Fund the police, defund the Left

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America’s police departments are full of the bravest, most selfless, honest, and beloved men and women our country produces. They are patriots, a large proportion of whom join the force after serving in our military. They keep us safe. They are the reason we can sleep soundly in our beds at night. They put their lives on the line every day so that the rest of us don’t have to.

The campaign to demonize police (men and women of all races) is organized by the woke left wing of the Democratic Party and subtly supported by the media. Their words and tactics are outrageous. During the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic death, officers stood guard protecting homes, businesses, and monuments, while adult-aged children attacked them with weapons and called them racists, fascists, and worse. They stood there for us, and our communities, and took it.

Now that the riots have died down (thanks to the police and the National Guard), the Left’s schoolyard bullies are graduating from insults to insanity. In cities across the country, woke radical progressives are not calling for police reform — which is a much-needed debate (and that debate should include how citizens show respect and respond to responsible policing).

The Left want no part of a civil debate about reducing violence between police and citizens. They want police departments shut down, defunded, or eliminated altogether. The Minneapolis City Council has announced its intention to disband the city’s police department. Other cities are following suit. Marxists under the pretense of the Black Lives Matter movement have kicked out the police to overtake blocks of downtown Seattle, with the support of a liberal mayor and governor, calling for racial segregation of healthcare and the elimination of all prisons.

The defunders of police have no idea what will replace law enforcement officers or who will come to protect our unarmed families from thieves and thugs. Some say we just need more social workers and counselors. Others have called for vaguely defined committees of public safety. (That’s what they called the guillotining secret police during the French Revolution, too!) Some (elected politicians, mostly) try to hide behind weasel words. “Defund,” they say, “doesn’t necessarily mean take their money away.”

It’s time to answer this lunacy with common sense. Instead of defunding police departments, we should start defunding the leftist outrage mob.

The dirty little secret of the extremist Left is that it’s not a spontaneous voluntary movement or even a nonprofit enterprise; it’s more like a government program. The leaders of the anti-police, anti-America, “intersectional” socialist wing of the Democratic Party are all living off your tax dollars.

The socialist Left’s intellectual leaders, the ones who actually think up ideas such as banning police officers, are the faculty and administrators of once-great but increasingly feckless universities. Colleges only survive on the generosity of direct government funding. They can charge exorbitant tuitions only because federal student loans are picking up the tab. Every rude, ignorant, violent mob you see defacing or destroying public property was taught their foolish ideas by second-rate, taxpayer-financed professors. Our college campuses are a disgrace today. Entitled leftist academics are clamping down on the free speech, religious liberty, and even due process of law of their students. Congress could fix this problem overnight by prohibiting student loans going to any school that doesn’t protect the equal constitutional rights of its students.

Meanwhile, the woke Left’s political muscle comes from public sector unions: teachers’ unions and other government bureaucrats. Their union bosses funnel their members’ dues to the Democratic Party, which in turn doles out ever more generous salaries and benefits to their donors. It’s a vicious cycle of corruption that, again, Congress is totally empowered to stop. Unlike private sector unions, who collectively bargain with business owners over the profits produced by their joint efforts, government employee unions negotiate with politicians over how much of other people’s money they will give each other. Congress could check the excesses of public sector unions at the federal and state level any time. They could reform the federal civil service. They could bar government employee unions from campaign activity as a natural conflict of interest.

Republicans in Congress, unsure on how to respond to the socialist Left’s campaign to defund the police, need to go on offense and get to work on defunding the Left. The police deserve our support; the woke mob doesn’t.

Jim DeMint is the chairman of the Conservative Partnership Institute, the author of Saving America From Socialism, and serves on President Trump’s economic recovery task force. He is a former U.S. senator from South Carolina.

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