The president did something that might have been viewed as radical for a Democrat not too long ago: Praise police.
With members of law enforcement in the audience, the president touted his proposal, one that’s sure to alienate some on the far left to give police major financial support that’s been lacking as of late in so many communities across the country.
“When it comes to public safety to this nation, the answer is not defund the police. It’s fund the police, fund the police, I’m tired of not giving the kind of help they need. Folks, look, we’re in a situation in this country where we have to give them additional resources they need to get their job done,” Biden said.
Now, to some on the right, this all may come off as nakedly political, a cheap ploy to try and pick off some swing voters ahead of the midterms. They may be right. But hey, if being pro police is good politics now, then I’m all for it, as long as it stays this way.
Now, there are aspects of this plan, particularly related to gun control, that will be very controversial. But tonight, I’m just focused on how encouraging it was to hear Biden not only voice respect for the men and women of law enforcement, but true empathy for what they go through each and every day on the streets.
“Remember what happened to community policing? We went from having enough cops on the street to cities doing well and then decided they don’t need more police officers. So they reduced the police forces. So you didn’t have two cops in every vehicle. You had one cop in every vehicle. And I don’t blame one cop for not getting out in some certain neighborhoods, not getting out of the car,” Biden said.
He even went a step further, addressing the law enforcement officers in the audience directly.
“We expect them to do everything we expect them to be to protect us, to be psychologists and to be sociology. I mean, we expect you to do everything. I’m not joking. Everything. You realize more police officers are killed dealing with domestic violence than anything else. You realize that? The point is, we asked so much of you, so much of you,” Biden said.
Imagine a Democrat talking like that about our police two years ago. And sure, it’s unquestionably influenced by polls that show, for example, 67% of Americans have a favorable opinion of police compared to 24% who don’t.
But however Biden got there, the fact is, it helps the men and women of law enforcement dramatically to know that the president of the United States is behind them. And he’s not just backing them up with talk. He says he’s prepared to put money where his mouth is.
If it’s pandering, then hey, we’ve come a long way where political pandering involves being pro police. But let’s appreciate that. Finally, police officers may end up getting the support they need.
There will be fights over this bill from the left and the right. But let’s just hope that when some other incident with police happens down the road, which will inevitably happen, it doesn’t take us back to the defund era.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not of NewsNation.