Tuesday on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” host Tucker Carlson outlined how the so-called “Defund the Police” moniker was a “disaster” for Democrats in last week’s election.
He noted that Democrats had abandoned the slogan out of politics and not necessarily out of it representing bad policy.
Transcript as follows:
What you’re watching right now is not simply a battle between two political parties, or even two opposing worldviews, it is deeper than that. And if you want to understand what’s really going on, we’re going to isolate just one slogan that kind of decodes it all. The slogan is, “Defund the police.”
Defund the police. You probably haven’t heard that for a while. In the weeks before the election, no elected Democrat would say those words in public. So effectively, it has disappeared.
Yet, in a lot of ways, “defund the police” defined this year in American politics. For months, it was the central demand of the American left. It was the main thing they wanted. And there was never any question about what defunding the police would mean. Really, it was a remarkably straightforward slogan.
Defund the police meant, defund the police: cut off their salaries, get rid of them. But why? What was the point of getting rid of the police? Of defunding them? That’s the real question. It’s baffling, really.
In conventional politics, the goal is always to improve the lives of your voters, give people something they want, and in return, they will vote for you. That’s the exchange.
But who exactly wanted to defund the police? Was there a constituency for that? Whose life was going to be improved by abolishing law enforcement? Was there evidence that anyone’s would be improved? No, there wasn’t.
No academic study or white paper from some think tank in Washington even suggested that defunding the police would help anyone. In fact, dozens of studies over decades proved exactly the opposite. It would make things much worse, and that makes sense. How would dangerous neighborhoods become safer once there was no one around to stop crime and violence?
Well, obviously, they wouldn’t become safer. That’s ridiculous.
If you thought about it for 15 seconds, you would know that defunding the police inevitably would wind up killing people. That’s not an exaggeration. Literally, Americans would die if you defunded the police. They knew that, but they did in any way.
We’ve never seen anything like that happen here. We have had a lot of bad ideas in America over the years, but most of them hurt people by accident. In the late 1950s, doctors prescribed for example, thalidomide to pregnant women because they sincerely thought it would help. When the drug turned out to cause horrifying birth defects, they were shocked and contrite.
The well-meaning liberals who designed our welfare system never dreamed it would destroy the black family and make poverty worse. That was an unintended consequence of a good intention. That is not what is happening here.
The left called for defunding the police knowing full well what would happen next — chaos. Chaos was the whole point of it. More rape, more robbery, more murder. Those weren’t unfortunate byproducts of a noble idea. Those were the intended consequences.
Think about that for a minute. The people behind defunding the police tried to destroy society itself. That’s not politics. Tearing down civilization isn’t a political position. It’s something much, much darker than that. It’s a kind of spiritual battle.
That sounds like overstatement, but it’s not. We should understand the stakes here.
For a long time though, we didn’t understand them. In fact, when the Defund the Police Movement started this summer, few knew what was going on, as was so many faddish hysterias that sweep our culture, most people just went along with it. They were afraid not to. Everyone else was.
So when BLM vandals painted “Defund the Police” on a major thoroughfare in Washington right near the White House, the incompetents who run that city let it stand for months. They were proud of it. They said so.
Gadflies like Sandy Cortez from Westchester went on television to explain that defunding the police was cool. It’s what all the kids were doing. It’s the future, and therefore better.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): It’s funny because when people ask me what does the world where we defund the police, where you know, defunding police looks like, I tell them it looks like a suburb.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Defunding the police looks like a suburb just like the one Sandy Cortez grew up in, with lush lawns and pool parties and hip moms and Range Rovers and the pickup line. Fun.
But the reality of defunding the police was very different. America’s cities did not become suburbs, thanks to Sandy Cortez’s idea. As summer continued, here’s what they looked like.
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
CARLSON: No, that’s not Sandy Cortez’s sleepy hometown, that’s the reality of defunding the police. Our cities burn.
The elderly were beaten and killed by thugs. Crimes skyrocketed in every metro area in the country. Things fell apart as they were always going to.
No normal person in either party could support this. So, the architects of Defund the Police did what they could to silence all discussion of the topic. Don’t talk about it.
