On All In Tuesday, Chris Hayes spoke to conservatives challenging them to stand for their principles when it comes to the overreaction of police in Ferguson, Missouri and elsewhere, pointing out to them that the heavy-handed behavior of police in the days following Michael Brown’s death was exactly what governmental overreach looks like.
Playing a clip of the tear gas assault on unarmed and peaceful protesters standing in a private backyard when one of them had the effrontery to tell them that this was his property Hayes asked if this was not exactly the sort of action by a government agency that conservatives decry. These were people engaging in their Constitutionally guaranteed right to peacefully assemble and voice their concerns.
He noted that in the beginning it actually did look like the left and the right had found common ground and that both sides were appalled at the behavior of the police in Ferguson. Ted Cruz expressed his concern over the illegal arrests of reporters Ryan Riley and Wesley Lowery saying, “reporters should never be detained — a free press is too important — simply for doing their jobs.”
Rand Paul spoke out in Time saying:
“There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response. The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action.”
Hayes said that he had even found himself in agreement with Glenn Beck at the beginning of the events in Ferguson, a man who is seldom pointed to as a voice of reason by liberals.
Going on, Hayes spoke of the seemingly little things that conservatives have found to be tyrannical in recent years, such as the use of body scanners at airports, and Obamacare navigators assisting people in signing up for health insurance at health centers. Things that seem trivial when compared to police gunning down unarmed young men in the streets and then spraying those who object with rubber bullets, tasing and gassing them at the slightest perceived provocation.
He spoke of the unofficial adoption by the far right movement of the Gadsden Flag which bears a coiled snake ready to strike and is emblazoned with the motto, “Don’t Tread on Me.”
“There is no set of people who should be better equipped with the ideological priors to recognize the specific kind of indignity and infringement of liberty presented by overzealous, uncaring, unaccountable police officers.”
But that is not what is happening now as evidenced by a recent poll. As Hayes notes, the poll found that a full 50% of Republicans feel that police do a good to excellent job of using the proper amount of force, while only 24% of Democrats feel that they do.
As Hayes says, the behavior of the police in Ferguson, and elsewhere, is “what treading looks like” and yet the right has reverted to the old ways of, “if Al Sharpton is for it then I’m against it.”
What is needed is for the right to stick to its principles, even when they find themselves agreeing with the left, not simply being against certain ideas just because liberal support them.
Watch Hayes comments in the video below from MSNBC.