Americans are deeply troubled by the sadistic killing of George Floyd, but they’re also worried about the nationwide protests. According to a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey, 80 percent of those who were polled think the country is spiraling out of control. This is an unsustainable situation. People want justice for Mr Floyd, but they also want an end to the turmoil. How will this will play out politically? No one knows for sure, but it’s clear that the progressive push to “defund the police” is only throwing more gas on the fire.
“Defunding the police” is not an issue the Democratic Party supports, in fact, they’d like to sweep the whole thing under the rug pronto. But grassroots activists are not that easily placated. They’re not interested in the Democrat’s half-loaf reforms, they want a whole new system that eliminates traditional policing altogether. They want to revolutionize the way that communities deal with public safety issues even if it puts citizens at greater risk. Check out this brief exchange between the president of Minneapolis’s City Council, Lisa Bender, and CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday:
Cuomo– “When you say you see someday being police-free that sounds aspirational, a utopian concept where nobody’s committing any crime, because as long as these communities are being preyed upon, both from within and without, there’s gonna have to be good men and women willing to step up to keep people safe.”
Lisa Bender– “I think the idea of having a police-free future is very aspirational, and I am willing to stand with community members who are asking us to think of that as the goal. We recognize that we don’t have all the answers about what a police-free future looks like, but our community does. We’re committed to engaging with every willing community member in the city of Minneapolis over the next year to identify what safety looks like for you.” (CNN)
“A police-free future?” Really?
City Council member Jeremiah Ellison, shares Bender’s views on defunding the police department and issued the following incendiary statement on Sunday: “We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together. We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response. It’s really past due.”
Ellison may be a grandstanding politico, but his views have carried the day in Minneapolis where nine members of the City Council have voted to disband the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with what is being described as a “new model of public safety.” According to the New York Times, “Council members say they aren’t certain exactly what policing will look like once they’re finished, and they caution plans will take a long time to execute.”
If all of this sounds a bit wacky, well, it is, but the idea has spread to liberal bastions across the country where city government’s are currently embroiled in heated debates over the future of traditional policing. Meanwhile, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has issued a brief statement via Twitter opposing the defunding plan. Biden’s spokesman said the former VP “does not believe that police should be defunded. He hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change, and is driven to ensure that justice is done and that we put a stop to this terrible pain… ”
The problem for Biden is obvious; he needs the energy and support of African Americans and the liberal wing of the party to beat Trump in November which means that–whatever his real feelings about “defunding” might be– he needs to ‘tread softly’ to avoid alienating his base.
That same rule doesn’t apply to Trump. Trump is in the catbird seat where he can lambast the “left” for their kooky “defunding” idea while promising to restore order by deploying the National Guard or the military. His
approach is not that popular yet, but as the demonstrations drag on, more people are likely to move to his corner.
So how does this end?
Well, nobody knows yet, not even the zany Ms. Bender who admits as much when she says that she doesn’t know “what a police-free future looks like”. In other words, the Minneapolis city council is conducting a controlled experiment in which public safety is the designated lab-rat. Does that make sense to you? Meanwhile, homes will get burgled, businesses will have their windows broken, passers-by will get mugged, all manner of crime will increase, and wealthier families will pack up and move to other locations where security is assured. This isn’t a sensible way to address police brutality, it’s madness.
If the Council was serious about police brutality, they’d put their efforts into demanding justice for the victim. That’s what people really want, justice. They want to see Floyd’s killer prosecuted, convicted and put behind bars. That’s the only outcome that’s going to satisfy everyone. Secondly, the Council should reform the recruiting process so that candidates with a history of violence or racial hatred are excluded. This would help to weed out the sadists and other applicants that are prone to use excessive force. This could be done in coordination with citizen panels appointed by the City Council. Third, departments could agree to police black neighborhoods exclusively with black cops whose conduct could be reviewed periodically by an independent citizen panel.
Any of these recommendations make more sense than the defunding idea which isn’t just bad policy, it’s dangerous. It poses a real threat to working class neighborhoods that would be disproportionately impacted by such a radical action. The rich can pay for their own security, but that’s not a luxury working people can afford. Defunding the police would put every man, woman and child at greater risk of bodily injury from individual or gang violence. How does that serve the interests of social justice or racial equality?
