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Tags: deblasio | minneapolis | public | sector

Why We Should Defend Police Unions

New York Police Benevolent Association President Mike OMeara

New York Police Benevolent Association President Mike O'Meara and representatives from other NYPD and law enforcement unions holds a news confenece at the Icahn Stadium parking lot June 9, 2020 to address the "current anti-law enforcement environment." (Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)

Gavin Wax By Monday, 15 June 2020 05:16 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

The worst of the looting, arson, and vandalism seems to have dissipated, but it’s transitioned to rioting in the public policy realm.

A most vocal mob, enjoying the concurrent support of the media, is pushing for the elimination of police unions.

Many Americans, probably a majority, want to see reforms made in policing.

That’s a noble cause.

From banning chokeholds, to expanding bodycam use, to instituting liability insurance requirements, there are plenty of solid reforms that towns, cities, and states should strongly consider sooner — rather than later.

Those and other sorts of policy changes could be opportunities for restoring unity and trust in communities nationwide.

Unfortunately, these proposed transformational changes in policy are now overshadowed by preposterous calls to disband police departments or — abolish police unions.

Police unions should not be lumped in with other public sector unions.

There is no private version of the police, a fundamentally and wholly legitimate function of government.

What also sets police unions apart from other public sector unions, and many other institutions, is their conservative bent.

Politically speaking, it's nearly impossible to find another institution like police unions; that should mean something in a country whose academia, media, arts, and even military are dominated by the left.

As Tucker Carlson, of Fox News,  keenly observed last week, "law enforcement is one of the very few institutions remaining in this country that the left does not yet control," and that explains most of the push to take out police unions.

No true conservative honestly believes that they can appease the left or that somehow they will gain respect by sabotaging their own side in the form of "reining in" police unions.

Anyone on the right falling for this diversion may wish to seriously consider snapping out of it — post haste.

It’s clear there are many Americans who are upset over the police brutality they see and read about in the news; they may believe that cops will be more accountable without the benefit of union protection. But the first thing to acknowledge is that those spearheading efforts to gut police unions are primarily driven by their hatred for working class conservatism.

Witness the declaration of war against police unions from other public sector unions.

The police are being accused of "racism," of course.

Thankfully, most unionized police officers don’t belong to larger federations like the AFL-CIO. Consider, police unions also have to put up with pressure from others in law enforcement and the military to self-immolate in the face of mobs.

After FBI agents, National Guard troops, and even police officers kneeled (or worse) to anti-police protesters, it was refreshing to see the dozens of police union leaders in New York City on Tuesday stand up against what amount to vicious lies and false narratives.

Holding up his badge, Mike O’Meara, who presides over the New York State Police Benevolent Association, said, "This isn’t stained by someone in Minneapolis. It’s still got a shine on it, and so do theirs."

O’Meara cited the statistic of over 375 million civilian-police interactions last year, lauding their "overwhelmingly positive responses."

O'Meara continnued, "But I read in the papers all week, we all read in the papers that in the black community, mothers are worried about their children getting home from school without being killed by a cop. What world are we living in? That doesn’t happen."

O'Meara's is one of the very few voices of sanity at the local level who are taking on the likes of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who cowardly obliged the lawlessness that shut down and damaged Gotham's Times Square.

It should be noted, that also last week, the president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, John Catanzara, promised to kick out officers who decide to kneel at the protests.

Meanwhile, the president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, Michael Solan, condemned local leaders for losing "all the political will to enforce the law."

These voices of blue-collar, law-and-order populism are simply being ignored or denounced by the left and much of the media. Conservatives must do the opposite and raise their messages like a battle flag if they want to maintain any ground in the current culture war.

If the Republican Party doesn’t fight for these police unions, no one will.

Then not only will the unions be overtaken or demolished, leaving cops even more beholden to leftist mayors and mobs, but the GOP will find itself futureless.

The blue-collar voters giving President Donald Trump his current job title are neither blind or ignorant. They will not be taken advantage of. Their support and record turnout must be earned again this year, not just for Trump, but for every Republican officeholder.

Conservatives simply can’t afford to fall for the scapegoating of police unions.

If reform is necessary, so be it. Let local town halls facilitate the next steps.

Collective bargaining would be a better target for reform than the unions themselves, for instance.

More often what needs to change are the laws or the legislators responsible for writing them, not those who are dispatched to enforce them.

Defend police unions as an institution that’s inherently conservative for upholding its duty to provide law and order.

Show courage for those who display it for their communities and nation everyday.

That will provide the right momentum, something to fight for this November.

And when Trump wins again, mobs may finally think twice before taking on the police and their legitimate union representation. 

Gavin Wax is president of the New York Young Republican Club, chair of the Association of Young Republican Clubs, an associate fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, a frequent guest on Fox News, and publisher of The Schpiel. You can follow him on Twitter at @GavinWax. Read Gavin Wax's Reports — More Here.

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Police unions should not be lumped in with other public sector unions. There is no private version of the police, a fundamentally legitimate government function.
deblasio, minneapolis, public, sector
Monday, 15 June 2020 05:16 AM
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