It has long been said, “knowledge is power.” It is important to note that the pronouncement is not “information is power.” In the “Bizzaro World” of the news media, so much of what passes as the “news” is little more than information. The rise of 24-hour cable news has provided more time to pass more information. But, often the platform simply passes the same information in a mind-numbing extended loop whose output does not foster actual knowledge. Pseudo-knowledge is advanced through the frequent use of split-screen commentators and political operatives advancing their own narratives. These often competing narratives generally distort true factual analysis, and they often end in an incomprehensible mash of over-talking and shouting. This phenomenon crosses the spectrum of political, social, and daily-life topics, particularly when there is an overlap into politics. Lawlessness is one of these topics. Even the local – allegedly straight news – news programming runs a steady flow of lawless incident-of-the-day segments, particularly when the incidents are violent with shock-seeking video. These segments are generally little more than sensationalized information, and rarely is their presentation one that advances knowledge. Secure 1776 offers this “cops ask questions” question in Latin: “Cui bono?” Translation: “Who benefits?”
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
The Tucker Carlson Lawlessness Segment
During the 21 April 2022 episode of the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” program, Carlson opened his show with a segment that provided more than information, even more than an extended montage of lawlessness and violence across America’s cities. The segment imparted the stepping stones of knowledge. Observation that sparks analysis. Then from there, an analysis that leads to discernment of the meaning between individual bits of information, and the asking of the types of questions, that foster actual knowledge. The entire segment is provided below. It is not the cable news version of a 280-character tweet. The segment is a full 16-minutes in length, and it is worth the investment of time, if furthering actual knowledge on America’s rising lawlessness is the objective. Secure 1776 urges all of our followers to watch the full segment.
Some Knowledge Takeaways from the Carlson Segment
First, it does not come as a surprise to law enforcement personnel – traffic stops by the police enhance public safety and save lives in ways that cameras do not. They provide immediate enhancement to highway safety. Officers engaged in traffic enforcement can make assessments, and take immediate action, regarding impaired driving and reckless behavior that places lives at risks. Since the 1980’s, the advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) has educated the public, elected officials, judges, and public safety officials on the dangers of impaired driving. Through this increased knowledge, traffic enforcement efforts and court intervention have saved thousands upon thousands of lives. As we noted in our February 2022 post, “Connect the Dots: One News Feed, Two Stories, One Cause,” lawlessness has been behind the increase in reckless driving and death on America’s roadways – not the pandemic.
Officers engaged in traffic enforcement are also able to detect more than impaired drivers. A wide range of individuals with criminal intent and seeking to harm others, including drive-by shooters, are often engaged first by law enforcement personnel conducting traffic stops. Connecting the dots between policies that diminish traffic enforcement efforts by officers on the beat and a rise in lawlessness on the nation’s streets is not difficult. Those knowledgeable about crime prevention have long been aware of the essential nature of proactive policing.
Second, a dramatic rise in traffic deaths, particularly among Black Americans, minors the 2020 (year like no other) dramatic rise in violence, including murder. As we have previously discussed, the near 30% year-over-year increase in the U.S. murder rate in 2020 from 2019 was the largest ever documented. Here again, the rising death toll was not surprising with those knowledgeable about the connection between policing and crime prevention. Our regular followers will note that we have made similar lawlessness connections as presented by Mr. Carlson. In fact, the Chicago juvenile carjacker turned homicide offender, included in the Carlson video montage, is a case we have covered. In February 2022, we drew a connection from this case (sadly just one of many) to the wider lawlessness problem in Chicago with our post, “More Spectacle Chicago, Yet Another Juvenile Carjacker, Now Murderer.”
Some “Cops Ask Questions” Observations
The demonization of the police has been an actively advanced political narrative, which seeks to weaken the police-community relationship. The approach helps to create the condition suitable for a radical transformation of American society, as areas with strong police-community relations tend to be lower-crime and highly-stable neighborhoods. Communities in turmoil are ones that are more vulnerable to extreme political movements, as inherently most people in a community strive for a sense of safety.
The police are expected to help foster public safety through crime prevention. The prevention and response to violence is the highest priority in the public safety mission. To this end, as communities we regularly send our police officers into situations that are already tragic or at risk of turning tragic. It is here that policing is most vulnerable to what our founder has identified as a dangerous worldview – one best described as “tragedy-free policing.” The view holds that the police should never take any actions that could cause harm, their actions should never use any force, and the police must act without ever making a mistake.
Anti-police activists have coupled an “or else” to this view, and in so doing created an unattainable policing standard. It is wholly unreasonable to assert that every police officer will, using a baseball analogy, pitch a “no runs, not hits, no errors” inning endlessly into the future. Yet, with this “standard” unwittingly accepted by many, and advanced in the media, whenever the police are involved in an incident that has a tragic outcome, then rage, violent protests, looting, and even criminality itself are falsely “justified.” Acceptance of this standard causes severe damage to the police-community relationship that is essential for public safety. The weakening level of public safety is an environment where lawlessness follows, and lawless places are violent ones.
By keeping the American public from gaining actual knowledge regarding both the connections between public safety and the strength of the police-community relationship, and how the demonization of the police breeds lawlessness, “cui bono?” Who benefits? Certainly not the policing profession – as their mission without community support is doomed to failure. Certainly not the community – as absent constitutional policing, both public safety and individual liberty are at risk. Certainly, not minority communities – as evidenced by how the spikes in lawlessness and violence impact first – and more severely – the communities already suffering with higher levels of crime.
Knowledge and Ignorance
In 1820, in a letter to Joseph Cabell, a Virginia legislator and educator, Thomas Jefferson provided some additional guidance on the topic of “knowledge is power.” He observed also that “ignorance is weakness.” Ignorance of course being the “lack of knowledge.” So we recommend that more citizens ask: Is keeping many in the community weak useful for some?
It is long past time for our communities to gain the knowledge that brings the answer to the question, “cui bono?” From there – our communities must no longer fall victim to those with agendas that breed lawlessness as a means to increase their own political power.
We are interested in your thoughts, and invite you to comment below.