I don’t remember seeing that one in the Bill of Rights. Did they slide a 28th Amendment in there when I wasn’t looking? Perhaps I should take some solace the fact that the left and right finally have something in common.
And that commonality is the belief they have the inalienable right to a self-definition that should always be reinforced and never challenged.
For conservatives, that feel-good sensation comes in the form of President Trump’s unyielding string of outright lies. I’ve previously mentioned that Internet meme correctly claiming that all the President has to do is say the wall has already been built and, despite whatever satellite imagery to the contrary, his adoring throng would hail it as a great victory.
But there will be no wall, Trump is presiding over an administration far worse than any criminal enterprise, and he and his followers are so morally bankrupt they actually cheered the death of Senator John McCain at the CPAC conference last week.
For reference purposes, McCain is the kind of war hero who refused to be released from a Hanoi prison out of turn only to endure more torture at the hands of the Viet Cong. And Donald Trump had bone spurs!
But progressives are no better.
In a Mister Roger’s-esque turn, our institutions of higher education are providing “trigger warnings” as a preface to difficult material and they’ve created “safe spaces” where those delicate student sensibilities won’t be offended. And now my liberal compatriots, infuriated by one questionable 1971 interview, are insisting that Orange County, California, change the name of its John Wayne Airport.
What have I said about applying a 2019 standard to someone who grew up in the ‘20s and ‘30s? It’s patently unfair. Enlightenment is never a retroactive proposition. Should we rename Columbus, Ohio, too?
But, rather than deal with the dichotomies and dilemmas life loves to hurl at us, since the existence of John McCain and John Wayne impugns on those ends-of-the-political-bell-curve folks right to feel good, they want to eliminate any trace of them. Who knew the movie ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ would be quite so prophetic?
Especially in light of the recent Cook County State’s Attorney’s ruling clearing Elgin Police Lt. Chris Jensen of any criminal charges in the DeCynthia Clements shooting, this feel-good dynamic has even infected Elgin’s liberal clergy.
The fact that CCSAO Kim Foxx cleared Jensen of any wrongdoing in the era of Laquan McDonald really says something. Had there been the slightest prospect to hang their hat on, they would’ve been out for blood.
But there was no criminal act to consider, and similarly, the City of Elgin could’ve saved 50 grand if they’d simply listened to yours truly. Any rational human being already knows the civil consultant’s review of any EPD protocol violation will also come up empty.
Let me be clear that I love my conversations with readers, and it’s been fascinating to read their take on this tragedy. But the responses to my column in this situation have been rife with opinion with no basis in fact.
Some said Jensen had no right to resort to lethal force. But the CCSAO settled that issue once and for all. Others said Clements didn’t lunge at the officers with a knife, she stumbled out of her vehicle.
So, now officers are supposed to determine whether someone’s lunging or stumbling with split second timing? That’s not going to happen.
Some Elginites claimed the police should’ve deployed tasers. But they don’t work on the intoxicated and there’s nothing in those EPD procedures that requires the use of a taser – or any other non-lethal method – in any specific situation. To do so would unreasonably put police and civilian lives at risk.
Another theory was that Clements was mentally ill and should’ve been given more consideration. So, now officers will be required to effectively diagnose distressed folks in the middle of an I-90 standoff? I’ve been one of the biggest advocates for the mentally ill around and even I think that’s patently absurd.
A recurring theme at city council meetings has been that Jensen has proven to be a danger to his city. Really? Please explain how a stellar 20-year record is suddenly rendered meaningless? If there’s no criminal act and no violation of protocol, how can he be a “danger?”
In the end, those contentions are nothing more than opinion, conjecture and supposition. They’re based on feelings and not fact, and when it comes down to that final determination, your feelings don’t matter.
Watching that video made me feel terrible, but while that’s certainly understandable, that emotion should never cloud a critical analysis. I’m sure you’ve noticed this life is fraught with shades of gray and that kind of thing will always be somewhat unsettling
But contrary to the current collective belief, there is no 28th Amendment guaranteeing good feelings. There is no inalienable right to avoid distress. Even the Constitution calls it the “right to the pursuit of happiness,” and not simply the state itself.
Lt. Jensen will be cleared, and he will be back. And if that makes it more difficult for you to feel good, it’s not the City of Elgin’s problem, it’s yours!