It doesn’t. The idea fails on all counts, but still it is being promoted by an energized and idealistic group of activists. Why?
This is not an easy question to answer mainly because this type of liberalism-run-amok looks to be detached from any historical or ideological precedent. It’s just loony pie-in-the-sky utopian claptrap. Are we expected to take these people seriously? Are we expected to applaud the fact that they are incapable of coming up with a reasonable solution that doesn’t put the public at greater risk?
“Defunding the police” is not even an issue that warrants a liberal response. The focus should be on inequality and the massive looting operation that Wall Street is conducting right under our noses. This is the battle that liberals need to join, the battle against the vicious Kleptocrat class that rules this country. Check out this blurb from an article by Gilad Atzmon at Unz Review:
“The pandemic led to ‘one of the greatest wealth transfers in history’…small businesses are dropping like flies, (while) big business… is coming through the crisis virtually unscathed.
… the transfer will have a “horrible effect” on the USA. We are already seeing a tsunami of bankruptcies. The economic fallout is inevitable. Federal data shows that the nation faces a 13.3 percent unemployment rate. The fortunes of U.S. billionaires increased by $565 billion between March 18 and June 4 while the same 11-week period also saw 42.6 million Americans filing jobless claims. The results are devastating, if hardly a news item: while the American people are getting poorer, the rich are getting richer.
One would have thought that the American Left and progressive political institutions would be the first to be alarmed by these developments… The American reality, however, suggests the opposite. Instead of uniting us in a fierce battle against Wall Street and its broad daylight robbery of what is left of American wealth, the American Left is investing its last drops of political energy in a ‘race war.’Instead of committing to the Left’s key ideological values, namely: class struggle that unites us into one angry fist of resistance against this theft and discrimination, and without regard to our race, gender, or sexual orientation, the American Left makes us fight each other.
The silence of the Left on the current Wall Street “wealth transfers” is hardly an accident. American Left and Progressive institutions are supported financially and by Wall Street and global financiers. This funding means that, in practice, the American Left operates as a controlled opposition. It maintains its relevance by sustaining social and racial tensions that draw attention away from Wall Street and its crimes.” (“Weimar 2020″, The Unz Review)
Repeat: “The American Left …maintains its relevance by sustaining social and racial tensions that draw attention away from Wall Street and its crimes.”
Get it? In other words, racial tensions are amplified to divert attention from Wall Street’s relentless thievery. That doesn’t mean that the killing of George Floyd should be ignored, only that it should be put in perspective. Wall Street’s illicit maneuverings have netted Big Finance somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 trillion during the Coronavirus lockdown. Meanwhile working people received a paltry $500 billion in $1,200 payouts and unemployment compensation, barely enough to scrape by the 10 weeks of quarantine. At the same time, the Fed has backstopped every sector of the capital markets assuring investors that prices will remain permanently inflated while the real economy plunges into a second Great Depression. All told, the Wall Street bailout is the biggest ripoff in American history and it continues as we speak.
At present, we have not yet felt the sting of recession or seen the vast damage the lockdown has inflicted on the economy. But the day of reckoning is fast approaching. Many of the states are drowning in red ink, their only option will be excruciating belt-tightening measures that savage social programs and essential services for the needy, the elderly, and schoolchildren. The exploding national debt will require the same medicine from Capitol Hill. As soon as the ballots are counted in November, both parties’ leaders will demand severe budget cuts and austerity measures to trim the deficits and impose fiscal discipline. These draconian steps will further widen the gaping chasm between rich and poor exacerbating social tensions and creating a permanent underclass willing to work for pennies on the dollar. All of these things will happen, and soon.
Are liberals prepared to fight this class war that could be just weeks away or will they choose to become even more irrelevant by promoting policies that only prove they are unfit to lead?
In my opinion, liberalism is a spent-force, a misdirected social dogma that has lost its luster, an idea whose time has passed. Let’s admit it, the zeitgeist has changed, it’s a different world now, and different ideas will be needed to shape events.
By Mike Whitney
Source: The Unz Review