Why I Don’t Respond to Quacks
There is something about law enforcement that attracts quacks. Do you know the kind of individual I’m talking about? … The person who seems like he or she dropped in from the Twilight Zone. (I probably just dated myself, but so be it.) This person makes no sense yet demands attention, usually from a bully pulpit.
What Is a Quack
A quack is a person who spews inaccuracies, half-truths, fabricated information, and polarizing opinions. Moreover, one of the favorite tactics of such a person is to resort to name-calling. After all, when you can’t win an argument, use demeaning metaphors to silence the opposition, right?
The purpose of a quack is to espouse an unpopular agenda based upon a predisposition anchored in a worldview that is not shared by rational thinking individuals.
Does this sound like any particular group that you know clamoring at law enforcement?
Letters From Quacks
One of the members of Law Enforcement Today recently received a venomous letter from a quack. Admittedly, 25 years ago I would have responded with all the flaming arrows in my arsenal. It’s in my nature to fight fire with fire.
As a result, I learned how to “burn the house to the ground” if necessary; … and the final outcome? In all likelihood, I never altered the opinion of a single quack in my life, even though I believed I “won” many arguments.
Furthermore, I now consider the likelihood that offending people who desire to support my position is likely if they are repulsed by the unnecessary verbal aggression. Consequently, I might feel smug after unleashing superlative spears, yet I’ve actually won nothing.
After viewing hundreds of caustic writings as a police watch commander, detective bureau commander, and internal affairs investigator, I’ve learned the best and most productive use of my time is to permanently store these letters in “File 13”—a euphemism for the trash can—at least most of the time.
Why Should I Respond?
Is a response necessary? This is the first question I ask when considering a reply to a quack. If the attack is personal in nature and there is no chance I’m going to convince or influence the pre-disposed aggressor of words, I’ve determined it is not worth my emotional energy.
If the attack is directed at a public entity in a viewable format, then sure, a defense is required. But usually the anonymous letter spewing hatred gets sent to the round file. Moreover, I also ignore public comments in social media.
They Are Cemented in Place
Quacks cannot be influenced, they are cemented in place. Those who participate in quackology do not care about your perspective, facts, or the truth. Addressing them simply lends credibility to their rant that they don’t deserve.
Tragically, their noise is turning to intimidation and violence.
This is one of the major problems in our country; too many quacks have been legitimized because the media views their perspective as newsworthy. It’s not, but now our collective “social conscience” has forced the quacking on the rest of us. And tragically, their noise is turning to intimidation and violence.
Cops on the Frontline
Police officers on the frontline have no option, they are forced to deal with quacks in person. As a result, I hope our brothers and sisters in blue can be patient and ignore the insults. However, when quacking action turns criminal, don’t hesitate to communicate with handcuffs. Consequently, it may not silence the quacks, but at least they’ll be forced to squawk in court, and hopefully a lengthy jail sentence.