by N. Peter Kramer
On Monday 14 September Democratic Vice-President candidate Kamala Harris referred in public to something she called the ‘Harris administration’. In a speech the day after Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden himself referred to a ‘Harris-Biden administration’! If that is how they want it, from now on it is ‘the Harris-Biden campaign’.
The Democratic storyline has been that most of the protesters are peacefully objecting to racism and police practises. But it has become impossible not to see something that is between carrying signs and looting stores. It is common practise for protesters, men and women, to stand inches from the faces of policeman, especially black policeman, screaming insults and personal obscenities with no let-up. This behaviour is a phenomenon worth thinking about it. It looks like the new status quo in which there is no fear of the police by protesters and common street criminals.
It is not that long ago that everyone knew that if you did this to a policeman or -woman, you would be arrested and/or popped with a billy club. But nowadays protesters know they will not be arrested, if they are arrested they will be released quickly, and they will be released because the prosecutors probably will not press charges. Instead, prosecutors are looking for reasons to cite the police for acts of violence. After the shooting of two policemen in Compton, south of Los Angeles, a contingent of Democratic antipolice protesters stood outside the hospital chanting, ‘we hope they die!’ Joe Biden tweeted criticism after the incident as ‘entirely counterproductive’. Counterproductive for what? For his Harris-Biden campaign?
It is not the effect of the last 100 days. There is a trend in the Democratic politics that has built up this redefinition of law and order for years. They essentially redefined crime more as a behaviour problem and blamed the police function for incarceration rates. Democrats have elected progressive prosecutors in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, San Antonio, Seattle, Orlando, St. Louis, the NYC borough of Queens and many other cities.
An important political document in this Democratic evolution was released in July, after the protests, looting and urban shootings began in May. The Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force document was called ‘Protecting Communities by Reforming our Criminal Justice System. It is really unbelievable but the words ‘felony’, ‘homicides’ or ‘gangs’ appear nowhere. It is almost entirely about one thing, the police and reducing their role. The word ‘shootings’ appears once, in regard to ‘police shootings’. Also, the Democrats have failed at their Convention to mention the violence was not just avoidance of an inconvenient reality. It was an ideological choice.
The post-Floyd protests put the progressive urban policing model to an unexpected real-world test, which it has failed disastrously. It has not led to what Kamala Harris this summer as ‘reimagining how we do public safety in America’. But instead to a collapse of the police function. The result is an abrupt spike in urban crime and mobile political protesters exploiting official restraints on police. It is a still-raging storm of Democratic failure.
It appears that voters have begun to notice.