Tom Cotton Wants to Double Down on the Authoritarianism That Sparked Riots

Police brutality brought Americans into the streets. What would military force do?


Facing continued protests over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, politicians are brandishing the same terrible proposals they offer anytime the going gets tough. For Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), that means schemes to unleash the U.S. military against the families and friends of its own troops.

As peaceful protests around the country competed with street violence, and as some police departments took a knee while others took to bashing any heads within reach, Cotton—who is frequently touted as the face of the modern GOP—thought it an opportune moment to recommend sending soldiers into the streets.

"Anarchy, rioting, and looting needs to end tonight," he tweeted on Monday morning. "If local law enforcement is overwhelmed and needs backup, let's see how tough these Antifa terrorists are when they're facing off with the 101st Airborne Division. We need to have zero tolerance for this destruction."

When called out on his suggestion that American light infantry should be deployed against Americans, the junior senator from Arkansas doubled down. "And, if necessary, the 10th Mountain, 82nd Airborne, 1st Cav, 3rd Infantry—whatever it takes to restore order. No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters," Cotton clarified.

Keep in mind that the current protests and related riots were sparked by the abusive and murderous actions of police officers who are (allegedly) trained to protect the communities in which they live and the public that they serve. It's difficult to see how the situation is going to be improved by the addition of troops more often trained to kill people and break things—especially when they're handed weapons and pointed toward antagonists.

"U.S. soldiers are trained for combat against a foreign enemy, not for riot control against Americans," the Wall Street Journal editorial page warns. "The risk of mistakes would be high, and Mr. Trump would be blamed for any bloodshed from civilian clashes with troops."

The Journal editors were recoiling not from Tom Cotton's eagerness to escalate hostilities against American civilians, but from the president's similar scheme. Trump, too, has proposed sending in the military to battle rioters, even over local objections.

"If a city or a state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them," he said in the Rose Garden on June 1.

After his speech, U.S. Park Police and National Guard troops used tear gas to disperse peaceful protesters—not rioters—so the president could have a photo op outside St. John's Church near the White House. It was a nasty, if effective, bit of emphasis for his point.

By and large, Democratic politicians have been less enthusiastic than their Republican counterparts about sending the military into the streets to confront rioters and looters, but their dedication to restraint is dubious. Police brutality of the sort that has sparked protests and riots is as much a phenomenon in areas led by Democrats as those headed by Republicans.

"In recent years, Baltimore has moved in the direction of other major cities. Its crime rate, while still among the highest in the nation, has been on a steady decline. But reports of police misconduct appear to be on the rise," Mark Bergen wrote for Forbes in 2011. "Today, in major U.S. cities, police are dealing less with crime and more with themselves."

Four years later, the Wall Street Journal noted that "the 10 cities with the largest police departments paid out $248.7 million last year in settlements and court judgments in police-misconduct cases, up 48% from $168.3 million in 2010."

During these years, urban government has been a primarily donkey-party concern. "As of December 2019, the mayors of 63 of the country's largest 100 cities were affiliated with the Democratic Party," according to Ballotpedia.

Mayors may not want to escalate tensions by deploying troops, but that's only because they generate plenty of conflict with their own uniformed head-breakers. And some of them still seem ready to link arms with Tom Cotton. For instance, New York City's Bill de Blasio—who ran for mayor, in part, on a police-reform platform—defended cops who drove into a crowd of protesters on Saturday.

That city police departments are often better at antagonizing the public than protecting it should come as no surprise.

"More than crime, modern police forces in the United States emerged as a response to 'disorder' … economic interests had a greater interest in social control than crime control," Eastern Kentucky University's Gary Potter wrote in The History of Policing in the United States, published in 2013. "Private and for profit policing was too disorganized and too crime-specific in form to fulfill these needs." In particular, focusing on deterring crime against people and property was very inconvenient when "organized crime and the dominant political parties of American cities were one in the same," he adds. City officials much preferred to set police departments to keeping a lid on the populace.

Sen. Cotton's proposal to send in the 101st Airborne Division to "quickly solve the problem" of social unrest, as President Trump would have it, would be consistent with the long tradition of policing as a tool of social control by whoever is in power.

With soldiers, Cotton would give us the reality of government violence without the pretense of restraint—arguably a more brutal and more honest approach to imposing the state's will.

But it's exactly that history of domination and imposed order, which treats members of the public as an enemy, overcriminalizes a wide variety of conduct, and disproportionately targets minority communities, that led us to this point. Deploying the military to clear the streets might disperse protesters and looters alike in the short term, but it will exacerbate the problem of authoritarian law enforcement. And that guarantees escalating tensions that, if they're not addressed, will eventually explode into new conflict.

