It is, possibly, the perfect metaphor for our times.
It involves voters’ reluctance to pay for services. Legal and illegal drugs. Demonization of “others.” Crime. Profiling. And a sense that any Joe off the streets can do the job of professionals.
In short, it involves the destruction of norms and our willingness to undermine the foundations of society.
That might be an overstatement. But the situation in Cave Junction, Ore., seems to encapsulate many of the things that are chipping away at the social construct that long has provided stability throughout the United States.
We’ll start at the end: In Cave Junction, a town of about 2,000 people in Southern Oregon, the city council has agreed to try a new experiment in policing. Cave Junction does not have a police force, and the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office that protects the town has been decimated over the years by budget cuts. According to media reports, a call to 911 at night can result in a 45-minute wait for help to arrive.
That being an untenable situation, the city council has voted unanimously to install security cameras on lampposts in the town and have a volunteer citizen patrol monitor those cameras. The group already conducts regular nighttime patrols in the town.