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If You Hate Big Government, You Should Really Hate Soldiers and Cops

A quick breakfast complaint:

The people we hear threatening government workers and badmouthing government in general are often the same people shouting Support the Troops! and flying those blue-stripe flags as if the military and police are saints.

Hey, soldier-loving, cop-loving enemies of big government, you need this reminder:

Soldiers are government. Cops are government. They are the biggest, baddest government, the employees of the leviathan authorized to shoot and kill you. When government turns truly tyrannical, it’s the military and the police who carry out the tyrant’s bloody work, who round up the dissidents and man the jails, the gulags, and the firing squads.

Is it just the guns that exempt soldiers and cops from anti-government radicals’ wrath? Would election officials, mail carriers, and IRS agents get more respect if they carried assault rifles at work? Show me your receipts or I’ll shoot!

The January 6 insurrectionists at least displayed consistency in their hatred of government, or at least of a government run by anyone other than their preferred tyrant. The January 6 insurrectionists sought to assault government officials on both sides of the aisle, and they showed no qualms about assaulting the police who protected those government officials. We want what we want (guns, apartheid), and we will destroy anything else—that’s a vile, brutish Blutpolitik, but it’s more consistent and honest than today’s “conservatives” who say they don’t trust government but invest absolute faith and endless dollars in the armed wings of the government.

If you really oppose big government, you can’t support bigger armed government. If you support defunding tax collectors and environmental regulators on the premise that government should be small enough to drown in a bathtub, then you should cheer, or at least seek supportive conversations and common ground with, those who would defund the army and the police.


  1. cibvet 2021-09-27

    The same people who mouth their hate for government always stand there with their hand out to take more than they ever pay to support the government.

  2. Loren 2021-09-27

    Yah, well, consistency has never been the hallmark of the GQP, Trump, Thune, Rounds, Duster… If you think pretzels are straight and chameleons come in only one color, then these are your guys!

  3. Porter Lansing 2021-09-27

    The partisan gap in vaccination rates is part of a liberal plot.

    Liberals like Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Anthony Fauci and Howard Stern have tried so hard to persuade people to get vaccinated, because they know that Republican voters will do the opposite of whatever they say.

    – Kooky McFringekook

  4. larry kurtz 2021-09-27

    Energy Transfer Partners is an earth hater based in Texas. It’s infamous for hiring mercenaries to brutalize water protectors near Cannon Ball, North Dakota in 2016 and 2017. The Trump Organization blew off Republican Governor Doug Burgum’s request for a major disaster declaration to help cover some of the estimated $38 million gift to the polizei who busted heads and chilled the civil rights of water protectors trying to stop the Dakota Excess pipeline. Although Burgum was notified that the request was denied the governor’s office didn’t announce the snub until reporters asked about it much later. Mercenaries and National Guard troops brutalized many of the thousands of demonstrators camped on federal land near Cannon Ball where some 761 people were arrested between early August, 2016 and late February, 2017. Trump apparatchiks even referred to the American Indians and their compatriots as jihadists and insurgents.

  5. Steve Pearson 2021-09-27

    Oh come on for crying out loud. You know cops, soldiers etc are NOT govt. The anti-govt people are complaining about Federal elected officials. You know it. I know it. That’s where the complaint is. It is a complaint about a class of people that pay themselves ridiculous amounts of money, benefits for life, side money, dark money, trips and the most egregious is how those are the ones saying “we” are in this together (Pandemic) when in reality they keep getting paid, keep getting their benefits, keep getting their trips, side money, dark money etc.

    So how about you actually blog truth instead of being a mouth piece for Democrats.

  6. O 2021-09-27

    In many ways, soldiers and police are part of the “deep state” the GOP hates — they are the career government serviceman and women who signed up to do a job and continue to do that job no matter who is elected.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-09-27

    Steve, police and the military are government. Consult the Constitution and your local ordinances.

  8. larry kurtz 2021-09-27

    Yes, false flags, disaster capitalism, endless war: anyone who believes America is safer because of a military filled with soldiers of fortune is delusional. On Trump Organization orders bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City, South Dakota had been targeting alleged Taliban drug facilities to prevent harm to “innocent Afghan civilians” all the while escalating its war on civilians to protect the friendly opium trade. But, after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered hits on American mercenaries in Afghanistan the air war has been suspended.

