People tend to behave the way they dress. Put on a track suit and sneakers – you’re ready for a run.
Put on a tuxedo and you’re not.
It is probable that one of the reasons armed government workers behave like the soldaten of an occupying military force is because they dress the part. You’re more than just what you eat.
When you wear the same insignia that MacArthur had on his collar, it tends to make the wearer believe he is MacArthur. And to expect the same deference due his “rank.”
It’s a recipe for Not Good.
Whether this happened by accident, via a kind of slow-motion morphing of the soldaten and what was once the civilian cop to the point that the visual distinction is now almost indistinguishable, isn’t relevant.
The end result is that the two are almost functionally indistinguishable.
AGWs dress for war, wearing the same body armor that soldaten in Afghanistan wear – only we’re the indigs here. They routinely carry heavy arms and enough ammo on their body to wage war. They drive around in the machines of war.
Is it any wonder it feels like we’re at war? But who, pray, is the enemy?
These sort-of-soldaten do more than dress the part. They set themselves apart by shaving their heads high and tight – as if they’d just been inducted into boot camp – and use the same term, even. They march in serried ranks, run in synchronized groups carrying a regimental standard while bellowing martial songs, twirl combat rifles at “dress parade.”
And they refer to us as “civilians.”
But they are not soldaten – even sort-of. No matter how much spaghetti they’ve got on their kepis; irrespective of the “rank” they award themselves.
Armed government workers do not enlist – nor do they “serve.” They go to work. They can quit at any time, just like any other civilian, which is just what they are.
Armed government workers aren’t commissioned. The Cracker Jack “rank” on their lapels is at best an imposture and at worst a form of what real soldaten style stolen valor. Ask a Marine officer what he thinks of an officer of the court walking around with “colonel’s” eagles on his collar.
These ersatz obersts hold no rank above that of any “civilian.” A five-star sheriff is as much a civilian as those he thinks he commands.
But the visual distinction between actual soldaten and civilian AGW has been blurred such that the latter believes he is the former – and so behaves as if he were. It’s a form of conditioning – of them as well as us.
They see us as the enemy – and fear us as a dangerous threat which must be subdued.
When we see them, we feel fear – because we know they see us as a dangerous threat which must be subdued. We are aware – as an indig in Afghanistan is aware – that they can do anything they like to us.
And often, do.
They are aware we increasingly despise them for this. Which makes them fear and loathe us even more. The pustule suppurates.
The ersatz soldaten are trained in the tactics used by actual soldaten. The difference being that we are not supposed to be the enemy.
It was once usual to simply handcuff a non-violent suspect and advise him that he was under arrest. He was not ordered to Get on the ground, now!
One can see this relic of a vanished culture in movies and TV shows from the ’80s and prior. It was just the way things were done, once upon a time.
It is now not unusual for an AGW to scream Get on the ground, now! . . . at jaywalkers. To tackle ID refusniks. To make “civilians” pulled over for minor traffic offenses sit on the curb, like misbehaving children, while the ersatz soldaten rifle their possessions.
That is to say – to show the “civilian” who’s boss.
There have been calls to defund AGWs but perhaps a better course of action would be to re-dress them. No more campaign hats and jackboots; no more badges of rank. Less Neidermeyer – more Roscoe P. Coltrane.
Maybe if they stopped dressing up for war – and acting the part – we could avoid one.
. . .
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