2020-07-23 – The weirdest thing happened. Last month the idea of defunding the cops was all the rage (“rage” being a literal term). There was a lot of push back, but then a lot of people started saying: “Hmm, the police have been doing a lot of things we don’t like. We’re not going to abolish them, but we need to rein them in.”
And that was the moment that Trump mobilized his secret federal police force.
Did President Trump just implicitly say that local cops are not doing their jobs? I think so!
Of course, his solution is to replace “manly” cops with hyper-manly cops in Darth Vader costumes. But let’s step back and look at what he has identified as the problem.
[Oh, you mean Democratic mayors? Don’t get me started on that one. I’m focusing in on the wheat, not the chaff.]
The problem that he and his supporters seem to be worried about is that local police don’t seem to make any headway on crime.
Part of this is baloney. Crime has been declining for decades. (So far, increases due to COVID-19 and unrest over police killings, are only a blip in the downward trend.) It would go even further down if we stopped the war on drugs. But there are some parts of the country where the streets are not safe. It’s not just the Democratic big cities. Plenty of smaller cities, particularly in the South have a problem, too.
And the cops have done little about it.
Gun advocates say that this is the reason they need to be armed, to keep their families safe.
So Trump is going big on this issue with his threat of a federal gestapo. Many cops are not keeping us safe, he says. Maybe more cops in cooler equipment will do the trick. He doesn’t know. That’s what people say. It’s worth a try.
But I don’t think the people who were ready to scale back the police last month are going to be very receptive to an effort to replace brutal police with super-brutal police.
And besides, crime statistics have been going down for decades. It’s the coronavirus stats that have been going up.
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