The “Defund the Police” movement has seen one setback after the other over the last two years or so, even with having the mainstream media and a smattering of radical left-wing activists on city councils across the country and in Congress in their corner.
Three big rejections of DtP come to mind:
1) The trouncing of House Democrats in the 2020 election, where numerous candidates – some in competitive districts – went down in flames over their party's embrace of the movement. Much post-election yelling and hand-wringing was done on this matter in angry House Dem conference calls per reports from various media outlets at the time.
2) Eric Adams winning the New York City Democrat mayoral primary earlier this year. In a city that is inarguably one of the most-far left and “woke” big cities in the country, Adams – a former police officer who experienced police brutality growing up but who also made clear he opposes defunding the police – won his primary outright. He has maintained his position since the primary and says if elected, he will work to restore trust in the NYPD again by getting rid of the bad cops and beefing up the police force.
3) The massive blow dealt to the movement in Minneapolis courtesy of a judge ordering the city council over the summer to hire more police, saying the city was not fulfilling its obligations to its residents.
There are many more stories along those lines, but those are the three that stand out the most to me.
In an update on the dramatic fall of the “Defund the Police” movement, the Washington Post filed a report yesterday that noted there was an Adams-esque pattern in other liberal cities where mayoral candidates were conceding that calling for a reduction/elimination of police departments was, well, just dumb:
Mayoral candidates across the country are closing out their campaigns pledging to restore law and order, a major setback for racial justice protesters who only a year ago thought they had permanently reshaped the debate on policing in American cities.
As voters head to the polls Tuesday, local elections are dominated by discussions about safety and law enforcement amid a surge in violent crime. The tone of the debate, even in many liberal urban communities, highlights how major policing reforms have stalled.
From Buffalo to Seattle, Democratic politicians who once championed significant reductions or reallocations of police department budgets are backtracking. In other cities, including Cleveland, liberal candidates are being hammered over their stances on public safety.
I know I'm preaching to the choir a bit here, but just to reemphasize a point I've made in other pieces on this topic, more so than the Congressional debates on this issue, cities and counties are where the conflicts about “reimagining” the local police force really play out – because the players involved in the debate at the local level, like city council members, sheriffs, mayors, and most importantly the people are most directly impacted.
If support for yanking funding for the police isn't popular locally, all the bloviating in the world from “Squad” leftists like AOC and Ayanna Pressley, who continue to enjoy the luxury of having bought and paid for private security while demanding social workers be brought in as a substitute for police officers in crime-ridden areas of the cities they claim to love, won't matter much in most instances.
Even in places where the DtP movement has seen “successes” – like Minneapolis and St. Louis – the “victories” have been short-lived as even the white affluent liberals who were the staunchest advocates in their cities for defunding the police have gotten rude awakenings as to just what demonizing your local PD and threatening their funding does in terms of emboldening violent/career criminals, demoralizing the brave officers who decide to stick around, and emasculating terrified residents.
I mean we are at a point now in this movement where even Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is being forced to concede defunding the police doesn't work. Then there is the out-going Democrat mayor of the bellwether city of Cleveland, Ohio who has called defund the police proponents “tragedy pimps” even as the Democrat who wants to replace him seeks to do just that.
One of the most important lessons to be learned here by conservatives is that despite what appears on the surface to be overwhelming odds stacked against us on whatever hot button issue is playing out across the national landscape, Twitter liberals and woke mobs don't set policy and don't have near the power and sway the media wants you to think they do. They're just loudmouths basking in the glow of the attention (and money) they seek.
But when it comes right down to it, the evidence shows that Real people who live in Real America – which includes folks from all walks of life – often have vastly different priorities than the left-wing hacktivists that want to fundamentally change America into something she should never be.
By and large, the Defund the Police movement is in its final days, even in many of the bluer areas of the country where you'd think it'd be wildly popular (like NYC). Conservatives are also winning the fight against implementing CRT, which is why Democrats like flailing Virginia Democrat gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe would rather lie about the issue and call concerned parents “racists” than actually discuss it like a real leader would.
I'm happy to report this morning that yes, conservatives CAN win these cultural battles for the soul of our country, but only if we continue to bring receipts where these wars are being waged and emphatically say “no” to bending the knee.