Drag 'Em Out
A guy was killed not too far from my house the other day. He died on the sidewalk across the street from a park in a neighborhood where poverty and despair walk down the street holding hands, looking for new friends.
It used to be an Irish neighborhood, the city's best recruiting ground for minor civil servants, priests, nuns and cops. Right now, it's a pretty good recruiting ground for the United States military, the kind of neighborhood where people use bed sheets for curtains, if they have bed sheets. "Lace curtain Irish" was once popular as a social designation. "Bed sheet Puerto Rican" is not.
Because the shooting was in daylight, and because it was near a park gleaming with lime green plastic slides, the local police went through the neighborhood like a herd of blue buffalo. The plainclothes officers sweated every gang member, drug dealer and no-good they could find.
It was solid, if un-pretty, police work, and eventually the cops dug up a suspect. He awaits trial. There are, of course, no witnesses. You could murder someone with a howitzer in that neighborhood, and no one would admit they heard the noise.
In Washington, D.C., where they are afraid of nothing except losing access to the money, there will be a committee to discover who and what led to the dangerous foolishness of Jan. 6, when a mob of patsy patriots broke into the U.S. Capitol. Once inside, they proved their love for American democracy by peeing on the floor and breaking anything they were strong enough to break. That is exactly what happens to abandoned houses in the neighborhood I wrote about in the beginning of this column.
Almost all forms of crime and civil unrest resemble each other in one way or another. There is a good reason why the duties of police officers include "keeping the peace" and "maintaining order."
Enraged, disenfranchised, consumed by heroin, fed a diet of lies by an obscene mistake of a president -- all of those situations lead to a moment when the mob surges forward; when, one by one, we abandon peace and order and begin to shoot up in the hallways of abandoned houses.
Or break into the U.S. Capitol.
And there must be punishment because order means everyday peace. It means the ability to walk to the store for baby food or a pack of cigarettes. It means the ability to vote, to debate.
I'm a pretty average American. I have a wife, a mortgage, a lawnmower and Netflix. I have insurance. God, I have insurance on everything I own, mostly because I'm just prosperous enough to have something to lose.
Because of that averageness, because of that paid-for-in-cash lawnmower, I depend a great deal on the twin notions of peace and order.
Because of that, I want law enforcement to find every hypocritical flag-waving dolt who set foot in the Capitol. My lawnmower. My country.
Hit the nation like the herd of blue buffalo hit that neighborhood. Sweat the small timers, and pin the big timers to the wall with questions. Who was in the mob? Did anyone inside help them enter? Was it a moment of rage, or were there plans? Who were the planners? Badge-wearer or officeholder or average American sick on a diet of lies, drag them all blinking and defeated into the hard light of justice.
And for the sake of peace and order, vote out anyone who voted against an investigation.
To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's latest book, a collection of his best columns, is called "Devil's Elbow: Dancing in The Ashes of America." It is available in paperback on Amazon.com, and for Nook, Kindle, and iBooks.