The latest slogan from the left has got to be their craziest (so far): “defund the police.”
There already seems to be a split among pundits on the left, with some taking the slogan literally, and others claiming that it’s more to echo sentiment that major reforms need to be made. In both scenarios the slogan makes no sense. If someone legitimately believes that police are routinely committing abuses, how would paying them less money change anything? And if the purpose of the slogan is to call for reform, their slogan should be “reform the police.”
Do people think that when Republicans say something like “defund NPR’ they mean “reform NPR”? Of course not.
Perhaps we will see a rebranding soon, because while support for movements like “Black Lives Matter” has reached a record high, support for (literally) “defunding the police” remains a fringe position.
According to Rasmussen Reports:
[Only] 27% of American Adults favor reducing the police budget in the community where they live. Despite the growing political movement to defund police departments and channel that money into more social services, 59% are opposed to cutting their local police budget, while 14% are undecided.
Republicans (16%) are more reluctant than Democrats (29%) and those not affiliated with either major party (32%) to cut local police funding.
Just 17% of all Americans believe there are too many police officers in America, although that’s up from 11% six years ago. Thirty-eight percent (38%) say there are not enough cops, down from a high of 51% in 2014. Thirty-five percent (35%) rate the number of police officers as about right.
Even among blacks, only 27% think there are too many cops, although that compares to 15% of whites and 17% of other minority Americans. Blacks (36%) are more enthusiastic than whites (25%) and other minorities (24%) about defunding the police and channeling that money into more social services.
So far Camden New Jersey has been exhibit-A for those claiming that “defunding/abolishing the police” works. As bizarre as it is to see Camden heralded as a model of anything except how not to run a story, it is true that despite still being among the most violent cities in the country, they have seen a two-thirds reduction in their homicide rate since 2012.
The “defund the police” crowd will correctly tell you that Camden abolished their police force in 2013 to replace it with a new force centered on community policing – but they bury the lede and neglect to mention that Camden doubled the size of their police force and have triple the police per capita than similarly sized cities.
ironically, the only supposed successful example of “defunding the police” is a case where there are a lot more police were hired.