large population into control. There are the dictators that subjugate through force and then there the governments that control through trust. Like many countries, the United States has a government that encourages population obedience through a mixture of patriotism, adherence to civility and the enforcement of the laws. The government-people type partnership, like the United States, only works when the population believes they are being treated fairly and equally.
It is not always perfect, but the people must believe in their government to do the right thing. That trust has been eroding over the last few years.
I can’t point you to a specific turning point for the erosion of trust, but you can see the first vestiges of the loss of trust during the bailouts of the “too big to fail” conglomerates. While many citizens were losing their life’s savings and homes, the government was helping out the very entities that led to the economic downfall that hurt many homes. From there arose the Occupy Wall Street movements across the nation.
People were actively protesting what they perceived as unfair treatment by the government. From there it started to snowball into the Black Lives Matter movements as technology allowed the general population to see first-hand what many were complaining about, but were unable to prove. And it continues to snowball as demonstrated by last week’s killings of several police officers.
Just look at what El Paso Police Chief, Greg Allen told KFOX TV, when asked about the Black Lives Matter movement. Instead of taking the opportunity to build trust, Allen exasperated the notion that it is them versus us mentality. Look closer at the interview of the police chief and you can clearly see the anger, and yes, the hatred that the authority of the all police departments are being threatened. Instead of building trust, Greg Allen wants those that he is supposed to manage to be meek and compliant, not expressive with their wishes.
The type of mentality demonstrated by Greg Allen is exactly why trust in the government has eroded over time.
I realize we don’t know what motivated the killer. I realize that there is no justification for murder. But none of the negates the underlining problem. The fact is that in a large group of people, it was police officers that were targeted. Civilians were not targeted. This is important to note.
The police is the enforcement arm of the government. The police are the symbol of subjugation. They are the first line of the government and they represent the iron fist of government. But it is just not the murder of the police officers. Rebellion comes in small dozes and there are many examples that have been leading to last week’s killings.
Look through the news items of the last few years and you will note a rising theme of “us versus them” between civilians and law enforcement. You will note the rising instances of civil disobedience targeted at police in instances like challenges to their authority to conduct a traffic operation, like DUI check points. In addition, there have been instances where civilians demanded the reason for the stop, or the legal statue under which the police are acting.
There is a movement to challenge the authority of the Border Patrol to conduct checks on the highways. You see many YouTube videos documenting this activity. There are is also a rise in the videotaping of civilian-police interactions intended to be used for civil disobedience through social media.
This us-versus-them notion is growing exponentially as more citizens begin to feel disfranchised and feeling like they are being treated unequally.
The FBI’s uncharacteristic “transparency” statement about not charging Hillary Clinton with crimes for the email server issue may have been intended as a goodwill measure, but to the many that feel disfranchised, it just fed into the notion that there are two classes of people in the country. Loretta Lynch’s meeting with Bill Clinton only exacerbated this notion of inequality.
Look around you and listen to what your friends are saying about the upcoming presidential elections. Look to the commentary in the social media channels and you clearly see how disfranchised people feel.
When was the last time you heard a general statement from the community where many feel that neither presidential candidate – Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump, are deserving of their votes come election night.
Every election carries with it the he-versus-she theme but for the most part it is one party versus the other. During the nomination process there is the normal in-party fighting, but generally when the nominee becomes apparent, the voters generally gravitate to their party’s mandate.
Not so today. There is a general “neither” candidate running through the voters today.
This clearly demonstrates a general dissatisfaction by many with the governance that they are under.
Is it too late? Is the United States on the verge of civil war? Not even close, but the violence is worse and the feelings of anger towards the establishment only continues to grow.
People are angry.
President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump need to understand that the violence is the result of anger and dissatisfaction. It is not correct but the undercurrent feeling exists and it needs to be fixed. Oscar Leeser and city council needs to publicly chastise Greg Allen for his comments. Allen’s comments were made officially and in uniform, as such they are not free speech, but rather, official government policy. I fully expect Oscar Leeser to minimize the Allen’s comments and take the tact that “it’s all good” and people are making too much of the comments.
That posture will only exacerbate the problem.
This politics of “Muslims are terrorists” or that “immigrants take jobs away” only feeds that anger. The laws limiting access to information also leads to that anger. Law enforcement blaming and impeding videotaping of civilian-police interactions also feeds that anger. “Too big to fail” only feeds that anger.
And, as if the situation weren’t volatile enough already, the threat of terrorism only exacerbates the situation even more.
The bottom line is that the citizens of the United States, like many others in other countries, are systematically losing trust in their governments.
It is easier to lose trust then to create it. Governments, at all levels, needs to realize this and begin to build up the trust within the society once again. Otherwise, it may be too late.