Imagine this scenario.

A woman is walking down the street, when a man rips her purse from her shoulder and disappears into a crowd. She screams for help, and a nearby police officer catches him a few blocks away in a park, out of breath, with the purse’s contents on the ground.

“Hand it over!” the cop yells.

As the man slides the money from the purse into his own pocket, he says, “I actually borrowed this purse with permission from a woman earlier today.”

“You mean the woman who was crying out, “Stop! He stole something from me!”

“That may have been the same woman,” he admits slowly.

“You’re going to jail.”

“Wait! I’ve been stealing from other people for years, and they didn’t make a big stink about it. That lady is to blame. Didn’t she seem…a little suspicious to you?”

“The only thing suspicious is that she was screaming,” one officer says.

“Yes, but before that…” he suggests. “I think she seemed a little ‘off,’ if you know what I mean. Did you see her patriotic sweater, with the American flag on the front? Please. Why let people like her just waste money on whatever it is they enjoy spending money on, when I can do a much better job?”

“Still,” the officer says. “It’s illegal.”

“Okay, you’re right — I’ve participating in ‘illegal activity,’” he says. “But I’m sorry. Honestly, I thought she was giving it to me.”

How do you think the cops would handle such a situation?

Most people would assume that the police would handcuff the guy, return the purse, and let the courts decide his punishment. But what if the officer sat down beside the thief and said, “You’re right. I don’t see any evidence of criminal wrongdoing here.”

… Without even talking to the lady with the stolen purse?

That’s exactly what happened last week, but on a much larger—and culturally threatening—scale.  Read about it here in my new article in American Spectator.

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.