Tags: George Floyd Protests | police | protests

Protest, Police and Military in America: The Protest Imperative

protestor stands on burning police car
A man stands on top of a burning police car during a protest on May 29, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

By Monday, 29 June 2020 10:39 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The following article is the first of five parts.

There were George Floyd protests in 2,000 cities around the world.  Most were peaceful, but there was also looting, vandalism, arson, lawyers with a Molotov Cocktail, and police cars torched, plus rocks and other objects hurled at the police. This led to curfews being imposed on 200 U.S. cities. President Trump raised the issue of deploying active-duty troops, and this triggered a furious debate. Having been personally affected by the deployment of active-duty troops on two occasions, I’d like to share a few observations on public unrest, the police, and active-duty deployments.

We are possessed of a monolithic government in this country. With only 4% of the world's population, our tax revenues and spending are far above those of any other nation. The influence of richly funded lobbies, labor unions, the military-industrial complex, Big Pharma, Big Food, PACs and other special-interest groups, is inescapable. Citizens United only magnifies this.

Likewise, we are possessed of the most expensive political campaigns in the world. No federal official can be elected without spending tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.

All Americans do have a sacred duty to cast their votes and should not be impeded in carrying it out (in person, by mail, online, any reliable way). But the legislative process cannot help but be overwhelmed by the engines of influence. Legislation that does get through is packed with pork-barrel concessions to sources of those megabuck campaign contributions.

Meanwhile, partisan gridlock and veto threats have served to block countless pieces of well-thought legislation which is supported by a majority of the population. We have seen Supreme Court games and two massively idiotic impeachment proceedings, both which made our government look like a bunch of clowns.

This is where public protest comes in, as it should.

More to follow in Part II.

Henry Seggerman managed Korea International Investment Fund, the oldest South Korean hedge fund, from 2001 until 2014. He is a regular columnist for the Korea Times and has also been a guest speaker, written for, or been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Bloomberg Television, Reuters and FinanceAsia — covering not only North and South Korea, but also Asia, as well as U.S. politics. Read Henry Seggerman's Reports — More Here.

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President Trump raised the issue of deploying active-duty troops, and this triggered a furious debate.
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2020-39-29
Monday, 29 June 2020 10:39 AM
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