Lawmen protect civilization from chaos

Published 9:55 am Thursday, July 21, 2016

I’ve got catching up to do.

Last week, in response to the Dallas ambush of police officers, I wrote about how valuable and heroic law enforcement officers are. The intent, when I started writing, was to heap praise on the law enforcement officers in the Roanoke-Chowan area.

I, being more than slightly scatterbrained, went off on a different tangent and didn’t do that.

I need to rectify that mistake. Our local law enforcement officers are very well integrated into our communities. They live in our communities, go to church here, and their friends are here.

Many, if not most, officers come from around here and have established families here.

They treat folks with respect and dignity while doing their jobs. Yeah, sometimes folks don’t think the cops should be “hassling” them, but they’re doing their jobs of enforcing the laws of the land – even if those laws don’t make sense to us – which also protect and serve us.

Look at law enforcement as the thin blue line that separates civilization from chaos.

I spoke with some law enforcement leaders – Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan, Northampton County Sheriff Jack Smith, Murfreesboro Police Chief Darrell Rowe, and Windsor Police Chief Todd Lane – earlier this week and they’re all very cognizant of the need for officers to get along with the people in the communities that they serve.

Sheriff Smith said it best when cited the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.”

Perfect. And what a good reminder for all of us during these hate-filled times.

Speaking of hate, I’ve also gotten some criticism – not hate-filled or over the top – from readers for suggesting in a column from several weeks ago that Hillary’s private server was wrong and that the mistake in judgment was based on her paranoia over right wing attacks. I argued that she shouldn’t be prosecuted for having her own server. A couple of people have contacted me to disagree. I stick by my original opinion.

FBI Director James Comey is an honorable public servant – not a political lackey for the Clintons – and came to the same conclusion.

Republicans aren’t concerned with defeating Hillary fair and square politically. They want her in prison for her beliefs, although they won’t say it right out. They want to run a Republican nominee for president without opposition. Probably the only way they can win.

In this cycle, they say, she should be in prison for using a private email server even though she didn’t give classified material to our enemies.

[There’s no evidence she wrote Putin to say, “Hey Vlad, here’s our nuclear launch codes. Take care, Snookums.”]

They also want her in prison for murder for the four American deaths in Benghazi, Libya.

The Republican rank and file continues to believe Hillary is responsible for Benghazi even thought eight different hearings – most by the Republican Congress – have all absolved her of any guilt.

Benghazi was a terrorist attack nobody saw coming. Hillary gave no order to sacrifice the lives of any Americans. I’m not going into all the details – I have limited space – but you can look it up online. Wikipedia can give you a good summary and Politifacts has some good stuff about the claims against Hillary.

We all have to step outside our political bubbles to seek the truth, not just what the political bosses want to spoon feed us.

Politics used to be about ideologies in conflict, but people could still get along personally and respect one another.

Nowadays it’s open warfare. Your political foe must be your enemy and you must not stop until he or she is totally crushed – politically and in all other ways.

We are all Americans and have different ideas about how to improve the country and do good. Keep that in mind, please, and like Sheriff Smith noted, remember the Golden Rule going forward.

And, for goodness sake, please purge all the hatred from your hearts.


Keith Hoggard is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7206.