by Jack Hunter
Writes my friend and fellow Charlestonian Dylan Hales at Lewrockwell.com:
"For conservatives raised on a "law and order" rhetoric and deference to authority figures, the suggestion that deputy law enforcement should be elected, will no doubt sound controversial. Likewise, liberals' aversion to decentralized decision making is, on the surface, incompatible with such a populist proposal.
Yet, the serious problems that plague American society cannot be addressed so long as the majority of citizens harbor very real fears – and at times disdain – for those entrusted with protecting our person and property from criminals. Though many Americans would not publicly admit to a fear of the local constable, privately there is a near unanimous sentiment that police have too much power and are prone to abusing it. With new stories of police brutality coming to light daily, it is no stretch to say that these perceptions are realities.
The creeping dread the average commuter feels on the way to work when a patrol car pulls alongside his vehicle has become an all too common phenomenon. The mere site of a cop is enough to make the totally innocent clam up. Even my eighty-year-old grandmother once confessed that she had an eerie feeling of "uncertainty" by the mere presence of a policeman. That this unfortunate discomfort between law enforcement and the citizenry could ever change is rarely considered by most Americans. But while it is true that the days of Mayberry, USA and the neighborly constable may be things of the past – do they need to be?"