A predictable pattern has emerged when it comes to radically progressive ideas and their eventual acceptance in policy. The most fringe elements begin talking about an idea that no one would normally take seriously, and then some of the more mainstream groups or individuals begin discussing it tentatively in public, and finally the media and high-profile politicians run with it. The tempo is variable, but the gameplan is consistent.
Eventually, what was a ridiculous and radical idea is seen as a new truth. There is growing concern that we may be in the beginning of that cycle with the idea of a national police force. If so, the momentum needs to be stopped early, before it reaches critical mass.
Just over a year ago, no one would have considered defunding the police a serious proposal. Yet here we are, watching the far left leaders of major cities defund their police departments in the midst of skyrocketing crime rates. It was a bad idea when it was first proposed and it is a worse idea now, but it has become a mainstream philosophy among the left. Some politicians have recognized the political toxicity of defunding, but seem hesitant to alienate an invigorated base by running away from it.
Now we are beginning to hear the whispers of a need for national police force. The anti-police rhetoric we have been hearing from politicians in major cities for a year has shifted to cries for help, not from the police that work for them, but from the feds. Before we know it, it will be difficult to remember a time when we weren’t discussing the importance of a national police force.
The mayor of Chicago’s demand for federal aid to fix the “gun problem” in her city is in stark contrast to her criticism of federal police a year ago, the only difference being who was president at the time. Her current message is that local police can’t fix this anymore. Mayor Lightfoot has the second largest police department in the United States at her disposal to combat rising crime rates. If Chicago PD can’t fix this, then who can? If we ignore for a moment her open hostility for the men and women in blue who work for her, we can see that her call for federal help is meant to delegitimize her own police department, and all local police forces by association. It is the open hypocrisy of the left that they are OK with a police state as long as they are the ones wearing the badges.
The left is no stranger to federal takeovers of local police departments; the civil rights division of the Department of Justice uses consent decrees like a bludgeon against police agencies. The Obama DOJ used them extensively, the Trump DOJ rarely, and the Biden DOJ seems to be gearing up to use them again. Placing a local police department under the bureaucratic oversite of Washington has been going on for a long time, and there is no doubt that the left will point to this practice in proclaiming the idea of nationalizing all police departments as not so radical. But it is.
A nationalized police force would take on the political characteristics of the administration in office. The administration’s priorities would become the local policing priorities, whether they were in Juneau or Chicago. National political winds would shift enforcement practices, completely unbound from local priorities.
Even worse, the police would now represent the political party in charge in Washington—in our own back yards (literally). How exactly would rural Texans feel about their Biden police? Probably about the same as Los Angeles would feel about their Trump police. We already have enough difficulty with community relations throughout the nation without assuring that roughly half the country would hate their police based only on the fact that they now represent an opposing political party (and its priorities).
A likely reason for the left to press for a national police force is its aim for gun control. Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed HB 2622 into law making Texas a Second Amendment sanctuary state by prohibiting state and local law enforcement from enforcing certain federal gun laws not already found in state law. Other states could follow suit, and many local governments already have. In practical terms, this could neuter attempts at federal gun confiscation or enforcement of a new federal assault weapons ban. It is not by chance that fringe left mayors have been decrying the rising violent crime in their cities, largely brought on by the demonization of their police, as a “gun problem” and demanding federal assistance in dealing with it.
The left still has designs on gutting the Second Amendment, and they are increasingly realizing that local law enforcement might not be willing to do their bidding in that arena. But a national police force certainly would.
Policing is best accomplished as a uniquely local endeavor. The police are a part of the communities they serve, and centralizing them in Washington would change that for the worse. A national police force is rife with potential problems, making the relationship between the police and the community solely dependent on the roller coaster of political power. We should stop this idea before it ever starts.