John Andrist: Cops Are People We Need To Celebrate

I’m thankful I am not a cop. But I’m grateful for those who are.

These are tough times for cops. On Saturday they said there were 10,000 cops gathered in New York City for the funeral of a 25-year old brother.

This is one who was shot while he simply had stopped a motorist with a gun. So many others, however, are being gunned down because they are cops.

Worse yet, so many folks have grown to distrust cops. Every time one of them is involved in an altercation that takes the life of a victim,  the whole profession is vilified.

It’s made me ponder how our culture has changed from a time when cops were the “good guys”, seen as our ultimate protectors.

Sometimes the cops of old shot people, even for no more reason than their successors have had in the many recent high profile incidents. We just assumed the people they shot were bad guys.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#000000″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]Nobody excuses burning and looting, or the criminal acts of young thugs. But there are a whole lot of us in today’s society who jump to the conclusion that the young thugs are victims of society. Call it quasi-justification.[/mks_pullquote]

We expect todays cops not to get scared, to use restraint even to the point of endangering themselves.

I don’t think I’ve read about any policeman shooting somebody who was not committing a crime, fleeing from arrest, brandishing a weapon, or resisting an arrest.

Once upon a time we would simply say, “He was asking for it”.

Perhaps part of the reason we’ve changed is that today police do have other weapons, things like mace or stun guns.

Then again, in our time being disadvantaged was not a justifiable excuse for resisting arrest and talking back to those in authority.

Nobody excuses burning and looting, or the criminal acts of young thugs. But there are a whole lot of us in today’s society who jump to the conclusion that the young thugs are victims of society. Call it quasi-justification.

Too often it seems like we have more compassion for the perpetrator than we have for the victims.

Sunday was our annual day for worshipping mothers. We heaped candy and flowers and mushy cards on them, and took them out to dinner.

We ought to have such a day for cops.

Is it criminal to tell a lie?

Mark Twain once said, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics”. There are also white lies, that suck in just about everyone.

I think most of us, however, separate defensive lies from those that seek to deceive or hurt someone.

I haven’t heard of anyone who defends the response of Harry Reid, recently deposed minority leader in the Senate

On the Senate floor during the last presidential campaign, Reid proclaimed Mitt Romney had not paid his taxes.

When it became clear that it was not true, Reid then said, “Well, they can call it whatever they want, but “Romney didn’t win, did he?”

In other words, the lie was okay, because it served a useful purpose. Few of us could accept that as moral justification.

I believe Massachusetts is the only state that makes it unlawful to use lies in political ads. Now that law is being challenged on the grounds that it is a violation of the First Amendment.

Truth is just about everybody tells a lie on occasion, or at least has done it in the past. And yet none of us like the thought of being called a “liar”.

Like beauty, I suspect lies often are in “the eye of the beholder”.

Those who struggle to learn the English language tell us we have too many words. And yet the word lie is a term that should have a whole lot more words to better define the difference between, “That dress looks pretty”, and “Well, it worked didn’t it?”

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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