Why I support defunding the police, but voted against it…
Originally Published On Substack November 5th, 2021
Much is being made in the national press about my hometown of Minneapolis rejecting what is being characterized as a “defund the police” bill. It is being said the reason this ballot initiative failed is because an overwhelming number of people in Minneapolis actually value our police. This is not at all my experience.
I would have gleefully and proudly voted to defund the police… or better yet, abolish the police entirely if that had been the ballot initiative we had to vote on yesterday. It was not. It was the politics of victimhood wrapped up in the language of defund the police. This is clear just by looking at its strongest supporters. This has been touted as the ideal model legislation that could be enacted across the country by anti-racist racists such as the ACLU and BLM, as well as leftist politicians such as Ilhan Omar and Keith Ellison. It speaks volumes that even Amy Klobuchar, terrible though she is, couldn’t get behind this bill besides her record as a consistently progressive democrat ever since approximately November of 2016, when being a mainstream democrat or (god forbid) a conservative became the surest way to never get elected in Minnesota anywhere ever again.
It’s also instructive to look at who funded the PAC pushing this bill. Known as the “Yes 4 Minneapolis” who received $2.97 million dollars from George Soros’ “Open Society Foundation:”
Their website actually identified the real problem as “a lack of racial representation & democracy in the way our police are managed”….Democracy? Really? Not a lack of regard for civil liberties, not a lack of accountability for police who commit crimes on par with the very people they are supposed to protect citizens from, without facing the same consequences a private citizen does thanks to qualified immunity? Not police militarization? Or Command and Control policing that has largely replaced the traditional “Protect and serve” Or the measures to prevent law-abiding citizens from carrying a firearm for self-defense?
According to Yes 4 Minneapolis the real culprits are “historical inequities, redlining, gerrymandering, disenfranchisement, Jim Crowe (yes, Jim Crowe in Minneapolis,… in 2021), racial segregation, a lack of city-wide rent control, inequitable access to good schools, a lack of affordable health care and the second amendment. Because if the police aren’t responsible for protecting persons and property, no one should be responsible for that and we can just hope it works out for the best
It also didn’t help their cause that of the 14 member “committee of public safety” this initiative would have created they were only willing to explain who 3 of the 14 positions would be (the mayor, former police chief turned committee member and a city commissioner) with the other 11 to be selected by the city council. You might think an initiative concerned with a lack of democracy would have wanted to allow the people to elect their the new members, or that they would at least be sensitive to democratic accountability by telling us who they planned to put on the committee, but they said that they could not explain who they would put on this committee so we can make an informed choice when we voted for the ballot initiative. Because, the Minneapolis city council insisted, telling us who they planned to name to the committee would have been a violation of campaign finance laws.. (Seriously)
It didn’t help their cause when that information leaked out and we found out they had already chosen the precise 11 people who would fill those seats and it turned out to be a “Who’s who” in CRT supporting anti-racist racist activists from the far-left.
I have seen many libertarians express disappointment that this ballot measure failed. Largely because they seemed to believe that “defund the police” meant “defund the police”. That is not what was on the ballot yesterday and while I would have rather had a true defund the police bill passed, yesterday’s results were the best thing that could have happened considering the options that were before us.