Whether it's the coronavirus wreaking havoc in our healthcare system or the riots on the streets, Americans have weathered a difficult few months. If there was ever a time when our nation could benefit from some grownups in Washington D.C., now is the time. But that appears to be asking too much as liberal politicians continue to advance a radical agenda that would only further tear our country apart. The latest example, which would defund law enforcement and shift the money to social programs, was unveiled on Monday.
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), two members of the so-called "Squad" which also includes Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), announced a proposal that would strip local police departments of federal money and block funds used to finance the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Obviously, at a time of societal unrest, defunding our police is the exact opposite of what we should be doing. In fact, Congressman John Rutherford (R-Fla.), the former sheriff of Duval County in Florida, told me Wednesday on Washington Watch that this proposal to defund the police is "insane."
The hypocrisy of the left on the issue of police reform is clear. If Democrats were serious about police reform, they wouldn't have blocked Senator Tim Scott's (R-S.C.) recent bill that actually provided some common-sense reforms. But this bill was blocked by Democrats in the Senate who are more interested in political theatre than meaningful action.
Thankfully, not all Democrats are actually on board with defunding the police. In fact, according to Congressman Greg Steube (R-Fla.), the proposal is so absurd that even most Democrats hope it does not see the light of day: "The moderate Democrats want to try to stay away from that as much as they can," Steube explained. "But they can't because the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is calling for this." A bill that would release prisoners and shut down prisons, getting rid of law enforcement in America is just "crazy."
The rising crime rates are linked to lawlessness like Seattle's autonomous zone. It will only get worse, especially as some Democratic leaders opt for government funding to be placed elsewhere. This absurd idea is slowly becoming a reality in big cities under leadership which does not have their community's best interest in mind. But not only will the police get less funding, but "we're going to take away their weaponry and not allow them to be able to defend themselves against gangsters and criminals."
Congressman Rutherford echoed the absurdity of all this. Being a former sheriff, Rutherford is aware of the importance in keeping the community safe. He actually has experience keeping crime rates down: "And I attribute that to really what I call the PIE of fighting crime. And [...] the P is prevention. The I is their vision. And the E is enforcement." Yet, "[i]f you cut either one of those legs of that three-legged stool, Tony, the whole system is going to collapse." The not-so-astonishing thing that happened after many police were laid off: "Crime went up."
He continued, "this has taken us nearly three decades to see ... a steady reduction in crime from the 1970s." There's a risk of upending this trend now. The risk also applies to law enforcement officers themselves, many of whom are being threatened by the implications of being defunded; and not only them, but their families.
Those who actually have experience with these issues understand the risk and dangers of what the radical left is proposing. Nevertheless, Democratic leaders still support the movement to defund the police. Rep. Rashida Tlaib's radical positions are gaining traction with some on the Left, despite many of her fellow, more moderate Democrats wanting nothing to do with it, as Steube pointed out for us. Tlaib recently tweeted how proud she was to stand against police, a radical position out of touch with the needs of most Americans and most minorities in the communities in need of protection.