  9. bearcreekbat 2021-09-27

    Another ironic aspect of right wing government haters is their desire to removing family planning and reproduction decision making from individuals and vest this power in the hands of government agents, i.e. eliminate the individual’s “right of privacy.”

  10. O 2021-09-27

    Steve, although I agree that most of the ire is pointed at the elected officials/appointees/administrative level of government, the most recent tempest blew over into our own DOE. That entire department was painted with a wide brush as “leftists.” It was a lazy appeal to the anti-government trope of the MAGA Conservatives to admonish a decent group of hard-working understaffed public servants ONLY because they work in the government. Additionally, the new language of Conservatives who want to privatize education will use “government schools” as a slur for public education. Even the Grover Norquist “starve the beast” philosophy lashed out at the social welfare arm of the federal government as somehow ethically deficient.

    The conservatives watered of “government” runs deeper than you dismiss.

  11. Steve Pearson 2021-09-27

    Our education system is a continued watered down version of itself. My wife has taught for over 20 years and the requirements get less and less. We are failing the next generation continually.

  12. Steve Pearson 2021-09-27

    And lets also be clear. Abortion is an abomination and the fact that we use it as a way to end pregnancy is sad. It’s 2021 and we should do better. Now I’m not saying we should tell women what to do. I’m simply stating that the process is abhorrent.

    But on an economic standpoint, abortion since Roe V Wade is part of our economic problem we encounter today.

  13. larry kurtz 2021-09-27

    Police unions get the cash and teachers’ unions get the shaft.

    1. A pregnant woman is the patient.

    2. Ectopic pregnancies kill women.

    3. Rich women have full reproductive rights while women at the lower income margins suffer chilling effects on those rights. Women in Texas, Wyoming and South Dakota who can afford it simply jump on a plane and fly to Albuquerque, Minneapolis, Denver or elsewhere for their procedures. Imagine a woman on the Standing Rock or Pine Ridge doing that.

    4. South Dakota’s repeated attempts to restrict access to medical care are not only mean-spirited, they’re discriminatory anti-choice extremism.

    5. “Pro-life” is simply code for white people breeding. African-Americans terminate pregnancies at about the same per capita rate as white people do but don’t take their jobs. Latinas, however, have fewer abortions per capita but the extreme white wing laments it’s hemorrhaging jobs to Latinos.

    6. No foetus in the United States has any civil rights until the third trimester. Republicans preach civil rights for human zygotes but deny the protections of the First, Fourth and Ninth Amendments to people who enjoy cannabis.

    7. Ending reproductive rights in red states is Balkanizing women’s medical care.

    8. An acorn is not an oak tree so a foetus is no more an unborn child than it is an unborn grandparent.

    In New Mexico Medicaid covers abortions and even transportation in rural areas to get to clinics in Albuquerque.

  14. mike from iowa 2021-09-27

    and the fact that we use it as a way to end pregnancy is sad.

    Totally brilliant deduction, Ace. Got any more? How about we use it retroactively to rid America of Quack-anon, magats, prowd boys, white scumacysts and drumpf believers?

    It violates my sincerely held religious beliefs that any of the above named groups is allowed in my America. Leave!

  15. mike from iowa 2021-09-27

    ps abortion is safer than childbirth.

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-09-27

    There you go again, Steve, resorting to your standard GOP shouting points to distract us from an uncomfortable issue that you can’t resolve:

    People who say they don’t trust government express absolute trust in cops and the military that exercise the lethal use of force in the name of that big government. How do you square that contradiction, Steve? Do conservative want smaller government or not?

    Don’t let Steve lure us off topic. Stick with addressing the fundamental question raised above.

  17. Steve Pearson 2021-09-27

    Never did I say trust cops, trust military. There are bad eggs in all. There are MORE bad eggs in Federal elected people because of greed. Power. Corruption from said duo.

