Nuggets of Wisdom

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Police State? What Police State?

The vehicles pictured above are MRAPs, or Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles. These 18-ton armored behemoths are fitted with gun turrets and bulletproof glass. Able to withstand roadside bombs, they were designed specifically for use in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

But now that the wars are dwindling down, what is the army to do with these things? Sell them to local law enforcement agencies, of course! And that’s exactly what the Defense Department is doing through a national military surplus program.

Perhaps even more frightening is that one of these MRAPs was sold to the Ohio State University's police department. You think pepper-spraying college students is extreme? Imagine one of these mammoths being deployed to break up college protests. It will make Kent State look like a water gun fight by comparison.

The only thing more frightening that local law enforcement cruising around in these army vehicles is the idea that, one day, they will be so commonplace that no one barely double takes when one of them rolls down the street. It will be no more cause for alarm or even attention than an ambulance or police car passing by.

I can think of no more fitting comparison than that of the slow-boiled frog. If you toss a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will frantically jump out; but if you place it in a pot of lukewarm water and incrementally increase the temperature to boiling hot, the frog will remain as it is boiled alive.

This is why so many Americans remain blind to the ever-growing police state. They don’t see themselves living in a full-blown totalitarian dystopia like 1984. They don’t see their cities encompassed with barbed-wire fences with armed troops patrolling the streets and security cameras on every street corner watching their every move. So they assume they are safe.

They do not realize that the police state is only being put into place. They do not notice it being constructed around them in small increments. And I’m afraid when they finally do notice, it will be too little, too late.

Hyperbole, you say? Perhaps. But I find it hard to consider “reasonable” local police purchasing and using vehicles meant for wartime combat. If you do, then you, my friend, are the frog being boiled alive.