Opinion | Morgan Liddick: And then the mob came for Chase
On Your Right
And then the mob came for Chase.
For those without small children or grandchildren, an explanation: Chase is a cartoon character in the Nickelodeon series “Paw Patrol.” He’s the German shepherd member of an elite squad of puppies dedicated to serving the citizens, human and animal, of their fictional town. He and his fellow patrol members have rescued countless victims of various species from peril — and that’s the problem.
These days, good, benevolent cops just can’t exist in a media universe dedicated to the horrors of being black in America with brief intervals set aside for white Americans to confess the sin of whiteness and beg for expiation of their guilt. So when “Paw Patrol” opened its Twitter account to comments on the current goings-on with the tag “Black voices should be heard,” the responses ran ugly. “Euthanize the police dog” was one of the printable comments.
Writing in The New York Times, Amanda Hess waved off some of the responses as tongue-in-cheek, as they clearly were, but she touched an underlying truth: A movement whose success lies in selling the lie that police are intent on havoc and represent the real danger to the community cannot allow even fictional good cops. To put words to the ubiquitous graffito ACAB, “All cops are bastards.”
In this case, clearer minds may prevail: Nickelodeon recently renewed “Paw Patrol” and shows no sign of rethinking its position despite other networks swiftly cancelling police shows not featuring cartoon characters. Regrettably, neither our political nor chattering classes have profited by Nickelodeon’s example.
Instead, vacillation and appeasement continue to fuel more demands. Despite his groveling, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was booed out of an anti-police meeting last week when he refused to “abolish” the Minneapolis police department then and there. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio begged forgiveness but received criticism, not accolades, from the wilder shores of the activist left. District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser painted “Black Lives Matter” on a street and renamed public spaces, a move mimicked elsewhere. The mob carved a six block “autonomous zone” out of Seattle’s near-downtown; residents report shakedowns and shopkeepers extortion by armed thugs — anonymously, of course: No one wants to be burned-out or shot. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan described it as the equivalent of a block party or Gay Pride parade.
These examples have an object lesson we better relearn fast: A mob is never satisfied. It cannot be. Instead, any intimation that it will have its way only serves to enflame it and increase its appetite. “Reality shows featuring police must go,” the Vanguard of the Revolution demands, and go they do. “Cartoon fantasies about good police must, too,” comes next. “No more racist cops” is quickly and reasonably accepted, so “no more cops” follows. And finally, as in Seattle, no more authority of any sort.
Except when authority vanishes and the reign of an anonymous, anarchic mob begins, personal security and the security of property — essential to a functioning society — hinges on the basest motives of the most powerful group within that mass of humanity. It is they who determine the character of whatever society, no matter how ephemeral, that emerges from the chaos. A recent concrete example is not encouraging.
On the weekend beginning May 29, the Chicago police force was focused on the violent aftermath of protests in the downtown area. As a result of police being drawn out of other neighborhoods, deadly crime skyrocketed. Between 7 p.m. Friday and 11 p.m. the following Sunday, 25 Chicagoans were shot dead and 85 were wounded. Most were black. It was the most violent weekend since records began in 1961. Imagine the results if the police had vanished completely and permanently, as the mob is now demanding in Minneapolis, Seattle and elsewhere.
Bringing any good out of the murder of George Floyd becomes more difficult daily because the movement that has seized his tragedy as its banner has grown used to being accommodated and catered to by those furiously trying to scramble to the head of the march so they can pretend to lead it. They may not realize that mobs of this sort pose imminent danger to anyone and anything around them and that they tend to devour their leaders. Ask Robespierre.
And as our politicians fix their eyes on idealist mirages like abolishing cartoon police dogs and society’s security and order, the mob’s constituents will only become wilder as their dreams are thwarted by reality. Then what?
Morgan Liddick’s column “On Your Right” publishes Tuesdays in the Summit Daily News. Liddick spent 27 years working for the U.S. Foreign Service, primarily living abroad. He also spent 12 years teaching U.S. history and Western civilization at community colleges in Colorado and Texas. He lived in Summit County as recently as 2015. Contact him at email@example.com.
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