April 1, 2021

FALLOUT: How ‘Defund the Police’ Killed Police Reform.

Division over how far to go on criminal justice reform has fueled a broader divide in the Democratic caucus. In a widely leaked caucus call, Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D., Va.) blamed the push to defund the police for nearly costing her a hotly contested seat, while top Florida Democrats have said the movement helped hand President Donald Trump the state. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) fired back at Spanberger, suggesting it was a failure of campaigning, not of message, that cost Democrats valuable seats in the House.

The activist push is a response to the belief, common among the most liberal Americans, that police violence is an urgent problem. Polling from the Skeptic Research Center reveals that the further to the left one’s political beliefs, the more one overestimated the number of unarmed black men killed by police.

Misapprehensions like this help explain the urgency with which many liberals have called for radical change. A collective certainty that the criminal justice system is beyond repair animates a demand to not merely “reform” the system but tear it down altogether.

Spoiler: They’d replace it with something far worse.

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