That's right, he's back:
America's Toughest Sheriff
By Bram van der Rest
October 16 2017 | 12:00 last updated
While hurricane Harvey hammered the Texas coast, President Donald Trump saw his chance to pardon 'America's Toughest Sheriff Joe Arpaio officially. And he took it. For the laymen amongst us, who have never been president of the United States, there seems to be little or no connection between the two events. Well, Trump possesses this supernatural gift actually to do see the connection. "I assumed the [television] ratings would be far higher than they would be normally,” Trump brilliantly declared during a news conference. And so history was written. Arpaio, who has been accused of years of violating fundamental human rights in his prisons, was granted presidential clemency.
Let’s refresh your memory. Joe Arpaio, self-proclaimed “America's Toughest Sheriff,” has been the elected Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, for 24 years. He condemns political correctness and acts accordingly. His racist, law-breaking, and the humiliating regime has given rise to both fierce critics and staunch supporters.
In 1993, he opened “Tent City,” a penitentiary that, according to his own statements, closely resembles a concentration camp. As a form of humiliation, Arpaio dresses his prisoners in striped outfits with the text: “Sheriff’s inmate.” Male prisoners are required to wear pink underwear and tops, and show this to the media while walking hand in hand with each other. In their free time, inmates can only watch Lassie Come Home, cooking channels, or the weather. Inmates only receive two meals a day and women are obliged to participate in chain-gangs outside the prison to scare young girls and boys, clean the community, and help with Arpaio’s search for illegal immigrants.
Prisoners have been beaten by guards and receive inadequate medical care.
The list goes on. Family members of immigrant inmates are not allowed to visit them, and communication with them goes by postcards that depict the Sheriff with his inmates as slaves by his side, ideally with his signature on it. To stroke his own ego, he decorated his office with large pictures and paintings of himself, and the police department’s equipment—which includes tanks and military weapons—depict his name and his beliefs such as a ban on alcohol and drugs. To warn the community for not abiding the law, military equipment, a large neon-light vacancy sign, and see-through fences are permanently reminding them of the fate that awaits them if they do not follow his regime.
These misconducts, abuses, and discriminatory acts have caused Arpaio to be involved in numerous court cases, which he managed to settle by using taxpayers’ money. Until last month, when Arpaio ignored a court order in a racial profiling case and was convicted of criminal contempt. Trump, however, now protects Arpaio from criminal prosecution.
Even though this event raises many eyebrows, his action is not remarkable nor inconsistent. Political incorrectness has been the bedrock of Trump’s presidential campaign. He claims to favor the opinion of the majority over the rights of individuals. Considering that Arpaio has been in charge for six consecutive terms, on a democratic basis, Trump seems to have a strong case. The “silent majority” apparently backs Arpaio, and so Trump’s clemency is justified by his own promise.
Trump seems to forget, however, that Arpaio lost the 2016 election against Democrat Paul Penzone, thereby losing the widespread support for his regime. The silent majority that supported Arpaio’s regime before, today no longer seems to exist. It has shrunk to a minority that no longer represents the will of the majority. But, let’s be honest, by still backing Arpaio’s regime and granting him an presidential pardon, Trump finally also defends the arguments and interests of minorities. That might offer some hope for the future…