The meaning of the word “support”

One of the reasons why I am rarely posting directly to Facebook any more is because I am fed up with binary thinking.
A good example of binary thinking that keeps rearing its ugly head is when the subject of law enforcement comes up. When anybody makes a comment or suggestion that perhaps the police are not the infallible guardians of the law and society that most people think they should be, a shitstorm immediately blows up. Many of the prime contributors to the shitstorm begin to respond with angry interrogative statements along the lines of “well, do you support law enforcement or not?”. The implication, obviously, being that the people pointing out that law enforcement are not infallible are somehow hostile to law enforcement, and therefore they are Part Of the Problem, un-American etc etc.
The people asking these interrogative questions are wasting my time, and are unserious. What they are really saying is that they expect everybody to show uncritical deference to law enforcement at all times.
Uncritical deference and support are two different things. I support law enforcement, since it seems clear to me that high-quality law enforcement is a key indicator of a functioning modern society. However, it should be clear to anybody with more than 5 minutes a day to read and process information that there are police forces and police officers in the USA that are far from infallible. It is also clear to me that many police supporters are either blind to the failings of law enforcement, in denial, or are simply closing ranks and engaging in defensive, binary rhetoric to paper over the cracks.
I do not dispense uncritical deference to anybody or any organization or symbol. The only people that demand uncritical deference are the highly insecure and dictatorships, and neither of them are entitled to it. My lack of uncritical deference to law enforcement or any other government body is not an indication of lack of support, and anybody who tries that rhetorical trick on me is going to get a sharp conversational correction.


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