I cannot explain why I failed to make this connection sooner, but I was turning over the debacles in Miami and Idaho in my mind, and the changing paradigm of how law enforcement is perceived in America when I had a minor revelation. Even a blind mouse finds the cheese on occasion, so I hear. American LEO’s find themselves in much the same situation as the German Reichswehr did eighty years ago. For those unfamiliar, the post-WW1 German Army was the Reichswehr, a small non-mechanized force of 100,000 men hamstrung by the Treaty of Versailles…the European version of Reconstruction. I suspect most are familiar with the Wehrmacht, the beast that rose in 1935 and took on a very different attitude than its predecessor. The German people were going through rather austere economic conditions during the time of the Reichswehr (sound familiar?) and much was blamed on the rank and file military for the defeat and conditions of the day. Were they? No. Did it matter? Negative, Ghostrider. The response was an organically formed close-knit community and lack of engagement in the political or cultural sphere at all. Rather than remain non-political, the Reichswehr became apolitical.
While the Reichswehr were true professional soldiers, a cultural revolution was sweeping through Germany in the early 1930’s and they failed to recognize the dangers they were becoming embroiled in, and where the cultural current was taking the country. The Reichswehr grew in the mid-1930’s, burgeoning to 300,000 men which the general staff was more than willing to cooperate with. Hard to hate the man who’s dumping money and personnel onto you. The quality of soldiers differed greatly as well, the Reichswehr could afford to pick and choose, as well as having the benefit of men like Rommel instructing and grooming the officer cadre. For many it was a family tradition and from the impressions of German’s contemporary to the Reichswehr era, the officer class was seen as equivalent in social standing to professors and educated professionals. Contrast this with the Wehrmacht who was swelled with volunteers and conscripts, the former politically/ideologically motivated and the latter stuck trying to just make it back home. The organization was further plagued with problems of infighting between the politicos that quickly made up its general staff and the uncomfortable marriage to the Shutzstaffel and later Waffen-SS.
From the writings of men who were in both the Reichswehr and Wehrmacht, the attitude post WWI was generally that the political sphere was for civilians and they were soldiers. Little attention was paid, or at the very least little was done in regards to the machinations going on around the Reichswehr in 1933-1934 as the National Socialists began exerting an ever increasing control over the organization and diluting the professional cadre with a massive influx of enlistments and party apparatchiks. Perhaps the initial 100,000 men were of impeccable morals, professionalism and patriotic. What good does that do when you allow an influx of 7M-8M people occurs in less than 4 years? In their quest to remain apolitical, the Reichswehr allowed themselves to become coopted by hostile interests. I hope the parallels are becoming evident here.
By now the mentally deficient are keyed in on the German and screaming that Nazi is too good a name to call cops or going apoplectic that someone would dare call the angels in uniform anything but heroes. If you’re incapable of understanding both evil and good people wore the German uniform, then leave. Do not continue reading. Do not comment. Click the x and continue on your merry way, this surpasses your ability to comprehend. I suggest all read some books written by guys on the other side of WWII, particularly those of professional soldiers that served in the Reichswehr and later the Wehrmacht. It is from the above perspective that I approach this topic. I am a realist. The fact that certain attitudes and movements exist, whether justified or not, is reality. Acknowledgment is not approval, something that you would do well to remember.
Stuck in the Middle has been the theme song this summer in may ways, particularly for the untenable situation LEO’s find themselves in. Much like the Reichswehr, they are slowly becoming more ostracized. Unfairly or not, a growing minority views most law enforcement as illegitimate, dangerous and a menace. The Miami incident, a truly ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ situation served to legitimize the faux situation in Ferguson, and lend much more credibility and even sympathy to the BLM protests and their more violent cousins, African nationalist movements. The most recent Jack Yantis debacle simply adds even more fuel to those fires. What support law enforcement has from those who actually value law and order continues to wane in the face of the continued lack of prosecution.
