Doctor Science Knows

Saturday, May 08, 2010

SWAT and Protagonist Privilege

von, one of the conservative/libertarians at Obsidian Wings, posted about terroristic drug raids:
I was pretty pissed off at this raid of (according to the evidence) a small time dealer of marijuana. Maybe that's too mild a description of my tone. Here's an alternative: I ate the apple of the Garden in that post, and, with the knowledge so gained, declared the folks who participated in that raid "evil." (Actual quote; of mine.)
I commented:


I agree 100% with both von and Brett. Pigs are surprisingly aerodynamic.

Especially:
SWAT don't exist in this country to handle dangerous hostage situations. That's a tiny fraction of their work, an afterthought.
...
That's why the BATF were stomping pets before Reagan, and after him. That's why drug raids get so nasty. That's why prostitutes get treated like sh*t. The terror is the point.


And that's why police sent out to do "crowd control" look like Stormtroopers (either edition). The terror is the point.

I think the only factor you guys aren't incorporating is the one from Evil "Liberal" Hollywood, which is absolutely consistent about portraying SWAT teams and similar as heroic, effective, necessary, and cool. I bet one reason this particular team was composed of part-timers is that they *wanted* to be on it, it has cachet and gives out many manliness points.

I don't know if you can change the public's mind unless storytellers -- TV, movies, video games -- start presenting agents of the police state as other than the Good Guys, who always win because of Protagonist Privilege.

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