Monday, August 18, 2014
From: Gary L. Bauer
Ferguson In Flames
Beyond a critique of Obama’s comments on press freedom, I have avoided commenting on the turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked by the death of 18 year-old Michael Brown. The first thing that should be obvious but is being widely ignored is that many of the people who are publicly commenting on the case don’t know what happened.
So I’m not going to prejudge what happened between Officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown. That is why we have a legal process. But everyone should be concerned by what is happening in the streets of Ferguson and what it means for the future of the country.
The Ferguson police department came under heavy criticism after the initial outburst of violence. Critics complained that the police presence, which included armored vehicles and military-grade equipment, made them look more like an army than law enforcement.
Commentators and politicians suggested that the militarized appearance actually stoked the violence. If only the police had looked less menacing there might not have been so many problems, or so we were told.
After another day or so, politicians and other public figures began to inject themselves into the debate. Attorney General Eric Holder started leaning on state and local officials. FBI agents were sent to Ferguson. Governor Jay Nixon assigned Captain Ronald Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol to assume control of the police response. Captain Johnson had the benefit of being born and raised in the Ferguson area.
Johnson took a softer approach. The riot gear was put away. Johnson visited a local high school to calm students and walked the streets himself, hugging demonstrators. He reportedly told protestors that they there were free to remain in public so long as they did not impede traffic.
The result? More rioting and looting, and store owners forced to be their own police. A day or so later, the governor declared a curfew. But little effort was made to enforce the curfew. The result? More rioting, more looting.
On Sunday, Al Sharpton spoke at a local black church. As usual, his rhetoric was heated, sprinkled with a few obligatory condemnations of violence. Last night, rioting began once again, just hours before the curfew.
Captain Johnson described the events, saying, “Peace and justice took a very different turn after dark. Molotov cocktails were thrown, there were shootings, looting, vandalism and other acts of violence that clearly appear not to have been spontaneous, but premeditated criminal acts.” It sounds like he was describing an ambush.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that people outside of Ferguson are stoking the violence. Who are they working for? What causes do they represent?
President Obama publicly weighed in last week. Some commentators said his statement was even-handed. I think he failed to meet a major responsibility. Barack Obama is in a unique position to tell the minority youth rioting in Ferguson that their conduct does not contribute to achieving justice, and that it is unacceptable in a nation based on the rule of law.
Today, Martin Luther King, Jr., is often referred to as Dr. King. He was also Reverend King. He made the moral case for equality under the law, and he constantly made the case for virtue to minority youth.
Reverend King famously urged all Americans to be of good character and to strive for the day when they are judged based on the content of their character not the color of their skin. He was a serious man with moral authority. Today we have charlatans and demagogues like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.
If Dr. King were alive today, he would be in Ferguson demanding justice. I also believe he would be condemning those who are tearing that community apart.
We’ve now come full circle. Eight days ago, we were told that the violence was due to the fact that the police looked too much like the military. Eight days later, the governor has called out the National Guard. In between, business owners have suffered, people have been shot and the police have been attacked. Every day this continues, the danger increases that such violence will spread to other American cities.
Ferguson, Frustration And Values
Whatever happens in Ferguson, it is striking that so many Americans are expressing their frustration with corruption in government, the breakdown of values, the coarsening of our culture, etc. In most cases, these issues do not require the passage of new laws, but the embrace of timeless laws handed down on the mountain from the God of Abraham to Moses.
Sadly, the left has been trying for decades to remove these laws from the public square lest some young person see them and become offended. But unless there is a renewal of the values that undergird civilization, what we are seeing on TV and in the newspapers will be just the first sip from a bitter cup that this country will be forced to consume.
Liberals Defend Rick Perry
Friday evening news broke that Texas Governor Rick Perry had been indicted by a Travis County grand jury. Perry is potentially facing a life sentence for “abusing his official capacity and coercing a public servant.”
The indictment, of course, was breaking news. But the facts behind it were not well covered. Here’s what you need to know: Rosemary Lehmberg, the district attorney in Travis County, was arrested for DWI last year. Police found an open bottle of vodka in her car. Gov. Perry publicly called for Lehmberg to resign. She refused. Perry used his veto authority to eliminate $7.5 million from her budget.
It must be noted that this same so-called Public Integrity Unit in Travis County also attempted to prosecute former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
It appears that partisans in Travis County, Texas, are once again using a hyper-politicized grand jury system to damage their political opponents. But don’t take my word for it. Several leading liberals, including top Obama strategist David Axelrod, are condemning Perry’s indictment. Alan Dershowitz said, “This is another example of the criminalization of party differences.”
Meanwhile, nobody has been indicted for Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS Tea Party scandal or the VA scandal.
If you are interested in receiving Mr. Bauer’s daily report by e-mail, please call 703-671-9700, visit SIGN UP FOR GARY BAUER’S “END OF DAY REPORT” or simply send a reply e-mail titled “Subscribe” and include your name and address.
Visit End of Day archives to share reports on Facebook. Follow Gary On Facebook And Twitter.
To be removed from Gary Bauer’s End of Day distribution list, please reply to this message with “Remove” in the subject line.
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, donations to American Values are tax deductible for federal income tax purposes. You may donate online by visiting our website or by using the following address in your web browser: https://www.ouramericanvalues.org/american-values-contribution or you may mail contributions to the following address:
2800 Shirlington Road
Arlington, VA 22206