Earlier this month, my colleague Brandon Morse brought you the story of several sheriffs who'd announced they were leaving the Democratic Party. As Brandon explained:
Democrats have lost yet another Sheriff to the Republican party over the left's treatment of police and the effective abandonment of officers all over the country to the whims of left-leaning mobs and opportunistic politicians who shout “defund the police” in the streets, putting officers and communities in danger.
According to WJHL-TV, Virginia Sheriff Chip Shuler of Smyth County trashed his Democrat Party membership and filed to join the Republican Party. Democrats shouldn't be surprised by this turn of events since, as Shuler explained, this came as a result of them turning their back on him and his officers, not the other way around.
As Fox News pointed out, Shuler is hardly the first Sheriff to leave the Democrat party. He joins John McClanahan of Buchanan County and Brian Hieatt of Tazewell County, both of whom left in 2020. Hieatt, in particular, came down hard on the “defund the police” movement, noting that the rising crime that resulted from the movement's success was exactly what the left purchased with it.
Last week, another sheriff joined their ranks — this one from Cascade County, in Montana. In a post to his Facebook page, Sheriff Jesse Slaughter, who first won the office in 2018, read from a written statement, laying out his concerns about Democrat Party leadership — and their unresponsiveness to concerns he'd brought to them — and his reasons for changing his party affiliation to Republican for the upcoming 2022 election.
Per the Great Falls Tribune:
“The party leadership is failing the party,” Slaughter said of Cascade County Democrats. “The Democrats in Cascade County; the people that work every day … they don't think this radically. They don't think that we need to confiscate guns from people. They believe in the Constitution and they know it's there to protect them and help them. They don't believe it should be in any way taken away from anybody.”
In explaining his decision, Slaughter referenced several specific instances in which he felt dismissed, ignored or insulted by state and local Democrats. Among these was a Facebook post by state House Democratic candidate Jasmine Taylor that allegedly made positive reference to the left-wing political activist group Antifa — an organization Slaughter characterizes as “terrorist”.
Slaughter also explained that he's a strong believer in the Constitution, yet met with resistance from leadership and was chastised — both publically and privately — “for standing up for your Second Amendment rights.” (This comes at a time when several states and local governments are affirming their commitment to the protections afforded by the Second Amendment, even in the face of stiff opposition.)
Slaughter added that while he had received virtually no response from Democrat leadership regarding his concerns and that he needed to know he had the support of the party he'd officially aligned himself with. He also noted the “unwavering support” of the Republican Party for law enforcement.
In an appearance with Harris Faulkner on Fox News yesterday, Sheriff Slaughter elaborated on his rationale:
We have friends, we have family members, who are working in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle, Portland — and those areas are suffering horrific, horrific violence, anti-law enforcement everywhere. And the key thing that I think that is important about that is they're leaving — they're leaving, they're coming to work for places like us, and what abou those poor citizens? What about those citizens that are left there?
You know — it seems like the Democrats' solution to everything is gun control: “Let's take the arms away from the citizens, and then, let's disrespect and defund law enforcement.” And somehow that's gonna become a solution. And…what's their end game? Who's gonna enforce the law?
And that's it in a nutshell, isn't it? If you remove the tools of citizens to defend themselves and then hamstring those whose job it is to protect them, who will enforce the law? And who will protect the citizens?