Stupid is as stupid does!

As one of the few people in the world who found Forrest Gump to be, dare I say it, a bit stupid, the title of this piece may seem ironic. Yet, the world in which we live seems to demand a little feedback of this nature occasionally. To make the point of this piece, OneOldCop could simply focus on the sniveling little politico who is mayor of Chicago.  That would be possible, but he is more of a symptom than a problem. Still, his actions, the comments of a Democrat talking-head, and the words of a Republican lawmaker or two sparked this piece.

Whether one agrees with the label sanctuary city, takes a side in the debate surrounding it, or could care less about the uproar, the situation deserves discussion. Accordingly, here we go.

First, let’s tackle the outrageous claim that police officers taking actions to help identify illegal immigrants involved in criminal activity will alienate socially responsible undocumented immigrants. Okay, point number one! If the phrase socially responsible undocumented immigrant is not an oxymoron, there is no such thing. If one is socially responsible, one does not violate the laws of the country in which one wishes to be socially responsible. That means one emigrates legally and is not undocumented!

Point number two. There is very little cooperation with the police within these communities, no matter what the status of the residents. Just look back to the 1970s. Black communities in those days had zero, that is no, absolutely not one, illegal or undocumented immigrants residing there. Everyone, from law-abiding citizen to hardcore criminal, was a legal, likely native-born citizen of the United States. Do you have any idea how much cooperation OneOldCop and his colleagues received from those documented socially responsible citizens? We received nada, not one scintilla, that is zilch when it came to cooperation.

It is not a matter of legal versus illegal. It is not a matter of law-abiding versus criminal. It is a matter of us versus them. Human beings are highly intelligent, theoretically, herd beasts or pack animals. We want to be with our own kind, and we do not trust THOSE PEOPLE. In the case of police officers and other authorities, they are always those people, and about the only time someone in a minority, socioeconomically challenged or immigrant neighborhood cooperates with the police is when fear or anger overcomes their abhorrence of helping “the man.”

That does not mean people in neighborhoods such as the ones mentioned above do not silently applaud when the police take some predator off the streets. They do, but they cannot admit it because they cannot be certain who around them are happy with the police doing their job.

Okay, on to another sore spot. Mitch McConnell, the so-called Majority Leader of the United States Senate, was criticizing “the president and others” for having unrealistic expectations of the legislative process. In his remarks, Senator McConnell made the comment that President Trump had never held “this job” before, and did not understand it.

This job? There is the problem. A JOB is what someone does to make a living. It may or may not be something one loves, but it is the way people have made a living for most of the time humans have roamed this earth. Whether one believes in evolution or creation, ancient men and women had jobs. In some cases the job was simply digging for grubs, begging at the side of the road, or building huts, but they had jobs. Being an elected official in this country was never meant to be a job. Jobs actually produce something other than billions of pages of laws, regulations, and nonsense.

Being an elected official in this country was meant to be an act of service. Unfortunately, people such as Addison Mitchell McConnell, Rahm Emanuel, Nancy Pelosi, and all the others who hold the JOB of an elected official or master legislator need to take remedial courses in American History and Politics. Of course, the politicians are not solely to blame for the fiasco of modern-day politics. We the people must accept some of the blame.

When the electorate, that is all adult U.S. citizens, abdicated our responsibilities as citizens, voters, and socially responsible people something had to fill the vacuum. Enter the bureaucracy and ruling class, American style.

It started innocently enough. Early in the republic, most legislative jobs were seen as public service. Few entered into politics as a career. They ran for office, did their time, and returned to their families and jobs. Of course, there was a need for support staff and other more or less permanent positions over the years. Thus, the bureaucracy began to grow. Funding those jobs, which turned into career positions required more and more money from the states. We were well on our way down the slippery slope at that point.

Then came the depression and FDR. Now real people did not have jobs and elected officials saw an opportunity. More money was needed to make certain people had something to do. New programs were developed that gave people jobs. More money was needed, and more full-time government employees were needed to manage the programs that were popping into existence like weeds after a spring shower. Then we hit the steep portion of the slippery slope.

The career politicians realized there were other needs that they wanted to address. In most cases, the need was to keep them employed and the best way to do that was to find a way to make the electorate, our ancestors, pay for more things. The answer was Federal Grants!

Yes, the most stupid thing we the people allowed Washington to do was to allow the feds to establish the grant system.1 When we sat idly by and let Washington tax us so they could turn around and give us our tax money back, less management fees, in the form of grants they controlled.2

Today, Mayor Emanuel and the City of Chicago are preparing to spend tens of thousands of tax dollars to sue the federal government. The federal government will likely spend millions in tax dollars to maintain its authority to spend tax dollars as it sees fit. We the people will sit back, take a side or ignore the situation, thinking it’s only tax dollars being spent to determine how tax dollars are spent. Again, stupid is as stupid does.

Anyone who looks at this and thinks its only tax dollar is suicidal as well as stupid. The only money the federal government has, tax dollars, is money it takes from people who work for a living or the organizations for which they work. Tax dollars are dollars we paid in taxes that the government uses to fund operations, returning a pittance to states, towns, cities, individuals and some organizations as federal grants.

Maybe Forrest Gump was a better movie than I realized. It certainly had one thing right.

1. Mayor Emanuel’s comments and actions related to federal grants are part of the inspiration for this piece. He wants the federal gravy train to his city to continue, in spite of the fact he and his predecessors have wasted the money they were given in the past.

2. See Paved With Good Intentions: Interstate Highways for more on this issue.

© OneOldCop – 2017

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