In most major stories there is usually the good guys and the bad guys. Sometimes it is hard to tell which is which. In the past, things were simpler where those lines seemed clearly drawn. Not so now.
Today it feels more muddled and not just in the movies, where Hollywood likes to push those limitations to the max. Even intentionally confusing.
This is especially the case today in law enforcement. But still if you really look at the facts and examine it, you can tell which is which. Those lines are furthered blurred when you cannot give the benefit of doubt to one side.
So its possible you can have the old good cop bad cop routine. You can also have a good cop doing something nefarious, which doesn’t make sense. You could have a bad cop trying to do something that appears righteous, using unconventional means. Or you could have the bad cop doing the same acts that corrupt the system.
You could have a good cop not doing what he needs to do intervening. A good cop could be prevented from doing what is the right thing. Restrictions could make the right thing impossible. You have all these different scenarios outside the normal boundaries of law enforcement. But you also have cops themselves making judgments on right or wrong, with a potential for error.
Why say all this and point out these nuances? Because they become possibilities when it is not obvious who the good guy is in a situation. So it can be, or seem to be, confusing. I think people like clearer lines.
Put on top of that that we usually don’t get those kind of mitigating or condemning factors from press reports. It looks confusing at first glance.
That confusion is where a lot of things can happen, like public perception or outrage or where narratives form. Good can seem bad and bad can seem good. Wrong can be replaced by righteous motive. Right can be clouded by appearance of conspiracy. Right can be condemned for the wrong reasons.
We are human and make these judgments based on what we see and what we know at the time — which often matters. Our judgments are not prefect either. The facts can make it hard to decipher who is right or wrong?
The same thing plays out in politics. Who is right or, if both are wrong, who has the higher ground? Granted these are complex judgments but we are capable of making them, as long as we have the facts and evidence. But when we don’t have those, it makes it almost impossible to make correct conclusions. So a lot of things can hang out in the “I just don’t know” category. Those await more information for us to make those calls.
We can say it doesn’t look good or it doesn’t look bad on our first impressions, yet we just don’t know. Pending. A lot of things are pending where the jury is still out, as they say. Maybe that is a good place to be, or maybe that is not necessarily good. It all depends.
Why go through this rationale at all? Because at some point it matters in a lot of instances. Sometimes it is important and sort of requires fast conclusions where we are not able to render one. Sometimes it is important to take considerable time in making it. Thus, the rush to judgment.
Long for the days when you watched a movie when it was very obvious who was the good guy and who was the bad guy. It seemed to make things simpler. But it doesn’t seem that way today.
When you combine this with systemic problems in systems, it muddies those waters further. When there is corruption on the scale we’ve seen recently, it raises the complexity of a judgment call. While we still know that some things are obviously wrong, they are deliberately shrouded in a systemic pool of corruption to determine who is really at fault.
Remember the old line from Germans that they were only following orders. As if all these things were not enough, put on top of that historical precedents like corruption that never happened before. (never seen) Historical, unprecedented failures and corruption.
You have to use all this to preface the situation we are now in. Sure, we can have an election and get the result that some nefarious people/groups want, for their own purposes, but that doesn’t make it right or legit. It cannot legitimize the process.
Sure, we can have an investigation in search of a justification for the investigation. Sure, we can do an impeachment over things that are normal or legal to do, just because we are determined to have an impeachment.
Sure, we can fail to get answers to things, which were done collectively through the power of state, where no one can seem to be held responsible. Sure, we can have major failures of trust in our institutions then turn around to bestow more power on them, after they thoroughly abused their authority. But who is to stop these things from happening; who will prevent them?
So we can count on courts, those arbiters of the facts. But they are not always given the whole truth. What happens then? We can have faulty outcomes from those entrusted to be the guardrails for law and order.
At some point, we the people have to make our own judgments about all these things, and the consequences, but that process can get very messy. And the mileage varies.
It can get even messier when self-government is stood on its head. We were designed as a republic (if you can keep it) but are leaning toward mob rule – and not necessary a democratic mob. That is a mob which, at its heart, does not care about majority; doesn’t care who is right, doesn’t even care about the rules. It is entirely demand-based. It wants what it wants and it wants it now. It doesn’t care about deliberative, due process. It only wants to be satisfied, which by nature it can never be. It will always be wanting.
How is it that we the people have to deal with all these things and yet are expected to make the right decisions and judgments on everything? We are the guardians expected to keep that republic, but can we when its obstruction prevents that from happening?
We the people need to make some serious, life-affecting decisions. Can we save what is rightfully ours to save? Can we be depended on, by future posterity, to do the right thing given all these circumstances?
May God grant us the wisdom necessary.
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