John McCroskey: Critics Blast America’s Past Without Acknowledging Progress; Bar Attacker Should've Been Jailed


As a kid growing up, it was a much simpler time. 

There were only a couple channels on TV, there was no internet and I had two parents who loved me enough to smack my butt when I had it coming. I spent time outside pointing pretend stick guns at bad guys.

Our teachers taught us to read, write and do math, although they had their hands full with me.   The little news we saw told us what happened and not what to think about it.

We knew which bathroom to use and it never occurred to us that might someday be a question.

And we never were told America was evil. 

Today, there seems to be an endless number of liberals, actors and even elected officials (many wealthy) who frequently tell us just that.

They’re all hypocrites.

As we passed the Fourth of July this year, it was hard to listen to mainstream media and others call out this great country for sins of the past. Worse still, to hold people who were not around when those sins occurred to be somehow responsible for them. 

Of course, our history isn’t perfect. In some cases, it’s tragic. 

But when these people decry America, I have to ask where in the world they think it would be better? Most countries wouldn’t let them bad mouth the government and the country’s history like we do here. They have no constitutional right to speak.

We still mostly do, unless you disagree with liberal ideology or Dr. Anthony Fauci. 

Of course we can always do more to improve, but not acknowledging our progress isn’t productive either.

We should be very protective of the rights enshrined in our Constitution and fight very hard to keep them all.


A couple of weeks ago or so, there was a story about a suspect who allegedly — and apparently it’s on video — refused to pay a bar tab and strangled the female bartender in Chehalis. 

I’ve thought a lot about this since then. I have no intention to disparage the police chief directly, but after reading his response to a city councilor, I’m not sure his response was adequate.

COVID-19 has affected many things in our lives and I have no doubt, as he suggested, it complicates procedures, as hospitals and jails are in somewhat restricted modes of operation.  But if it were me, I’d have tried to book that guy. Then, when my city councilor called, I could point a finger directly at whatever system said no.   

Instead, it just appears from the story that there was no serious effort to try.

It sounds like they initially classified the crime as a misdemeanor, which seems odd given the description. In fact, they later upgraded the charge to a felony. The fact that an officer would have had to go to Providence St. Peter Hospital, leaving one officer alone in the city, also seems like a weak excuse. Call someone in for overtime. I’m pretty sure that happens on occasion.

In any event, what happens if we stop arresting, jailing and punishing especially violent suspects? It’s not really hard to figure out — just look at what’s happening in big cities where they no longer require bail and release violent criminals immediately. 

Crime spikes.

I don’t know if you have noticed but even locally our news is filled with violent crimes, and that’s just here in little old Lewis County. Across the country people are acting out more than ever and the response is absolutely idiotic. 

Want to reduce crime? Lock them up and keep them there as long as possible.

There is so much focus on the police and what they are doing as opposed to what the knotheads they are up against are doing in the first place. 

I read President Joe Biden wants to address the root cause of gun crime. What a farce. I can answer that for him for free — use a gun in a crime, go to prison and stay there. Illegally possess a gun — go to prison. I have my doubts that "rogue gun dealers" are the problem.

I’m not opposed to police reforms as necessary, but it would be much more effective to have criminal reforms that start with holding these people accountable and stop making excuses for their bad behavior.


John McCroskey was Lewis County sheriff from 1995 to 2005. He lives outside Chehalis, and can be contacted at