Ferguson as a Conservative Wakeup Call, Part XII: Erick Erickson at Red State
The shooting of Michael Brown and subsequent riots in Ferguson, Missouri are having a profound effect on conservatives, who are starting to extend skepticism of state power to law enforcement. Here's the most recent example I just ran across, from Erick Erickson of Redstate.com:
Police do a good and necessary job. But if power corrupts men and absolute power corrupts absolutely, we should be wary of putting our neighborhood man in blue in camouflage, a helmet, and an AR-15 inside an armored personnel carrier except in the most serious of circumstances.
No conservative is saying police do not need to be able to outshoot and out arm the bad guys. But many of us are saying police are more quickly than ever before resorting to playing soldier when they could accomplish the same as just a policeman….
Regardless of how one views the events of Ferguson, we should all be troubled by the over-militarization of routine police activity. We should all be troubled at the growing number of well documented cases of heavy handed local and state police. Being a conservative means we should support the judicious use of force.
Read the whole thing, including a concluding swipe at libruls ("who routinely turn a blind eye to the abuses of the state targeted toward their opponents"), here.
To get a sense of where Erickson, a very prominent conservative writer and activist, is moving on from, check out this old compilation of hits.
Last week on MSNBC's Hardball, I touched on how an increasing number of conservatives seem to be gravitating to a more-libertarian skepticism of state power (in policing, foreign policy, privacy, etc.) in the wake of Sen. Rand Paul's ascendance. Watch that segment below: