Guest column: The hidden agenda behind ‘Defund the Police’
Back in the 1960s there was a campaign launched by conservative political activists called “Support Your Local Police … and Keep Them Independent.” During that turbulent period in U.S. history, law enforcement was under heavy attack, just as today. In the midst of riots and civil unrest associated with the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, police officers were victimized for attempting to maintain order by violent, radical, left-wing groups like the Black Panthers, the Weather Underground and others. Unfortunately, as is the case today, some police officers were stereotyped as racists because of the actions of some of their brethren in the then-segregationist South.
The “Support Your Local Police” campaign was sparked by a desire to not only offer public support for law enforcement at a time it was under attack, but to preserve the concept of local autonomy and the independence of local police from the control of an all-powerful central government in Washington, D.C. Throughout history, dictatorships have quickly acted to secure their power by confiscating firearms in private hands and abolishing local law enforcement and placing it under the control of the central government or the party. This is what happened in Nazi Germany, for example.
The fact is that as long as local police forces exist, there is some check on the ability of the central government to oppress the population. A city police department under the authority of the elected mayor and city council could refuse to enforce a federal order to confiscate privately owned firearms, for example. A county sheriff is the highest law enforcement authority in that jurisdiction and can refuse to enforce laws that he finds are illegitimate or unlawful. A number of California sheriffs have said they will decline to enforce Gov. Newsom’s unconstitutional “edicts” regarding the mandatory usage of face masks. Others have organized into movements vowing to defy gun control legislation. By taking an oath of allegiance to the Constitution, they are duty-bound to refuse to obey political orders that violate our nation’s guiding principles.
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