Debate, Dispute, Disagree—But Please Don’t Call for Arrest

Article/Op-Ed in Just Security
Erin Alexis Randolph / Shutterstock.com
Feb. 6, 2018

Joshua Geltzer wrote for Just Security on how the language of law enforcement has infected political discourse:

That language has become so widespread so quickly that there’s a danger of missing just how aberrant and worrisome it is. For centuries, a key feature of our democracy has been the distinction between the political space and the criminal space. Sure, political debates, disputes, and disagreements could become heated—rightly so, given the stakes for big-ticket issues from immigration to social security to the use of military force. Losing those debates had real costs: The losers had to watch unwanted policies executed, and often saw the public turn against them—even costing them elections. But that, after all, is democracy.