Irving Kristol famously defined a neo-conservative as “a liberal who has been mugged by reality.” Philosophical commitments crumble when the hardness of everyday life in a fallen world intrudes.
Recently a couple in St. Louis made headlines when they brandished guns against a mob that broke the gate to their private community. Such instances reveal an ironic cultural moment in which talking heads and moralizing activists tell us it is bad for the police to defend us even as they menace public property, cops, and even peaceful citizens.
Law enforcement is not perfect, and every institution must be accountable to the people. Yet we cannot miss today that too often the same people who are telling us the cops are bad are the people who want to do bad things.
Here’s expecting many around us today to be mugged by reality—to watch their ideas give way before hard truths and human depravity.