Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
New York Times op-ed columnist Thomas Friedman warned in a piece published on Tuesday that “volcanic forces are gathering that could blow the lid off our democracy.”
“We are living in a fool’s paradise. Enjoy it while it lasts,” the liberal columnist said.
What pending calamity was Freidman referring to? Donald Trump being reelected in 2024, which he admitted has him “terrified.” And while he pontificated on fabricated fears, he also touched on a very real concern in the article, “Want to Get Trump Re-elected? Dismantle the Police.”
With crime surging in one major Democrat-run city after another, and murders now skyrocketing, the party understands it has a big problem. Rising crime comes on the heels of the Democratic Party’s “Defund the Police” campaign, where police officers have been demonized and pushed back on their heels. Add to this a wave of officers retiring early as a result of the current hostile environment, and new recruits scarce, many cities are seeing criminal elements flourish.
Friedman noted that the Times just reported that “homicide rates in large cities,” and that the numbers were “up more than 30 percent on average last year, and up another 24 percent for the beginning of this year.”
“Soaring murder rates and policing are becoming huge Republican and right-wing-media talking points. Democrats are vulnerable,” he wrote, adding that President Joe Biden was planning to lay out a “forceful anti-crime strategy on Wednesday.”
So much for sympathy for the victims.
In addition to the surge in crime, Friedman regaled about Republican-controlled state legislatures passing “voter-suppression measures to retain power and reinstall Trump and his imitators,” citing Vox to claim that they “might disqualify voters for no valid reason.”
Proving Trump Derangement Syndrome is alive and well, he bemoaned about how Trump’s DOJ had “secretly seized the personal data of journalists and Democrats in Congress” while investigating leaks.
“Now imagine what would happen if Trump was re-elected in 2024 by his cultlike following and he didn’t have to worry about facing voters again,” Friedman wrote. “He’d be out of control.”
But chief among his concerns was Democrats continuing to pursue their anti-police agenda, as he counseled the party on limiting the Republican Party’s power:
“For the future of our democracy, we need to make sure that until the G.O.P. stops being a Trump cult, its power is limited. That will require many strategies but two for sure: Democrats need to block Republican efforts to decertify elections and resist efforts from their own base to defund/dismantle the police.
“Maybe Congress will pass voter-protection laws to nullify what the Trump cult is up to, but I won’t bank on it. So, when G.O.P. lawmakers pass these voter-suppression measures and insist that they’re just trying to ensure fair elections and not targeting anyone, I hope Democrats in general and minority voters in particular (they are absolutely being targeted) respond with a massive get-out-the-vote campaign under the banner, ‘You talkin’ to me?'”
Continuing the fearmongering, the liberal columnist talked about Democratic wins at the polls being decertified by GOP efforts, warning that it would be “a big step toward unraveling the American experiment.”
“It could lead to civil war. That’s where the Trump-cult G.O.P. is taking us,” Friedman wrote.
But the defund the police effort weighed heavy, as he returned to it while speaking of the disastrous effects it has had in Minneapolis, where murders are up 90%:
As for policing, this issue could really sink Democrats. For example, big swaths of my old hometown, Minneapolis, have been turned into a dangerous and dystopian ghost city, racked by gun violence, since the police murder of George Floyd, a murder that exposed two truths for all to see: that racism in metropolitan police forces is real and appalling and requires many remedies, but also that rushing to defund or dismantle police forces without a carefully considered plan is not one of them.
The defund battle cry initially guided the super-progressive Minneapolis City Council, and it has diminished and demoralized the police force, leaving behind a department that is often either unable or unwilling to risk getting embroiled in any kind of confrontation.
He acknowledged that minority neighborhoods are paying the ultimate price for the surge in crime and goes on to make the case for building police departments back up, rather than dismantling them.
…to win elections, of course.
Sen. Josh Hawley agrees with that sentiment, proposing this week that an additional 100,000 officers be hired to counter the surge in violent crime.
Violent crime is surging across the country. Our families need protection. Our cops need support. We should raise officers’ pay and put 100,000 new cops on the beat
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) June 23, 2021
Some Democrats understand the severity of the problem and are calling for more resources for police, with President Biden urging that Covid funds be used to hire cops.
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