As an addendum to my piece yesterday on Libertarian kids using Libertarianism as an excuse to misbehave, thus doing the cause no favors, I draw your attention to two pictures circulating the social networks that instruct these kids exactly how to misbehave. There are many others like these images; I am using these as representatives of them all. They are here and here.
Both images instruct us that the best and wisest thing to do when being stopped by a police officer is to immediately do something that will invite “a situation”: ask the cop, “Am I free to go?” The first picture follows with, “If the police refuse to answer or say they just want to ask you a few questions, repeat the question until you get a direct answer. If they do not answer, verbally inform them that you have to leave and slowly walk away.”
Yes, do that. That’ll go over well.
The other image advances the scenario and instructs us, “If a cop tries to search your car,…say repeatedly that you DO NOT CONSENT to the search” and “do not open your trunk or door.”
The ACLU’s website also offers the same advice—you don’t have to talk, you don’t have to consent to a search, you have the right to walk away if you’re not under arrest—but throws an additional bone to illegal immigrants: “Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you have constitutional rights.” Well that’s just completely false.
I’m having a hard time finding the motive behind all the advised obstinacy. Why would you not consent to a police officer, who stopped you for a reason and obviously suspects you of something, looking in your car to see if his suspicions are correct? Shouldn’t we be eager to prove a suspecting law-enforcement officer that his suspicions are for naught, that we’re innocent? Why should we act guilty? Being myself a conservative libertarian, I am not at all an advocate of a police state. But perhaps fighting what you see as unwarranted searches would best be carried out in a townhall meeting rather than on the battlefield of a highway. In addition to saving you and the officer doing his job a lot of trouble, it will also help to nullify the bad reputation Libertarian hipsters have given to the Libertarian movement. We’re not all disrespectful, self-righteous punks, after all.