NEXT: Defense Secretary Mark Esper Contradicts Trump on Using Military To Quell Protests

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  1. "Tom Cotton Wants to Double Down on the Authoritarianism That Sparked Riots"

    He called for putting a knee in their kneck until they're dead? What a shitbag! C'est terrible!

    *reads article*

    Oh you're an idiot never mind.

    1. He's not the only one. According to a poll by the Morning Consult, something like 71% of people want the National guard called in for the protests (20% against), and around 58% want the actual military (30% against). 66% of the actual military wants to go in, with 27% against. Kind of surprising, blacks are split on calling in the National guard at 42-3% each, while Democrats are in favor for the NG at 63%. 48% of Democrats also favor bringing in the military over 43% opposed.

      It's only one poll, but from what I can tell they don't appear to favor a side and try to legitimately give facts rather than push for a team.

      1. Looks like you got your victory for Capitalism. Pull up your boots, don’t argue, obey!

        1. Aww, you and your comrades spent 5 years planning your little Marxist revolution, only to prove yourselves incapable when you put it to the test.
          Thats gotta hurt

          1. Not sure what you’re talking about, but as long as you feel better. I hear labels are killers.

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            2. Go fight the imaginary fascist under your bed.

      2. Really, the Morning Consult? I would wait until a more reliable pollster produces something.


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    4. Well since I’m against a militarized police force, then when a militarized response is called for then that means the military is called for.

      Then when the emergency is over then the police force isn’t sent back out there with all the hardware the accumulated for the riots.

  2. Tom's jelly he didn't get his wife a Chanel dress before they were all gone.

  3. What is the difference between using national guard (as 23 states already have) and federal troops? They look the same to me.

    1. Have you done any research beyond looking at them?

      1. Well, yeah, as a matter of fact, I did.
        When activated, the National Guard is the US Army; And a specifically trained unit of the DC National Guard would be the 372nd Military Police Battalion.
        (OK, The Air National Guard is the Air Force)

        1. Are you saying that when governors activate the Guard after emergencies they're now active US Army soldiers without the President's consent?

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        2. When activated and called up to federal service, they are the Army.

          Until then, just being activated, they are state troops under the authority of the state governor.

          All ANG units are state militias. But several decades ago we got them hooked up with the US military to share training and equipment so they could function as useful auxiliaries when needed. Before then all the state militias had their own equipment and training and it usually . . . wasn't up to useful standards.

          Keep in mind that the Army National Guard is not the same thing s an Army Reserve unit. Army Reserves are always Army. ANG only when federalized.

          1. Looks like he’s done more research than you, Sidd.

    2. The National Guard are not, as of yet, federal troops. They are state troops.

      With very limited exceptions, it is illegal to use the US military in domestic police actions. The ANG, until its federalized, isn't the US military.

      1. So, from a practical perspective - not necessarily very much.

        From a legal perspective - a whole lot.

    3. There is none. This is just more orange man bad shilling. The walls are closing in.

  4. My god Reason has completely lost all reason since 2016.

    Policing is what's needed to stop these violent Marxist revolutionaries, you scumbags. I doubt you'd be singing that tune if they were burning down your neighborhood

    1. The answer to the smashers and looters is not police and National Guard. It is A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, and as such, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

      Short, simple, beautiful. And so perfectly logical, the placement of the responsibility to defend one’s freedom individually and collectively immediately following the codification of the natural rights to think, to assemble and to persuade.

      We just need the courts to remove the duty to retreat and we can protect our own shit. Or pay someone else to do it without the civil rights violations. Let the market decide.

      1. And the mostly forgotten facet; when the governor 'calls out the militia' the militia can say "no". This is what distinguishes a true militia from the military. In a militia of civilians, they elect their own leaders, and determine for themselves whether or not to submit to military control for a battle or a war. They also may set limits on their service, such as "until it is time for the harvest", or "only in this county or state". This is why the state police and the National Guard are not true militias; they are bound to orders.

      2. A rifle behind every blade of grass would work.

          1. I loved that.

            The primary function of government is to protect life, liberty and property. If they cannot do this, why bother having the government.

            Rioters and looters are incompatible with a civilized society. Shoot them.

      3. Yeah, it's great in theory, but start letting people shoot unarmed trespassing protesters/looters, and see what happens. I suggest you Google "Florida" and "Stand Your Ground" to see how well that's worked. You'll be labeled a "racist." You'll be crucified in the leftist mainstream media. And, you'll probably end up in jail.

        One of the main, primary responsibilities of government is to protect life, liberty & property. If mayors & governors are unwilling/unable/too incompetent to do it, then the feds MUST step in. This isn't new. They've done it before, as recently as the Rodney King riots. The has-been military "experts" and everyone else now carping about using the military to stop the lawlessness need to pull their collective heads out of their asses, visit with some of the business owners (many of whom are minority) who have lost everything (not to mention the families of the dead/injured cops), and then get back to the rest of us about why the military isn't needed.

        Is anyone bothering to look at the news lately? Apparently not, so here goes: shops and other businesses have been looted and/or burned. Shopkeepers have been beaten and killed. Cops have been killed. Millions are under nightly lockdown because of a bunch of filthy shitbags who don't deserve to live, as they're nothing but leeches on society (just to be clear, am referring to the lawbreakers, and NOT peaceful protesters).

        Want to end the utilization of the military for all of this?

        It's simple. Stop looting & destroying.

    2. Can you define Marxist? Or do you just regurgitate violent talking points?

      1. Oh, you're one of "those".

        1. All failures of communism and socialism are merely proof that true communism and socialism has never been tried.

          1. What I've found amusing is the defense "What's wrong with antifa? They OPPOSE fascism. Its in their name"...they still get irked when you ask why Nazism isnt Socialism.

      2. Yes: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs

        It is a disgusting ideology, designers for moochers and looters.

  5. "With soldiers, Cotton would give us the reality of government violence without the pretense of restraint"

    Military rules of engagement are much more RESTRICTIVE than what the police operate under. It would mean more restraint, not less.

    1. And soldiers don't get qualified immunity...

    2. Soldiers are also trained in strict trigger discipline. Too often cops are so eager to point their guns at shit when they go on power trips.

      1. Like Kent State?

  6. Guys like Cotton are one of the important reasons America hasn't won a war in 75 years.

    Instead, we have settled for a series of vague draws with ragtag irregulars from one corner of the globe to another -- despite the enormous taxpayer-funded resources advantages possessed by the American military.

    1. So your advocating for more nuclear war?

    2. 2.5 time to cancel this show the writers obviously don't care anymore

    3. WWII ended 74.8 years ago, so you're wrong anyway.

      And you conveniently forgot Grenada and Panama.

      1. *Technically* America did win Vietnam. If not for politics, coulda done it outright.

    4. Dear Rev,
      You are boring, and an asshole.

      1. Dear everyone,
        Stop feeding the troll and he will die.

        1. He won’t. Apparently he migrated with the rest of the Volokh commenters. He’s been around for years I’m told.

          It’s a shame he hasn’t committed suicide.

  7. "let's see how tough these Antifa terrorists are when they're facing off with the 101st Airborne Division."

    I see somebody watched The Siege recently...

    1. I remember the Siege.

      FBI could not take down terrorists, so the Army went in, kicked ass, and took names!

      1. That was a really interesting movie.
        Don't think it could make up it's mind.
        The FBI failed horrendously. There were cells everywhere and what... 3, 4 attacks with huge body counts in the span of a couple weeks?
        Then the army comes in, and even though General Bruce Willis argues against he's really just manipulating the situation because he's just dying to invade NYC (an insane target, by the way, from a military perspective).
        So then they round up all the Muslims, which is obviously horrible.
        Except... that round up is what caused them to catch the Big Bad Terrorist (who was apparently the last one) who... was buddy-buddy with the FBI and CIA.
        Every time I watch that movie, it ends and I'm like "so what's the lesson here?"
        Entertaining film

        1. Every time I watch that movie, it ends and I’m like “so what’s the lesson here?”

          The lesson is that life is inherently nihilistic and people with power know that you don't have power unless you use that power.


    Guess who made the stupid rookie mistake of leaving his name unprotected when he was socking!!!

    1. The answer is $parky and Buttplug, but DOL didn't learn the lesson I taught those fucking clowns!

      I win bitch!

      1. lol 2 p oh well

        1. Does that mean I have to call you "Delta" now?

          1. Lol. I might have already called him Lying Jeffy.

  9. Man, I used to think 2chili was one of the smart ones but I'm going to have to revise that opinion.

    This is some weapons-grade stupid. People living in these hot zones are sick and tired of being terrorized and having their livelihoods destroyed while the cops stand by because they're terrified of a bad photo op that Reason will pounce on. My brother in law is moving out of LA - not temporarily - for good. Cleaning up the broken glass of their tea shop was a wake up call. People don't feel safe in Democrat run cities anymore and they're voting with their feet. To insinuate that cops are a greater threat than rioters is an exercise in confirmation bias. You haven't been paying attention to anything other than the behavior of the police. Wake the fuck up before reality dick-slaps you in the face.

    1. Man, I used to think 2chili was one of the smart ones but I’m going to have to revise that opinion.

      Yeah, his grip slipped a couple weeks ago and he's continued to tumble.

      I said it before. I'm pretty sure the articles are being ghost written and the writers Sr. Editors are just getting paid to choose the one they like. What was a diverse libertarian tone at Reason has become exceedingly uniform (and dumb).

      1. Narrative demands consistency.

    2. Reason does not care if they live in a war zone. They are academics and open border and trade philosophy idealogues. They are woke urbanist groupthink welfare state progressives first and foremost. NAP and individualism is somewhere on the bottom list.

  10. Remember Kent State? Good times, good times. Anybody wanna sing a song?

    1. *places flower in gun barrels*

    2. Remember Watts?

      Remember 1992?

      Good times. Good times.

  11. "let's see how tough these Antifa terrorists are when they're facing off with the 101st Airborne Division"

    Been there, done that.

  12. The mindset of a small number of Republicans is that if the police crack down hard enough, then we can get back to forgetting that there were any messy problems that needed to be taken care of. Ugly imagines on the Nightly News? Send out the troops and clean it up! Then get back to Matlock reruns.

    Yeah, not too many here in the monkey seats, but I am related to some of these people in real life.

    1. Electing Biden for another 4 years will fix it. He only had 40+. And property is insured. It's OK to burn and loot and assault as long as your angry and shout incoherently about melanin.

      Property rights don't count when you're mad.

    2. The exact figure of that "small number" being one.

      The one that exists in Brandbuck's mind.

      Projection is your superpower isn't it?

  13. I'm amazed by the utter failure of people to distinguish between protesters and rioters/looters. The 1st Amendment enshrines the right to peaceably assemble, not destroy and/or steal your neighbors' property. Only someone completely blinded by their ideology or agenda could fail to understand that.

    1. example?

      1. Do you want an example of accidental or intentional confusion? I've seen dozens, even a couple here at reason, that show people actively engaged in violence with the police referring to them as peaceful protesters.

        It's like these people grew up without siblings and just now discovered the "He started it!" game.

        1. I thought Moridin was doing a galaxy brain centrist take. Could very well be wrong.

          1. No, he got it right. Unlike Reason.

            1. good

    2. I've been trying to say this over and over the last few days. It's not going very well.

      1. Because there is ignorance, and then there is willful ignorance.

    3. The Daily Beast referred to the guy who vandalized a lobby and assaulted a bar owner as a "protestor" because he got shot for it, and that's the word they wanted in the headline. The scumbag media is deliberately conflating them. I think it'll get to a point where any time the media talks about "protestors" people will automatically translate that to rioter/looter. Sort of like the evolution of "jogging".

      1. I suspect you're right. I imagine I disagree with the vast majority of the protesters on just about every issue, but I don't wish the actually peaceful majority of them harm. The media's active campaign to allow the violent criminals among them to blend in with the rest making them all just "protesters" will backfire on them in the worst way. The media has become so bad at making these dishonest calculations over the last few years that I'm having trouble garnering sympathy for any of the people caught in the crossfire anymore. They wouldn't be in the crossfire if they stopped listening to the idiot media.

      2. it's already hurting them. Check out the Morning Consult poll. People want the military and NG to come in and handle the PROTESTERS. But yeah, I saw that the other day in an article about the idiot who blew himself up trying to break into a Philly ATM. The article was written as if he had been in the wrong place in the wrong time, and not trying to rob it.

    4. At this point, the only purpose of the protesters is providing cover for the rioters. So, no, I'm not going out of my way to distinguish between them.

      1. Fucking this.

      2. My take is protest all you want - peacefully. And at the end of the day pack it up and go home. Come back tomorrow if you want.

        But staying around past dark is trouble. The events of the past week have clearly demonstrated that after sunset you are either predator or prey. If you are a peaceful protester then you are not safe out there after dark, and if you are not a peaceful protester then you should not be safe being out there after dark.

        If it requires actual law enforcement (because the city cops are worthless and/or they are playing catch and release like St. Louis) then so be it.

        And fuck you TooSilly, you dishonest hack.

      3. Really. Shooting and killing a black man (trying to secure a St. Louis Pawn Shop), is not a protest against racial violence within police departments.

    5. It's almost as if any sensible person can watch what's happening and distinguish between the two. But some choose not to; some choose to lump them all together to support their agenda.

      Clearly the media is terrible about portraying looters as protesters. But, clearly the police have also been terrible about portraying protesters as looters... using violent force on non-violent protesters.

      So what concerns you more? A media that glorifies people it falsely lumps in with protesters? Or a police force that uses violence on people by falsely lumping them in with looters? As a libertarian and a human being, the police violence concerns me more.

      1. The Media is standing in front of fires, waving it’s hands and telling us it’s all peaceful. After just the day before telling us for months that anyone who broke COVID lockdown was a terrorist who needed to be shot in the streets before they infected and killed us all.

        Your premise is bullshit.

  14. When they start protesting ALL people who are killed by police brutality, you might sell that shit

    1. Why would they do that? That would put the anger where it belongs. Aimed at the political class. It's so much easier to run the world when the peasants are trying to kill each other instead.

    2. Seems like there are plenty of self-loathing whites buying it.

      Amusingly, left-wing Russian blowhard Julia Ioffe actually did a "fellow white people" post when this all kicked off.

    3. No, because you can’t twist that into reparations and free college for people based on skin color.

      Which has been BLM’s top demand since 2012.

  15. "Tom Cotton Wants to Double Down on the Authoritarianism That Sparked Riots"

    So now Joe Biden AND Tom Cotton are backing Antifa. This is a strange world we're living in.

  16. Well... he’s still more of

    1. In worker's paradise, complete sentences are for the bourgeoisie and help make you easy target for roaming firing squad gangs of People's Justice.

      1. Where'd you go AmSoc? I miss your face. Is it something we said?

        1. Maybe he was mid riot

      2. Ahhhh, someone read a children’s level book.

        1. Ahhh, someone jumped onto an alt account to piss and moan away attention drawn to his inability to form complete thoughts or sentences.

        2. As a matter of fact, I have read "The Communist Manifesto." That is one silly pamphlet.

  17. Mayors may not want to escalate tensions by deploying troops, but that's only because they generate plenty of conflict with their own uniformed head-breakers. And some of them still seem ready to link arms with Tom Cotton. For instance, New York City's Bill de Blasio—who ran for mayor, in part, on a police-reform platform—defended cops who drove into a crowd of protesters on Saturday.

    "Birds of a feather flock together." These asshats are all authoritarians regardless what the letter after their name is.

  18. With soldiers, Cotton would give us the reality of government violence without the pretense of restraint—arguably a more brutal and more honest approach to imposing the state's will.

    That's not really true.

    US military's ROE is generally extremely restrictive - yes, even in active warzones you're required to be able to identify your target (at least confirm that they're shooting at you). Which isn't something cops have to worry about.

    In addition, we don't get qualified immunity and can see ourselves up charges (even war crimes charges) if we acted half like these cops have been.

    That's on top of actually being trained to deal with protests and riots with people with real guns who might start shooting you at any minute while still maintaining cool and discipline and de-escalating the situation. Again, something cops aren't.

    Finally, there's also having a unified chain of command and having drilled with each other - you're not going to have cowboys in your squad going off and making things worse. When a military squad shows up they know who's in charge and defer to and support that person. How often do police interactions ever have a scene-commander? Pretty much never. Its a bunch of rando cops trying to get themselves organized at the same time they're trying to deal with whatever emergency got them called out there in the first place.

    1. Stupid question, but I have to ask: What is the origin of your handle? Every time I see it, I can't help but wonder. It seems like a portmanteau of Mammon and Agamemnon.

      1. Agamemnon was the older brother of Menelaus, whose wife Helen ran off with Paris, in the Illiad. He was also married to Clytemnestra and a main character in the Oresteia trilogy of plays written by Aeschylus.

        1. Thank yew Mr Wizard.

        2. Yea, that first one went a lot better for him than the follow up trilogy.
          Hadn't noticed it before, but I see what nonstopdrivel is saying now

      2. No. A long time ago I came up with the name as a name for a 'wizard' for roleplaying games (computer and TT) and just kept it.

        For some reason people keep thinking its a misspelling of Agamemnon - which would require a lot of misspelling to get from one to the other.

      3. I think I agree here. My working theory is that the problem is the blurry line between military and police.

        Governors need to make a decision. Is this a police action or a military action? If it’s a police action, lose the chemical agents, armored vehicles, and riot gear. If it’s a military action, send home the cops and bring in the troops. Police are supposed to be part of the community - people there to help and be trusted. How do you go back to that role tomorrow when today you are tearing through that same community like a Roman maniple?

        It also gives the impression of indecisiveness. Like the government is not sure what it’s doing. First you have groups of cops in regular gear, which then bleeds into groups of cops in riot gear, which then bleeds into the arrival of the National Guard, with all three types milling around at the same time and doing the same job in tandem.

  19. Which is why it is bad when protesting devolves into widespread rioting, arson, looting and generally violating the rights of other citizens, because the state has responsibility to protect the people minding their own business. You are theoretically interested in individual rights, but you do not really have an answer when civility breaks down at a fundamental level.

    1. No, the answers are simple:

      -You are not entitled to protection from violence for either you or your property.
      -Depending on your political beliefs/intersectionality, accountability is pointless because you can't bring back the dead, building, money, etc. or you need to be executed by a mob

      See? It's not that hard.

      1. "Depending on your political beliefs, . . . or you need to be executed by a mob"

        I saw this exchange at another website:

        - Ya know, I'm not usually one to rag too hard on House Dems for taking their time on things, but I kind of feel like they should be a little more vocal and urgent in their response to all this.
        - Would it make a difference? Dems are powerless. They can impeach 45 again, and the GOP Senate will acquit him, again. Next to a coup, there is nothing that will make a difference until November.
        - Hell, even just writing and passing a bill about police accountability and forcing McConnell to block it would be something. Spell out to the country why things are the way they are.
        - Maybe then protesters will show up at Mitch house and burn it to the ground

  20. Meanwhile, Tucille and his buddies provide zero alternative to the continued mayhem. I propose that while he, his allies and the State stroke each other in a perpetual circle jerk, I and my allies will set up a defensive cordon around my building and post warnings: Any who enter this restricted area without permission are subject to summary execution. Since the "authorities" have ceded control of the said area, No State or other authority forthcoming will be recognised.

    1. I have a picture of Colonel Slanders in my head that is a hybrid of the KFC Colonel and Sgt Slaughter and he's using a chicken as a gun like the old N64 South Park game. The other hand has a flame thrower and he says things like "I like my enemies extra crispy." Please confirm the accuracy of this image.

      1. I like this

    2. They do not offer any solutions other than, let the rioters do whatever they want and hope they stop.

  21. According to reason the response to riots and chaos is not to use violence to end that violence and restore order. No, that just makes it worse. Reason thinks the way to deal with riots is to do nothing and just let the rioters do whatever they want so as not to further antagonize them.

    By reason's logic, shooting someone who breaks into your home is just going to make them more angry and cause more break ins. I would say Reason is being dishonest here, but I think the staff really is that stupid and unable to pardon the pun reason and see reality as it is. The reason staff is a living monument to the failure of the American education system to teach reasoning skills.

  22. WTF has happened to Reason? Using police to stop people from destroying private property and engage in violence is authoritarianism now?

    1. It is worse than that. They are not even advocating for collective self defense and private community action. They are straight up pro Antifa and pro rioting and looting.

    2. No, tear gassing peaceful protesters, allowing cops to beat people, and calling for the military to quell political messaging not in line with powerful elites like Trump and his fucking goons is authoritarian.

      1. They are not tear gassing peaceful protesters. That lie has been disproved dozens of time. Everyone here knows it is a lie. And all you do is lie. So move on and go lie somewhere where people are dumb enough to believe you.

        1. Only in your head, John. Try reading something that doesn’t validate.

          1. Why do you bother to switch to your sock? We all know it’s you.

            You’re just embarrassing yourself, even more than normal.

      2. In workers paradise, tear gassing, violent police beatings and military suppression of unapproved political messaging will be equally distributed among all workers regardless of protesting. This ensures no one gets funny ideas about trying to slow down spread of glorious worker's paradise.

      3. Sorry AmSoc but they're right. Get you head out of your dick and smell the roses.

  23. ""What would military force do?""

    That would depend on what the protesters would do.

    Have served active duty in the 80s, I don't want the military to be involved in any police actions, anywhere. Had enough of that.

    1. I agree with you. I don't want it either. But if places like New York City continue to just refuse to enforce the law, it is incumbent upon the federal government to do something. These cities are violating the rights of their citizens by refusing to maintain order. Bringing in the military is a terrible option as you well know. But, people like DiBlasio are making that the only option.

      1. If a city does not enforce, it's incumbent on the state. If the state fails then the feds should do something.

      2. And it should be the national guard

  24. Can we just take a minute to realize that the same poor fucks who weren't allowed last month to open their businesses, were told they were "murderers" and "terrorists" for protesting lockdown and trying to feed their families, while their Democrat politicians screeched about how we needed the lockdown and social distancing, etc etc, STILL aren't allowed to open up? BUT they get to watch as all the hypocritical assholes who tried to shame these poor people last month throw it right out the window in order to loot and burn down their stores... while the same Democrat politicians either do nothing or cheer them on! Deblasio's own daughter was out in the streets rioting and attacking the cops, while NYPD's rank and file are wondering where the fuck is their leadership and support! According to Missouri's Attorney General, every rioter and looter they've arrested was someone they released from prison due to COVID!

    1. Where I live it is illegal to hold a church service or have a restaurant that has indoor service. Yet, they had a BLM rally yesterday that was peaceful but where several hundred people were congregated asshole to elbow marching the streets. It is fucking infuriating. It is illegal to leave your house to do anything except riot.

      Maybe I am wrong, but I can't believe that platform, which is the platform of the DNC right now, is very popular with the voting public.

      1. The democrats should be overthrown and driven from our shores. Things are beyond ridiculous.

        How much more are we going to take?

    2. 1. Destroy economy and people's jobs (means to provide) and institute draconian mass house arrest
      2. Release prisoners/criminals back into the populace
      3. Create conditions of mass lawlessness, so the people who have been disarmed can't even receive police assistance
      4. Profit

      There's way more than that, but I'll settle for just a brief rundown for the moment

      1. Aka: the Syria strategy

  25. The four criminal cops have been charged. It's time to stop the protesting and turn our attention to the Presidential election. Who will be the best president for Black Americans?
    President Trump has done more for the Black community than the last four presidents combined: criminal justice reform, pushed for and got funding for Black colleges and universities to the tune of $250 million annually, created Opportunity Zones for the inner cities that created jobs there, slowed illegal immigration that takes jobs away from American minorities, worked to stop opioid abuse and he brought black unemployment to its lowest level in history before Corona. He is the right man to fix this economy again too.

    1. They said that during the Bush years, too.

      1. And you fuckheads are still trying to invent numbers to pull Obama’s “economic miracle” out of your asses.

    2. Have all four actually been charged? I must have missed that. Was only aware of the one being charged.

      1. Yep. Basically, the one who killed him and all the others are facing serious charges, but riots were necessary. Because reasons.

        Progtards don’t give a shit about blacks. They just want to loot and kill.

  26. The short answer is the commentariat, or at least those left over, have been braying for blood and violence since Obama was elected. Reason isn’t violent enough for them, but Matt and Nick still need the clicks.

    It’s weird to look at violent people who are incapable of learning.

    1. What's up Peanut?

      1. I’m not advocating running people over, police brutality, or authoritarianism due to Marxist in my head.

        Are you arguing there are no nazis marching? I’ll leave you to figure that out.

        1. Wait you actually think there are Nazis marching? Damn you are really a crazy motherfucker.

          1. I think someone needs a market hug.

          2. Buttplug, I never thought I would say this, but I like this side of you. The "it's actually Nazis!" thing is Alex Jones level insane.

            1. Meh what can I say, I’m tryna turn over a new leaf and markethugs is borderline retarded. Show me proof of Nazis first before I’m supposed to believe some looney tune conspiracy.

              1. You didn’t figure it out, but I don’t come here for critical thinking.

                1. Right Peanut, you just come here to be an unlikeable assclown. I guess you haven't figured out that's not a healthy way to meander through life.

  27. Funny how quickly everyone forgets that Bush I ordered the military deployed to LA during the 1992 riots and those were mostly only in one city.

    1. 1992!!!!!!!!!!!

      Give him a cookie, he can look something up to validate his violence and racism.

      1. Relax spazoid. Your reading skills are somehow getting worse by the sentence. Yes Papa Bushpig was a racist twat who gave fuckall about black people but you are somehow even more feral and vile. No one validated your retard conspiracies wingnut, take your shtick over to MSNBC where you can roll around in the mud with the other retards. No one with half a brain cell believes Nazis have anything to do with the riots.

      2. I actually hate Trump, support the protests, and think most cops are racist assholes. My point was that this is not the first time a president has behaved like an authoritarian and Bush I is held up as an example of a moderate.

  28. So, what's the alternative JD? Let chaos reign supreme? Let looters and rioters not only destroy property - that insurance will pay! - and in many cases beat up little old ladies and people as a whole or worse, murders in cold blood?

    It's clear the governors aren't going to protect people, while police are overwhelmed. If they would allow people to defend themselves at least that's some form of order at play but cops ARREST them.

    Governors (heck leaders across Canada and the USA save a sprinkle here and there) are so incredibly incompetent and display a shocking arrogance it's astonishing. The lockdown edicts while allowing for riots is one of the most remarkable display of incoherence and derelict behavior I've seen yet.

    Law-abiding and peaceful citizens are trapped between gangs and thugs (yeh, yeh, protestors in the day stop conflating them) inaction from a system charged to protect them.

    And Reason says, 'you're gonna have to take it'. Is this your position?

    People hate disorder. Humans hate when they feel under threat while feeling no one will defend them.

    This Antifa shit should have been dealt with long ago; nipped in the bud.

    What do you think is going to happen? They turn to the person who promises ORDER.

    I don't understand what's going on anymore. I think I need crazy pills.

    If the politicians want to go play in the traffic with riotous assholes and celebrities, let them. But allow people, then, to take out the garbage when threatened.

    1. It’s clear the governors aren’t going to protect people, while police are overwhelmed.

      Wasn't the trillion dollar expenses auth by congress part of the remedy to actions taken to 'flatten the curve' - actions taken basically to preempt the overwhelming of hospitals. Kill the economy so that the hospitals dont fill up too fast. then pump a trillion or two into the economy to make up for the people you put out of work. The police force is just another service of the government. If preempting the overwhelming of hospitals by wu-flu patients necessitated such a cost [and how many hospitals were actually overwhelmed??] then what accounts for the disconnect when it comes to dealing with police forces being overwhelmed? [rhetorical question]

    2. "Law-abiding and peaceful citizens are trapped between gangs and thugs (yeh, yeh, protestors in the day stop conflating them) inaction from a system charged to protect them."

