What is it with elected Democrats and cops? Specifically, they seem to take it as an article of faith that more cops on the street equals less crime. It’s not just American Democrats, either — In the May 2010 Parliamentary elections in Britain, Gordon Brown obviously did not remain Prime Minister, but he retained his seat in Parliament, from the constituency of Kirkaldy & Cowdenbeath, in Scotland, and he has retreated to the Labour back benches since then. But since he was the sitting PM at the time, when they counted the ballots in K&C and determined that he won another term in Parliament from that seat (Duh, Labour has all the MP seats in Scotland), they let him do a longer than normal victory speech. In it, which also served as a semi-concession nationally, by then it was clear that the Tories would get at least a plurality, he touted the accomplishments of the Blair-Brown Labour governments, including, tah dah…putting more cops on the streets:
If you’re a cop, and you’re reading these words, you will agree that the only reason people respect you and fear you is because you have an entire criminal justice system behind you — Courts, judges, prosecutors, jails and prisons. More importantly than that, you have the majority of public opinion on your side the majority of the time.
Anyone who has studied civics for more than five minutes knows that a police arrest is the first stage in the process to dispose of a criminal offense. Democrats seem to want to have cops everywhere, but in all other instances, they do their best to weaken the rest of the system, from appointing black and leftist judges who sympathize with black defendands and also issue rulings that swing jail house doors open, and also endorsing black jury nullification. They’re also two-faced when it comes to cops themselves, because Democrats love civil rights laws and civilian review boards full of cracker jack box black preachers. I guess in the ideal Democrat world, there would be 20 cops on every corner, but they wouldn’t be allowed to do anything. The reality of that world, far more a nightmare than a dream, is that if the criminal justice system behind the cops is nullified, then civilians have no reason to fear or respect cops. All the cops will be is useless government employees belonging to a union that funds Democrat Party candidates; that’s probably the whole point.
Don’t forget that in both Britain and America, certain crime-prone racial minorities are also loyal voting blocks for Labour and the Democrats, respectively. Labour and Democrat politicians can’t afford truly to crack down on violent crime, because that would be throwing their base in jail. But they can’t appear to be soft on crime, because they do need to sucker swing and marginal white voters into their camp to win elections. This legerdemain about “more cops on the street” is a political calculation to look tough on crime without actually being tough on crime.
But I want to look at this from a more fundamental, philosophical angle, starting with my question above: Why is it assumed that more cops watching more people more and more of the time automatically equals less crime? To put it another way, take my question and look at that “half full” glass from the “half empty” side — Why is it assumed that people will automatically commit crimes and misbehave when they know a cop isn’t watching them? I know that 99.999% of the time, I am not in the direct line of sight of an officer of the law. I also know that nothing about that makes me want to go out and murder, rob and rape people. That’s the way it is with most of you as well. This is why I cringe about stories that read, “boo hoo, city budget cutbacks in (Fill in the blank city), (Fill in the blank state) means fewer cops on the streets and more crime.” Logic would dictate that if the people of these cities feared a crime wave, they would commit fewer violent crimes.
The answer to that riddle is that there are certain (ahem) faithful constituencies of the Democrat Party who don’t behave that way, and can’t seem to follow the law without the law watching. Maybe you and I will follow almost all criminal laws almost all of the time while cops aren’t watching us, but the people of Joe Biden’s precious Flint, Michigan, (certain ones, anyway), don’t seem to have that ability.