    If we didn’t abort 53 million Americans since Roe V Wade (taking into account some would still be youths and a percentage would be unproductive) we would not have an employee shortage today.

    oh Corey, you continue to deflect as always

  18. O 2021-09-27

    Conversely, I will say that I have mistrust for business. A big chunk of anti-government rhetoric revolves around the big, bad government restricting business interests. I believe business interests left unchecked is a certain pathway to trouble.

    My Conservative friends who believe that government ought to stay out of business’ way fall silent when capitalism fails and government steps in to save those sacred businesses.

  19. John 2021-09-27

    Steve, paraphrasing War Daddy Collier, ‘Ideals are peaceful; medical procedures are violent.’.
    Get over it.

    I was a soldier. Later I was a civilian sworn officer. You better believe I was the government. I was a blunt, armed, thoroughly trained killer for the government. In the first all I had to obey was the Constitution, Law of Land Warfare, and lawful orders. In the second, I obeyed the Constitutions, statutes, and rules. Yet, it’s painfully obvious that almost no soldiers and / or cops receive a civilian’s trial or punishment for crimes. That court-invented ‘qualified immunity’ (unaccountably) is but one reason why folks do not trust or support their government. The unaccountably is worse with congress, and is flowing like lava into some courts.

  20. larry kurtz 2021-09-27

    How are 66 county seats and their bureaucracies either conservative or sustainable? They’re not; but, it’s the way Republican cronyism and patronage built barricades to democracy by providing benefits of the public dole to those who say they deplore big gubmint in a state that hates poor people.

    I remember having a conversation back in the 90s with none other than Bill Janklow on SDPB when Dakota Midday was still called South Dakota Forum about consolidating counties and making two regental universities community colleges. He said he carried a “bloody shirt” for bringing a similar suggestion to the legislature and regents.

    It’s true that South Dakota is no longer a safe place for Democrats but sanctuary cities or counties may help to keep the flight of talent to a bare minimum.

  21. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-09-27

    I’m not talking about you personally, Steve (that’s another distraction/mistake you commit far too often in your attempts to derail public discourse and criticism of your party). I’m talking about the fake conservatives who say they don’t trust government but then make saints out of cops and soldiers and demonize anyone who criticizes the police or the military. Take your abortion arguments elsewhere, and focus on the issue:

    If there are bad eggs everywhere and if that’s why we can’t trust government, how then can “conservatives” express such total trust in the armed branches of government? How does a political party or movement get to predicate its mandate on general distrust of government but then pick and choose certain macho, poster-friendly branches of that government to trust with ever-increasing funding and armaments?

  22. Porter Lansing 2021-09-27

    If Cory’s taking a vote …

    I hate cops.

    I hate the military.

  23. mike from iowa 2021-09-27

    we would not have an employee shortage today.

    Now Steve is for forced labor. Since employees can’t get workers to work for piddling low wages, what makes you think a younger and smarter generation would fall for that bs?

  24. Porter Lansing 2021-09-27

    Furthermore, I know a dozen or more peers who came home from Vietnam with nothing but intense hatred for the military.
    But now, for the most part, have become redneck, Trump sucking MAGA’s, kissing up to and bragging about the military service they had to be forced into.

    Every cop I know hated the police with an intense passion, as a teen.

    The point is that the military and police are false elevations to disrespectable people’s low self esteem.

    They join and immediately believe they’re something they aren’t, demand respect from a group they could never be respected by, and embellish power they could’ve never attained, before.

  25. John 2021-09-27

    The police, like soldiers (and congress), too often have flat learning curves and do not support their or societies best interest.

    “Catching Covid in the line of duty is now the leading cause of death for police – cops are twice as likely to die of Covid than be shot and killed. But their unions are fighting vaccine mandates. Note most departments mandate bulletproof vests regardless of how hot or uncomfortable wearing them might be. “Death before… a Jab?” seems like an odd hill to die on.”

    The US has the lowest educated policing force among western nations. Most nations require at least a 4-year degree and often apprenticeships prior to initial hiring.

  26. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-09-27

    Abuse of police and military power seems to pose a much greater and more immediate threat to the life, liberty, and property of average citizens. Police and military thus appear to require even stricter oversight to prevent our natural corruption from causing harm via those arms of government.

