After listening to Governor Mike Huckabee make a great comment during the ABC News Presidential debates tonight, I had to quote him here. When asked about illegal immigration and what he would do, Governor Huckabee said a bunch of things, but one quote caught my mind:
“When people live in the United States, they ought to have their head up – they ought not to live in fear. Everytime they see a police car, they shouldn’t run and hide. Nobody ought to live like that in this country.”
Ha ha ha ha!!! Governor Huckabee!
I like Governor Huckabee – I really don’t have any major gripe against him, but at this point in the campaign I really don’t have a desire to learn much more about where he stands on each issue (remember, as an independent I can’t vote in New Jersey’s primaries without declaring a party – which I won’t do). But let me make this comment about Governor Huckabee’s quote up there…
As a person with a larger-than-normal degree of empathy, I can appreciate the fact that illegal immigrants are forced to live in a manner that many of us find abhorrent. Yet while I find the Governor’s statement to be a great political quote and one worthy of repeating, I wonder when a candidate will step up and make the same, truthful comparison about the good old boy system that has ravaged New Jersey and many other areas of this country.
In other words, I lived through some of the worst abuses of civil liberties that I’ve ever seen when I was a college student renting a home in Ocean Township, New Jersey. Police officers sat outside of our house, they routinely followed my roommates into the driveway of our home and questioned them at all hours of the day (and night), they would open up the front door of our house at 2am and walk through and tell us they were “just checking” even when only 2 people were home. It was a disgusting abuse of power that took place 6 – 8 years ago and to this day my roommates and I have a great disgust for the Ocean Township law enforcement and a much greater disgust for the anti-college student feeling in Ocean Township.
We ARE the people who see police cars with “Ocean Township” on the side of them and we attempt to run and hide because we know that in this town you can be arrested (or at least given a big money ticket) for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s happened to my former roommates, it’s happened to our friends, and it’s happened to me damn it. And I don’t buy the crap that we were “rowdy college students living in family neighborhoods.” Bullshit on that! We weren’t nearly as rowdy as the “family” that lived two doors down from us with the high school-aged daughter who was selling drugs to half of the town. Our rent (our very HIGH rent, I might add) paid the same taxes the rest of the town paid. And, we added a great deal to the local economy.
So I love Governor Huckabee’s comment that no one in America should live in fear of the police. But what happens when the local police (or an entire state’s police system) has turned into nothing more than a civil liberties abusing fundraising arm of the politicians? It’s disgusting and if America really wants “change” then we all need to start by no longer permitting the vast abuses of power that we see at the local level.