by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
At times, the Left is a voice of mercy, compassion, and suspicion of federal law enforcement. Ever since the Trump era began, however, the chorus from the Left sounds less like the tunes of Jean Valjean and more like the proclamations of Inspector Javert.
This week, the “lock ’em up” Left has been loud.
First, there was the chorus of liberal journalists and Democratic politicians explaining that the government only uses its coercion power against ne’er-do-wells — that anyone fearing the feds is obviously a crook. Nervous? You must be hiding something.
Personally, I think that government power is terrifying. Immigrants, the poor, and the politically disfavored are vulnerable to persecution and abuse when the state strengthens its power to punish. At the very least, having to prove one’s innocence is cumbersome, exhausting, and costly.
Most IRS audits, of course, are of the poor and nonwhite — and out of power.
Then, while Trump supporters rushed to assert (without evidence) that the FBI raid of the former president’s residence was politically motivated, FBI supporters on the Left were just as quick to declare that the raid itself is proof that there is serious dirt on the former president.
An MSNBC piece said it wasn’t a “raid” and that with this non-raid, “things may be snowballing in the direction of accountability, and maybe even justice.”
This full-throated belief that the FBI would never improperly raid the home of a political rival has stirred liberals to declare who else they think should go to jail. Gun control champion Shannon Watts went out of her way to call Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot three men in self-defense, a “vigilante.”
Republican attacks on the FBI are stupid and shortsighted, just as former President Donald Trump’s 2016 chant “Lock her up!” was vulgar and thuggish. These days, the loudest voices on the Left are full-throated on the side of the police, shouting, “If you don’t want to get harassed, just don’t do anything wrong!”