by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
What happened: In 2020, amid a wave of racially charged protests and riots, Democrats across the country issued calls to “defund the police.”
• In several crime-ridden cities—Chicago, New York, Portland, and Washington, D.C., among others—Democratic leaders caved to demands from left-wing activists and cut funding for police.
• You’ll never guess what happened next.
What happened next: Crime rose to out-of-control levels in these Democratic-run cities. Things have gotten so bad that Democratic leaders want to “send in the troops” to assist their overstretched, demoralized police forces.
• Earlier this week, Washington, D.C., council member Trayon White called on the National Guard to help stop surging violence in the district, which has experienced a rise in homicides. The Southeast neighborhood he represents has become a “war zone” plagued by frequent gunfire, White said.
• Illinois state representative La Shawn Ford, who represents Chicago, where crime is up 36 percent compared with last year, said earlier this month that sending in the National Guard “should not be off the table.”
• Gov. Gavin Newsom (D., Calif.) deployed the National Guard to San Francisco in April to help address rampant fentanyl trafficking in the city, which has become a haven for criminals.
Why it matters: Democrats are bad at stopping crime because their first instinct is to empathize with the criminals, rather than the law-abiding citizens who just want to feel safe in their own neighborhoods.
• When Democrats are finally admitting crime is a legitimate problem, as opposed to denouncing their critics as racist and insisting everything is fine, that suggests the situation on the ground is very bad indeed.
Bottom line: Antagonizing police officers and cutting their funding is a particularly ineffective way to stop crime. Imagine that!