The slow creep of societal destruction and the arrival of a chaotic future took a jump forward recently when we witnessed the water bucket attacks on New York City Police Officers.
While the act of throwing water on the cops is in itself benign, no one was injured, no one was killed. It is the symbolism of the act that is the destructive part, it is the negative image on the photograph in which we all live our lives that was revealed.
Throwing the water on the officers is both an act of defiance and an assault on the underlying fabric that holds our society together, not to mention a real assault on the officer. The only reason we do not live in a world of lawlessness and anarchy is because we, most of us anyway, choose to live within boundaries of acceptable behavior that reigns in our negative impulses. Voluntarily living within these boundaries of agreed upon restriction allows us to define “normal” interaction between people.
In other words we agree that robing, raping and pillaging our neighbors and existing under the animalistic code of conduct, that being the biggest and strongest dictate how we interact and who gets eaten, is not how we want to live, we choose to follow laws and interact in a more constrained way.
Our police officers are a visible symbol of that societal agreement. We have created laws and designated how those laws will be enforced, by our police officers, to maintain our peaceful co-existence. When one of us steps out of the bounds of accepted behaving i.e. breaking the law, our cops enforce the law and we submit to the authority. This system is not really complicated, but it works, we can all understand it and it does keep things orderly.
When anyone decides they will not abide by these norms we have set, then we have chaos, crime and the balance of life is disrupted. The act of throwing buckets of water on the officers is a ripple in the peace of our society. As a one-time action done in a sense of misplaced and inappropriate “Fun” we could tolerate it as an aberration, still wrong, but nothing to stir national concerns. When it happens more than once it becomes a symptom of something else, we see it as a clear sign we are on the road to ruin as a country.
Acts of defiance are reinforced when the response to them is weak, in the case of throwing water on our officers, we see the weak response by the mayor of New York, and it could be argued that his weak response is actually an endorsement of the action, throwing water at the police is an attack on all of our society.
In another time this statement would be out of place, the idea of society coming apart at the seams is the theme of a dystopian novel, not of everyday life in America as we have known it, but…..
The very same Mayor of New York, who is running for president said very clearly in the last Democratic debate that his goal is to radically alter the America way of life. When we hear the others on the democrat side running for the office of president, we hear very similar themes, the realignment of American values, the need to change or eliminate the Constitution, the complete redistribution of wealth to create the utopian world they envision. The reality here is that this dystopian future of a novel is an all too real possibility and the act of throwing water at police officers doing their duty is the visual symbol of this potential.
Stated earlier in this column was the belief that left unchallenged these simple acts of defiance will grow is proved out by history. The bully is emboldened by the lack of substantive response from authority. When they are not rebuked in the strongest sense and punished for their behavior, they escalate the negative behavior.
The water throwers will only move onto the next act of defiance by throwing Milk shake/ concrete projectiles at the cops or jumping into an arrest scene as a group or a mob to prevent an arrest or free a person they don’t believe should be arrested. What comes after that?
Compliance with the lawful orders of a police officers is a hinge pin of a lawful society, submitting to the authority we have empowered our police with is a duty of every citizen. We have redress of a grievance in a court of law if we disagree with officer’s actions and decisions, that redress is not in the streets as a mob, for if it is, then we are truly further down the road to chaos than any of us know.
Some of the water throwers have finally been arrested, and that is good, albeit a Johnny come lately response by the Mayor and his team. Unfortunately, the events of water throwing are continuing, and it will not stop unless they are addressed in the strongest sense of the term.
Some lawmakers from Staten Island NY have offered some legislation to charge water throwers with a serious offense, and this is a good response and just the medicine that is needed, but I fear, as I often do, that when the cases get to court a liberal minded activist judge will throw out the law and the cases to create a more just society by allowing the malcontents among us to have their right of expression e.g. throwing water at cops in protest of the made up lie of systemic police brutality.
I digress, as a man with a grievance is prone to do, I love my country and I respect the rule of law and I love my brother and sister cops, in this day and age of attack on the police both in concept and in reality of ambush, I see this trend of negative rebellion and the symbolism of throwing water a or cops as a talisman of the future, and it doesn’t look good.
This must stop now, and we must all demand it.