Did you ever wake yourself up snoring? You don’t have to admit it but I’m going to assume you have. I did one afternoon this week when I fell asleep in a chair. I had a knee replacement surgery earlier in the summer and as you may know or may have heard, the recovery process can be kind of arduous. It makes sleeping at night difficult at first, and for awhile. Thus, I set out to write this column and bam, fell asleep before I knew it. Until I woke myself up with a snort. That is not a suave or debonair image, I know.
The truth is, this kind of thing doesn’t happen when you are young, at least I don’t remember it happening. I don’t want to put too much reality on that one little snort but it was one of those inconspicuous events that whispers loudly into the ear of the soul, “Dude, what happened to you?”
I have had that sensation as I listen in on very conservative commentator’s and politician’s grinding diatribes against the political weaponizing of the Department of Justice, FBI, or other law enforcement. Back in the late sixties and early seventies that was the rag of every liberal and progressive I knew. I was active in the anti-war movement and came under the scrutiny of the Military Intelligence Agency when I went for a mandatory preinduction physical (I was not drafted). In those days I had no use for or trust in anyone in law enforcement, and to my embarrassment as I look back on it now, was filled with emotional projections and inappropriate blame toward authorities simply because they represented people with power.
Now I am old, or at least old enough to wake up with a snort, and have a much more nuanced view of those national investigative and protective services, and feel like I fell asleep in my chair only to suddenly awake five decades later. Back in the day it was mostly teens and twenty-somethings raging against The Machine and mostly middle-aged white conservatives berating us for disrespecting law enforcement. Now it looks like a bunch of middle-aged men and women — even some in Congress — screaming about Law Enforcement being used to oppress them. It is all so surreal.
But wait. Wasn’t it only back in 2016 that Colin Kaepernick was chased out of a promising football career amidst a firestorm of anger over his kneeling during the national anthem as a protest against law enforcement? It seemed to me at the time, most of the people exercised about that form of protest were politically conservative. It is all so bewildering.
I do not hear a lot of liberal and progressive cheer-leading for Jack Smith and Fani Willis. There seems to be a general sense of relief and appreciation that perceived wrongs are being brought to trial but there is no wild enthusiasm and honor being heaped upon those prosecutors — nor the FBI and DOJ for their herculean accomplishment of prosecuting over one thousand people for January 6th crimes. Before they turned on a dime against them conservatives lionized law enforcement, but liberals and progressives appear to be saying simply, “well that’s their job.”
I could be wrong about all of this because I’m still groggy from waking up.