The gradual transformation of the German Army from a small, apolitical cadre of professional soldiers to the very political war machine that was the Wehrmacht was catastrophic for the country. I see many of the parallels happening to state and local LEO’s today. While the professionalism clearly varies greatly within the community in terms of marksmanship and interactions with the community, the uniform they wear is becoming seen more and more as a threat and less of help. The response so far has been a significant amount of navel-gazing and not the dramatic sea change necessary. While the complaints of Dindu Nuffins dying at some kind of astronomical rate are patently false, there still remains a disturbing lack of recourse and justice when it comes to police misconduct. The hue and cry of a few bad apples has grown thin, not because of whether the bad apples are many or few…but simply because there is a perception that the bad apples are not punished. The ‘you can’t understand because you aren’t one of us’ mantra cannot and will not work. That attitude works for groups that jealously guard the integrity of the uniform they wear, not those that casually dismiss things like killing family pets just because and SWAT raids on the wrong house. Many departments exhibit neither by any sane standard. Another failing tactic is the ‘thin blue line.’ I am expected to swallow the bad apples argument and judge officers individually, yet the mantra screams to consider anyone with a badge part of a cultural group. Which is it? While the above seems to round up much of the more reasonable complaints the general populace has perceived by the police. I have seen no meaningful responses from police, with the exception of the statements made by the Dallas police chief.
Should law enforcement continue on this trajectory of increased alienation from the population, while retaining the ‘just following orders’ attitude concerning things like the recent MA gun bad, it risks becoming something entirely different. The changing face of law enforcement could be due to several reasons. One, the job culture is sufficiently toxic to push high quality officers to other departments or other jobs. Secondly, the public’s perception of the job has changed and the job is not attractive to high quality candidates. Lastly, the hiring practices of the department are flawed and insufficient to select high quality candidates. Could be all of the above, or a combination of one or two factors, but either way none of this is good news. Nobody wants functional retards having a badge. Bad decisions with a badge create situations like Jose Guerena or Miami. Shooting at autistic people is not advised if you want to mend the obvious cultural fractures taking place here. Like the Reichswehr, you change the type of man in uniform, you change the organization, and eventually the perception of the uniform catches up.
The level of blame to be laid at the feet of both law enforcement and Dindu Nuffins will never be settled. What MUST be settled is law enforcement’s willingness to admit fault, correct it, and engage with the populace. Stubborn obstinance will force law enforcement to find solace in the arms of the one entity willing to still entrust them with authority and funding, the federal government. The federalization of law enforcement will fundamentally change and I think dramatically increase both the number and method of law enforcement in the United States. As Director Comey and Loretta Lynch have so clearly shown us, the leadership and implementation of policy is politically rather than fact driven at the federal level. Failure of the police to reintegrate themselves back into the culture will result in a Wehrmacht moment. Federalization of police has already been discussed and given a few more Miami’s and Dallas’ it will take center stage. The Strong Cities Network has seen local law enforcement begin to integrate politically with federal and globalist organizations. The DOJ continues to beat the race drum and demand Consent Decrees with police departments, again politicizing the law enforcement profession and removing much of the control from the department and local populace. The control a local community has over its own law enforcement will continue to diminish.
In conclusion, I suspect some will disagree with me for being too kind to LEO and others because I was too harsh. Clearly there are endemic problems with law enforcement in America, just like every other facet of government. We’re coming apart at the seams here, what did you expect? However, Turkey became the most recent illustration of the kind of instrument the police can be used as when they are no longer atomistic local departments and become a federalized force. Who did the rounding up of the failed coup? Who did the subsequent ‘arrests’, and to be frank, purges? I am rooting for law enforcement. I want them to pull out of the nose dive and not be unwitting participants of a malevolent central government. To do that they must remain local. To remain local means to be part of the community, not a separate one. Start punishing the bad apples, and keep punishing them…and just maybe Joe American will believe the rest are good ones. The alternative? Dallas. A badge becomes a target and we continue this action-reaction cycle until we run out of ammo or bodies.