Here is Lisa Bender, the President of the Minneapolis City Council explaining that Americans who were uncomfortable with their homes being broken into in a world without police must be — and of course, you can guess the punch line here — racist. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Do you understand that the word “dismantle” or “police free” also makes some people nervous. For instance, what if in the middle of the night, my home is broken into. Who do I call?
LISA BENDER, PRESIDENT, MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL: Yes, I mean, I hear that loud and clear from a lot of my neighbors. And I know — and myself too — and I know that that comes from a place of privilege, because for those of us for whom the system is working, I think we need to step back and imagine what it would feel like to already live in that reality, where calling the police may mean more harm is done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So calling the police is an act of bigotry. Self-defense is immoral. That was Lisa Bender’s position. Again, that’s not a political position. That’s a religion.
But increasingly, that was the posture of the entire Democratic Party, and you know what happened next, inevitably. By August, shootings in New York City had increased by more than 80 percent over the year before — 80 percent. There is no precedent for that because it has never happened.
Defunding the police was killing Americans in huge numbers. And yet, remarkably, the very people who claimed so loudly to care about gun violence decided not to notice what was happening. They never mentioned it.
By September, when virtually every person who could afford it had fled the cities in fear of disorder and chaos, Kamala Harris was still repeating the same BLM approved talking points, still attacking the police. Here she is in a tape, she certainly wishes didn’t exist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAMALA HARRIS (D): Black Lives Matter has been the most significant agent for change within the Criminal Justice System, because it has been a counterforce to the force within the system that is so grounded in status quo and in its own traditions, many of which have been harmful and have been discriminatory in the way that they have been enforced.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: If Republicans had been smart, that would have been a political ad last month, “Black Lives Matter has been the most significant agent for change within the Criminal Justice System.” What does that mean?
Well, Black Lives Matter had only one demand of the justice system and they shouted it over and over again into bullhorns in our streets, “Defund the police. Defund the police.” That was their demand. They said so, they didn’t hide it.
So in many places, the authorities did just that and you know what happened next. In Minneapolis, which was the first city in America to embrace this lunacy, more than a hundred cops are now leaving the force. Crime has become so bad in Minneapolis that the very politicians who once demanded that we defund the police are now begging for more police. That’s happening tonight.
City officials are now considering bringing in officers from other jurisdictions to restore order and keep citizens from being killed. Violent crime there is up 22 percent over last year. How did that happen? You know how it happened and voters do, too.
Thankfully, this has been a disaster for the Democratic Party, not profound enough, but still, no one is for it. Who is for defunding the police? Well pretty much no one, it turns out.
Crime and chaos scare the hell out of homeowners, taxpayers, job holders, anyone with children or pets or cars or furniture or any expectation of life beyond this afternoon. Defunding the police is nihilism and everyone knows that.
Polls show that Hispanic voters really hate the idea, and it’s one of the main reasons so many voted Republican last week. You wouldn’t have to be a desperately unhappy Gender Studies Major with a degree from Duke to think defunding the police was a wise idea. And it turns out, that’s the entire constituency for it. Unmarried, unhappy, Gender Studies Majors from Duke.
That’s not enough people to win an election and some of the smarter Democratic leaders are starting to figure that out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): Jaime Harrison started to plateau when Defund the Police showed up with a caption on TV, ran across his head. That stuff hurt Jaime. And that’s why I spoke out against it a long time ago.
I’ve always said that these headlines can kill a political effort.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Jim Clyburn, and ladies and gentlemen, telling it like it is. Defunding the police is a bad idea because it can, quote, “kill a political effort.” Oh, not a bad idea because it kills human beings, thousands of the poorest people in our society, which it measurably does, no one disputes that.
No, it’s a bad idea because it can kill a political objective and that’s the language the Democratic Party and its leaders can understand. So it’s unlikely we will be hearing a lot more about defunding the police. In fact, no one will ever again use that slogan.
At some point, it will be like it never happened. What was that? Something out of history. But it did happen, and it had massive consequences for all of us. You should remember it.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor