Charles Pierce (Idiot America) proffers the thesis that in this country the advent of reality TV, the web*, rant TV & radio has produced a situation where everyone has the potential to be an expert, thus no one is. In other words, because public visibility and the acquisition of an admiring audience requires virtually no effort, credentials or particular smarts, anyone with a drum to beat can be launched into instant expert status.
In fact, expertise has been conflated with celebrity: if one shouts loud enough, acts outrageously enough, and pisses off enough people (whether right or left) well, then not only do they deserve their own TV or radio show, but they should also run for public office to set this country straight. Forget about education, putting in long hours in the trenches to gain experience and wisdom, or working in a job that might prepare one for local, regional or national governance. All of that is just elitist crap promulgated by those East Coast limp-wrist nancys.
In addition to Palin and Tammie Wilson (the ugly stepsister who didn't get invited to the ball and had to settle for the state house and no gift bags) we have Shaeffer Cox. Two years ago, at the age of 24, he gained some local exposure by unsuccessfully running for House District 7. Now he is in the news for being arrested twice in as many weeks. First for felony assault (later pled down to reckless endangerment) for hitting and choking his wife, then for the relatively minor offense of failing to disclose to a police officer that he was carrying a firearm.
The first offense is disturbing under any circumstance, in any situation. Mr. Cox apparently has trouble controlling his anger - so much so that he hit his wife in front of their two-year old son while driving the family to Anchorage. Then when called out on his inappropriate behavior, he reached over and grabbed her neck, pinning her against the passenger door. He appears to have an overweening need to be in control, especially of his wife, and gets really gnarly really quickly if he feels he is being thwarted.
Couple this with the circumstances that surrounded his second arrest, and watch the red flags pop.
Wearing a bullet-proof vest (because, Mr. Cox states, he has received "fewer than 12 death threats"), and carrying a knife and concealed gun, Mr. Cox arrived at the scene of a police search to monitor whether or not the subject's rights were being violated by the police. The arresting charge arose from Mr. Cox' s failure to disclose to the police that he was carrying a concealed weapon, as prudence, responsible gun-ownership, and the law require.
Setting aside for the moment the scary implications of having an armed, angry, self-aggrandizing control-freak interfering in legitimate police business, here is a text-book example of Idiot America in action. With virtually no formal education or experience in any of the applicable fields (law, peace-keeping, military, to name a few), Mr. Cox has appointed himself an"expert" in constitutional, civil and criminal law. He clearly believes he has as much right to be involved in a police action, as well, the police, attorneys and courts.
And what are Mr. Cox's credentials for being a Individual Rights Monitor ? Why, membership in the Liberty Bell Network , which according to their website is
a group of Patriots that have joined together to mutually support each other against an out of control Government, it's lust for power, and the ever increasing occurance [sic]of violating our inaliable [sic]rights.Patriot??? That is not the "P" word that comes to my mind when I look at Mr. Cox's behavior in the past month. Paranoiac, psychopathic,putz and peckerhead, are, however, some that do.
In the tradition of the original "Liberty Bell", this is a public notification network. In the event that you, or one of your neighbors rights are being violated, a call to a member of your local network would spread the word throughout your local network, for people to drop what they were doing and come immediatly [sic], because a fellow patriot needed their support.**
In response to a court order that he not carry a gun for the next two months until his hearing, Mr. Cox had this to say: "Everybody's going to think, 'He's not armed, so let's go get him'." (Fairbanks Daily News Miner, March 20, 2010). Does this punk really think there is anyone who gives enough of a shit to take him out??? If this is not paranoid wing-nuttery I really don't know what is.
In the final analysis, its not these faceless hordes ready to trammel our rights into the ground that we need to fear. Rather it is Mr. Cox and all the other "experts" like him who present a clear and present danger to our free and open society - the one for which the true patriots fought so hard.
*I am well aware of the irony inherent in blogging about this.
**Pay no attention to the misspellings, mangled sentences and poor grammar. Proper writing is for socialists and them other goddurn furreigners, not Patriots.