    It seems Libertarians express this critique more consistently than Republicans.

  27. Donald Pay 2021-09-27

    Human societies need some method to keep internal order and provide for the common defense. Different cultures organize these things differently. Largely our country has organized these through government and a system of laws. Others (and the US in the past or in the case of private businesses such as pipeline companies) use thugs, private dicks, warlords, mercenaries, etc. I like our system, if it only worked. I think a valid criticism of law enforcement these days and of various military adventures is that neither are under adequate control by the people. The political institutions have largely failed. The courts are little better. As a result, we get endless wars and police that murder, rather than protect and serve.

    In general, we’ve underfunded the needs of people. If you provide for a decent society, you can expect decent people will result. Otherwise, you are trapped in an endless cycle of war, unrest, distrust, and anti-social behavior. A lot of things need to change. I don’t think defunding the police is the answer, but better policing and better ways of doing things in society are.

  28. O 2021-09-27

    I would also point out the love of the police for the GOP (and the whole law and order aesthetic), does not extend to the IRS. This year again, the GOP stoped measures to adequately fund the investigative powers of the IRS. They are against collecting the taxes owed — aka following the law. The pro-police stance only goes as far as policing the other guys.

  29. mike from iowa 2021-09-27

    Youtube is full of videos of police not knowing/understanding/or even caring about the laws they are sworn to uphold. Because of that, cities are paying out enormous sums of money for bad policemen. Know your rights, especially if you aren’t lily white.

  30. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-09-27

    On a tangent here, if a person struts around in military gear, they’d better be a current member of the armed forces on duty. Don’t go storming the nation’s capital accompanied by your mommy dressed like a full bird (you, not your mommy.) I know serving in the military sucks, the drill sergeants or instructors will be mean to you in basic training, and you’d BETTER learn and develop discipline.

    From now on when I see absolute strangers in Ace Hardware, Bomgaars, Dollar General, or “the gas station” and they’re dressed in camo I’ll tell them they’d better be going hunting or I’m calling them wannabe p*ssies.

  31. Mark Anderson 2021-09-27

    Gosh Steve Pearson,here’s a quote for you, “Contrary to popular belief, the size of the federal government proportionate to the total US population has significantly decreased over the last 50 years.” That’s from The Brookings people of course, you should go there occasionally foxie. As far as abortion goes, don’t have one. Sorry you didn’t qualify for that government job.

  32. cibvet 2021-09-27

    I think many here are stigmatizing soldiers and police unfairly.There are many injustices to civilians and present armed forces members in both services, but most of it comes down to leadership of management. Bad leadership gives authorization to the bad behavior of some while good leadership will provide repercussions to those who choose to behave badly. The police force, at present, lacks mostly all accountability and to some extent, the military, but that appears to be changing ever so slowly. Trump condoned bad behavior and the country is still trying to clean up the mess. It will take years, but remember, not every one in these services are substandard in your assessments.

  33. Steve Pearson 2021-09-28

    @Mark Anderson – What? What the F#$% are you talking about? What does that quote have anything to do with my comments or the discussion???? Government job? WTF

  34. larry kurtz 2021-09-28

    Cops are mercenaries hired by the government to enforce racial prison quotas; it’s just that simple.

  35. Mark Anderson 2021-09-28

    Gosh Steve, read your statement, I vote for certain government employees. They don’t do any of the things you say and they are responsible to voters who can vote them out. However police aren’t responsible to anyone. They have good unions, the only one conservatives like. The problem they have is that anyone can videotape them now and see the bull that happens. As far as abortion goes what I said is true, why should any woman in the country give a darn about what you think, or about what I think on the issue? I just pointed out that you obviously get your information from fox news. That’s just an informed guess. The government job was to get you. Read the title of the article to get my quote from the Brookings Institute. The big government has not grown for decades.

  36. Steve Pearson 2021-09-29

    You are clearly oblivious or just aren’t willing to read. I never said “I vote for certain government employees.”
    I don’t really care if any woman in thie country cares about my opinion.
    Never was my comments about big government, increases or decreases. You do NOT read well.

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