This morning, I was surfing through my standard online news sites and blogs when I came across this article on The Hill, written by Jackie Kucinich. I read it over several times because I just couldn’t believe my eyes. The opening words were especially irritating:
Anti-war protesters were allowed to spray paint on part of the west front steps of the United States Capitol building after police were ordered to break their security line by their leadership.OK, as an ordinary citizen who did not witness this event, I have a limited amount of information about what occurred. On the other hand, I am a retired military wife whose husband still works in the defense industry. That alone gives me more than a cursory understanding of security issues. In addition, having studied Political Science, I have a slightly better than average understanding of how my government actually operates. Shocking though it may be, folks, our democratic republic is a bit more complex than Schoolhouse Rock would lead you to believe, a point that (I think) is lost on those spray can-wielding Anarchists. But I digress…
Two problems I can see, as reported in that ONE sentence:
First, the protesters were ALLOWED to spray paint the Capitol steps. Excuse me!? No one should be “allowed” to engage in illegal behavior. Last time I checked my local New England laws and ordinances, defacing public property was a crime! Adults and teenagers in my small county are prosecuted for spray painting stop signs. I can only imagine what the legal community would do to them if they defaced a national monument like the United States Capitol building. Big clue for the police leadership: in the hierarchy of public property, a traffic sign and a national monument are NOT the same thing. The latter is subject to a much higher level of respect! At least, it should be!
Second, the frontline POLICE officials were ordered, by their LEADERSHIP, to break their security line. Notice the two words emphasized in the previous sentence: police and leadership. The first is defined as a law “enforcement” official; the second can be defined as one who takes command of a situation or crisis. Were the laws enforced during this incident? Obviously not, if Anarchists committed a crime under the watchful eye of the police. Did anyone take command of the situation so that the appropriate laws were enforced? Again, doesn’t look like it if Anarchists, people opposed to the good order and discipline required for civilized society, committed a crime while the police watched from the sidelines. Granted, the police officials in attendance were probably very busy keeping the other protesters in line. After all, a small group of over-the-top protesters, like those wielding spray cans, can push a larger group of relatively calm demonstrators over the edge. That’s how riots begin, for heaven’s sake. Still, why take that risk to ensure freedom of speech for those who clearly don’t understand how to use that freedom responsibly and who, as Anarchists, are entirely opposed to the foundational underpinnings of the democratic republic that gives them that freedom?
No. The police leadership in attendance should have held their security line and dispatched a small contingent of police officers to arrest the criminals who defaced MY Capitol building. It is after all, in the words of those Anarchists, “our Capitol building.” As one of the people who assume possession of “our building,” I am offended by your graffiti and I believe you should be prosecuted for defacing a national monument. I am also dismayed that the police chose to back down in the face of this confrontation. Poor form all around, folks. Very poor form, indeed.