      Like I said, the Syria model

  29. Reason has lost it. Police brutality did not bring Americans into the streets. Mass ignorance combine with an economic downturn and boredom did the trick. They mistakenly think systemic racism is the cause not police training or tactics - or the occasional bad cop since they are human after all. And they have no understanding of the scope of the problem either. Per Wapo, 9 unarmed black suspects were killed last year and all but 2 of those were likely justified (and some not actually unarmed since 2 were behind the wheel of a car). 41 unarmed suspects overall were killed. 48 police officers were murdered in the line of duty. Do the math. Police have more to fear than unarmed suspects of any color. And in that same year, 7,409 black citizens were murdered by other citizens. That's a lot of brutality and it's not initiated by police. And they are pushing for defunding police which might increase this type of brutality while doing nothing to address the relatively rare police brutality.

  30. You know when he's talking about "antifa" as if it's some big force he's full of shit.

    But hey, these fascists know nothing else but wanting power and using it to crush people who they disagree with, including the bogeymen they make up.

    1. You mean like accusing everyone who disagrees with shitty Marxist philosophy of being a “fascist” to justify violently shutting them down?

  31. Tom Cotton is an authoritarian, stale-thinking bigot.

    Also a culture war casualty, and part of the reason America hasn't won a war in 75 years.

    What a loser.

    1. Hello! Google is paying me $500 to Peanut Gallery bitter clinger, so let is send to culture war progress authoritarian from home. Start making money now Trump dictator Peanut War Clinger, and you can too!

      1. Beautiful!

    2. After the 1992 riots, Bill Clinton denounced the rioters as thugs and even oversaw the execution of a mentally challenged African American, yet he was somehow “The First Black President”, not a racist

  32. This false premise will not become true no matter how many times reason and others repeat it. Authoritarianism did not cause these riots.

    I tend to like J.D., but it seems like he's got some major cognitive dissonance here.

  33. Tom Cotton Wants to Double Down on the Authoritarianism That Sparked Riots
    Police brutality brought Americans into the streets. What would military force do?

    We have self-declared communists rioting in the streets literally with the stated objective of destroying our society and our government and Tuccille thinks that government putting down the riots amounts to "authoritarianism".

    In a free society, private property owners could arm themselves and simply defend their own property, if necessary with force. But authoritarian government is preventing them from doing that, with the promise that the state will protect citizens. Apparently Tuccille wants people to be both unable to defend themselves and for the state not to defend them. That's Reason-style libertarianism for you.

  34. Do you have a better idea than Cotton when your dealing with this:

    "92% of cops killed are white and are killed 41% of the time by black males who are 6% of the population."

  35. Reason, like most of MSM, is pretending as if these riots were occurring in 2017, when the economy wasn't crumbling and the structures that sustained a 320 mil population still in place.

    How do you blame cops for not defending private property (likely due to logistical reasons) but cast irrational fear over military personnel providing manpower? Civilian soldiers are already deployed on our streets. They actually wear military gear and arrive in armored humvees. You honestly believe soldiers on our streets will shoot protesters and rape our women at their pleasure?

    What explains this generalization? Should we have banned immigration from the middle east when their radicals carried out 9/11? We mustn't fall into irrational fear on mass shooters, drugs, and immigration, but it's ok to slip into paranoid fantasy on police? Cops shot 9 unarmed black lives last year. We could theoretically save a 100 lives if we just made sure suspicious looking people never got guns.

    Half this country is effectively non white or foreign born. They lived in relative peace and stability, many of them voting for a black president who vaporized weddings with drones and dropped bombs on Libya. American presidents can kill more in one week that cops could for an entire year. Civil society content to tackle these issues through policy changes and discussions. Now a segment says "we're entitled to resort to violence as recourse" and we give them that privilege.

    This won't be the last rounds of protests. More are coming as the economic depression sweeps across the nation. A lot of black people will be out of jobs and or hitting the hospital in the second wave. If you think military intervention is overkill, you just don't grasp the existential threat the nation is facing.

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    2. I’ll blame cops. I’ll blame them all day long. They have jobs. They also have rules, supposedly,
      Including the US constitution you idiots like to bash everyone else over the head with. Collective punishment of protesters, suppressing protests to begin with, are not permissible by the police or military. But I shouldn’t have to explain this to small government libertarians.

  36. This is a good contrast to the opinion piece Matt Welch did just bashing the NYT and illustrates what they should have done with Sen. Cotton's Op-Ed, run different viewpoints alongside it.
    I am still disappointed when it came down to supporting Fascism and using the US military against our citizens or bashing So-Called-Liberal-Media Welch went with bashing the Times. Too many Libertarians think the most important right is property rights not considering the balance with other rights and liberties.
    "Deploying the military to clear the streets might disperse protesters and looters alike in the short term, but it will exacerbate the problem of authoritarian law enforcement." Using the military on our own citizens actually moves beyond that to military state Fascism but the gist is correct.
    I am glad well over a dozen US military leaders are speaking out against Trump and this unprecedented escalation. This was before more spoke up:

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