The pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio was wrong. He violated the 4th Amendment rights of U.S. citizens repeatedly and made a mockery of our judicial system.
Sheriff Arpaio openly arrested and jailed persons based only on the basis of their appearance. He brazenly continued the practice in the face of a judge’s ruling that he stop, and was convicted of contempt of court. Still, there’s even a greater problem.
Arpaio Is A “Constitutional Sheriff”
This is a subgroup of the overall Anti-Government Extremist (A.G.E.) movement. This world spawned the Bundy militias, the recent bombing attempt in OK City, the militant white nationalists in Charlottesville and so forth.
In fact, Trump invited two “Constitutional Sheriffs” to speak at the Republican National Convention being Arpaio and Sheriff David Clarke. While many have focused on Trump’s white supremacy dog whistles, he is actually using a bullhorn to attract a much larger and more dangerous group.
Recently, a federal jury acquitted four Bundy militants who committed their crimes on camera and bragged about it on social media.
Trump advisor Roger Stone has been working on a similar pardon deal for the Bundy standoff participants that Arpaio just received. Perhaps even if convicted, the Bundy clan would’ve been pardoned by Trump.
A jury verdict exonerating people who aimed guns at federal employees is bad in that it invigorates their violent efforts. A Presidential pardon is far worse though. It tells these violent offenders that it’s their patriotic duty to ignore the courts and enforce laws at gunpoint. In a choice between the two, acquittal is preferable.
If you’ve been reading JJ MacNab’s Twitter feed for any time, you’ve seen just how bizarre the legal beliefs of the A.G.E. movement are. For example, many AGE members believe that Obama is a Kenyan who has committed treason and should be killed. They also believe that the Sheriff is the highest law enforcement officer in the land because he’s elected.
These extremists tend to be very pro-law enforcement as longs as it does what they want. When law enforcement doesn’t do what they want, they consider it a treasonous violation of the cop’s oath of office punishable by death. By pardoning Arpaio, Trump is empowering this dark underbelly of our country that is neither for law and order unless it suits them.