Spanish – Biden entered into a strategy of discursive redirection: moving toward the “moderate center” and condemning Trump for “conservative extremism.” According to the former vice president and current presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, Trump “wants to defund the police,” and Biden wants to increase the budget of the institution by 300 million USD.
According to Biden, President Trump’s accusations against him are a problem of pathological lies. “So the only guy that actually put in a bill to actually defund the police is Donald Trump. Look at his budget. It calls for cutting police funding for local, state, and federal aid by 400 million USD. Once again, he is pathological,” the Democratic presidential candidate said.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 8, 2020
But there are things that the Democratic candidate cannot deny, and one is that, during the month of July, when asked if he thought it was necessary to redirect funds from police departments, Biden responded with a resounding “absolutely yes.”
Biden has not said that he agrees with police funding directly, but members of his party have agreed, and he himself has campaigned in solidarity with the concerns of the “Defund the Police” leaders. It has been promoted, mainly, by the Black Lives Matter movement and other extreme left groups in the United States.
In July, the Biden campaign’s spokesperson, Andrew Bates, denied that the candidate supports defunding of police departments or cuts in funding, but noted that the Democrat “hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change, and is driven to ensure that justice is done and that we put a stop to this terrible pain.”
Bates explained that Biden supports the “urgent need for reform” and with it a greater redirection of police funds to public schools, mental health and substance abuse treatment programs, and summer programs.
That was in July, but in August and September, the Democratic Party’s rhetoric changed, curiously as the polls began to play against it.
Biden says Trump wants to “defund the police,” like the Democrats in Seattle
Before Biden’s statements accusing President Donald Trump of wanting to defund the police, he had already excused himself in August, explaining that what he really wanted was to raise and secure police funds and not defund them.
“I want to get police more money in order to deal with the things they badly need from making sure they have access to community policing, that they have also in the department’s social workers, psychologists, people who in fact can handle those god awful problems that a cop has to have four degrees to handle,” the former Obama administration vice president said.
But the presidential candidate has apparently forgotten what members of his party have done. Like Lorena González, president of the Seattle City Council, an institution that approved a budget cut to the police department. This council decision prompted Seattle police chief Carmen Best to announce her retirement.
The budget cut approved by this council led to layoffs and also a reduction in the salary of several police officers. This action caused the city to succumb to the increasing violence in the protests that were already quite damaging.
As The Epoch Times reported, all of the Seattle City Council members are Democrats, except Kshama Sawant, who is a member of the Socialist Alternative Party. At first, the idea was to put together a plan to cut 50% of the budget, but since the figure was an outburst and was heavily criticized, they decided to cut 4 million USD now, then the figure would reach 11 million USD in a year’s time.
In Minneapolis, something even more radical happened. The Council announced that the city’s department would be dismantled and rebuilt. That same week, Democrats in Congress pushed through a package of laws to end “police violence and racial profiling.”
The Democratic-controlled New York City Council was not far behind and also proposed reducing funding for the police with a large one-billion-dollar cut.
Trump strongly criticized all of these actions, for example, signing an executive order to reform the police (criticized by the Democrats as “insufficient”) and signing a memorandum a few days ago to evaluate federal funding to cities that have been “taken over by anarchists” due to the weakness of their administrations that have contributed to the imposition of anarchy.
The document notes that the governments of these cities have “contributed to the violence and destruction in their jurisdictions by failing to enforce the law, disempowering and significantly defunding their police departments, and refusing to accept offers of Federal law enforcement assistance.”
This executive stance is a direct action against movements that call for defunding the police, and it also puts in check the internal governments in the United States that flirt with these ideas that Trump has constantly criticized very severely.
Biden and the Democrats never strongly criticize police defunding
Biden has never severely criticized the Defund the Police campaign. On the contrary, he has chosen to avoid accusations that he supports him because of his ambiguous position.
Democratic-friendly media, such as CNN, have, in fact, had to “analyze” the strong questions that the presidential candidate has received from Trump because of his political positions and approach. In that sense, Trump is being blamed for being a radical extremist who has encouraged violence in the wake of polarization.
This argument may be relevant to those who do not know the American context since Trump’s rhetoric has always been questioned by the lack of tact in saying things, irrespective of whether he is right or wrong.
But in the U.S., it has been the Democrats who have supported radical left-wing uprisings like Antifa or the BLM, and those who are promoting extreme ideas like abolishing or defunding the police are precisely these groups that have found in the party representing Biden a circumstantial ally of great power.
So Biden’s statements, as much as they may be repeated in these next few months of the presidential campaign, lack meaning and veracity because they seem to be from the world upside down. The facts indicate that Republicans, led by Trump, have been the ones calling for strengthening police institutions by enforcing law and order. The Democrats, by contrast, have been close to the ideas of reforming and redirecting police department budgets, which may be a first step toward defunding and then abolishing them.