Police officer with handcuffs

Examining calls for police reform

Andrew McCarthy of National Review Online probes the high-profile push for police reform. He finds significant reasons for concern.

[T]he racism narrative is driving the nation to ruin.

The defamation that police are institutionally racist because America is indelibly racist has opened a potentially unbridgeable chasm. It is abetted by two national character flaws. The first is our gravitation to political leaders capable only of making matters worse by their spitefulness and Manichean posturing.

The second is our increasingly manifest conviction that we are not worth defending. We seem convinced that there is no positive case to be made for a society that idealizes liberty and the equal dignity of every person. For a society that does not pretend to be perfect, but that strives to be better. A society that confesses its sin and works toward redemption: spilling its blood to end slavery, fighting to end de jure racism, and rejecting racial discrimination as a socially acceptable attitude.

If we do not believe we are worth preserving — humbled by our flaws, yes, but duly proud of our virtues and our historic accomplishments — we will not be preserved. …

… Republicans had no intention of pushing back against the slander of institutional racism. They have no stomach for trumpeting the 30-year revolution in policing that, by dramatically driving down homicide and violent crime, has saved thousands of black lives. …

… Instead, Republicans accept the premise that the nation’s police forces are infected with racism and in desperate need of reform. The GOP won’t dictate to the states, as a bill passed by House Democrats’ would. But Republicans would use federal funding as the prod for state data-gathering on police uses of force. …

… You might think Congress would want to test that proposition before hamstringing police in a way that will inevitably endanger American communities. Nope.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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