Cop Power Remains Untouchable

For months now, people across the USA have been demonstrating and protesting police brutality. In some cities, such as Portland, Oregon, these protests/riots have gone on virtually nonstop. Protesters have demanded that city governments “defund” the police.

Yet, every morning, when people wake up, the cops are still as thick as fleas on a hound, and all their powers, immunities, and hefty budgets remain fully intact. Why so little change?

Cop power remains untouchable not only because the big shots who run the city governments or own the politicians who run them want the cops to remain as they are, but also because the great majority of ordinary Americans love the cops and would lose control of their bowels if the cops were to disappear. The people not only love the cops; they love police abuse, too; and would applaud more of it (mainly because they live in fear of the people the police brutalize most reliably).

The sad reality is that the USA has become a police state because the bulk of the people — both the powerful and the powerless — want a police state.

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Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute and Editor at Large of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, the University of Economics, Prague, and George Mason University. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow at the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation.