I will be honest with you, despite the title of this article, I do not think the following poll actually is all that confusing, but I will explain my reasoning in just a moment. For now, let me talk about the poll.
According to a recent poll commissioned by Oakland’s Chamber of Commerce, a majority of Oakland residents support defunding the police but also either want the same amount of officers or even more officers than are currently active.
The poll found that 56% of respondents (out of 624 surveyors, so not a big sample size) support defunding the police in the city, including 35% who say they “strongly” support that idea. Only 36% say they oppose defunding the police and 8% said they did not know how to answer the question.
From this alone, one can picture that a lot of the surveyors here, clearly a majority, have no idea what defunding the police means or what it actually does. But you get an even stronger sense of this given what they also went on to answer.
When asked if they support the idea of increasing the number of police, decreasing it, or maintaining it as it is, 58% said they either want more police or are fine with the current number, including 31% who want to increase, with only 27% wanting to reduce the number of police.
So a majority of the city’s residents, as represented by the respondents, support the idea of defunding the police while at the same time, an even bigger majority supports the idea of either maintaining the number of police or increasing the number of police?
I don’t blame you for being confused, but allow me to try and untangle this mess.
I have two theories as to why we see these seemingly contradictory numbers. My first theory is that Oakland’s residents have no idea what defunding the police means or what it would actually and effectually do to the police departments.
It could be that they believe the police department could be defunded only in terms of equipment or some such thing, but considering that they want more officers (which means they want more safety and a better ability for the law to be enforced), I doubt that that’s what they want. If you want more officers, that means you want the law to be better enforced because you don’t think the current number is sufficient. If you want the law to be better enforced by adding more officers, you don’t couple that with decreased or zero funding.
This also does away with the idea that people think “defund” means “still funding them but giving them less than what they got previously.” If you want more officers, you want more safety. If you want more safety, you want the police to be well-funded.
This first theory of mine that the residents don’t know what it means could still be the case, which is why I don’t eliminate it as a possibility entirely, particularly since it could be that a lot of people didn’t think too much about what defunding the police would actually do, but maybe I’m not giving the people of Oakland enough credit.
This first theory presumes ignorance, which could be the case, but I cannot say for certain whether or not the people of Oakland know that defunding the police would inevitably lead to less police officers out on the streets.
But let’s move on to my second and final theory, which is that the respondents were answering this question as though it were a “black lives matter” question. That is to say, that they think “defunding the police” is a slogan to show support for black people and their “struggle”, and so they say that they support “defunding the police” like they support “black lives matter” without necessarily supporting BLM.
Especially in Oakland, where there are a lot of Leftists, it could be that plenty of people do not necessarily agree with this idea but do not want to reveal their true thoughts and beliefs. Similarly to how Joe Biden was supposedly so far ahead in a lot of states and yet, Trump has so far gotten 10 million more votes than he did in 2016, showing massive growth in support.
Maybe some people said they “support defunding the police” to protect themselves from some form of persecution, or some people said that to “show they support black people”, but at the end of the day, they actually want more police or the same amount of police, which would require either more funding or the same amount of funding, not less.
It’s hard to be a Republican, or even a moderate, and live in a deep blue city or state. It’s for this reason that a lot of once-promising conservative rising stars like Marco Rubio and Jeff Flake end up being RINOs. You can only fight back against the enemy deep within their territory for so long. Of course, some people have far more endurance, like Trump, Tom Cotton, and others, but because of the swamp’s toxicity, a lot of these promising conservatives end up being part of the swamp.
Similarly, regular people can only endure in deep-blue areas for so long. They are in a constant battle, especially if they are in any way social with other people. If they have friends, chances are that most or all of them are liberals. Wherever they work, chances are that their bosses are liberals. So in order to maintain a social lifestyle and have any sort of shot at getting promoted (or keeping their job), they have to hide their true thoughts and beliefs, at least to an extent.
Used to be that being apolitical or sounding moderate was acceptable, and in many places it might still be, but even that is beginning to be unacceptable by an intolerant Left which demands submission from everyone else. Either you believe the things they believe or you are an enemy. It’s why so many people in the middle are being pushed to the right: The Left is the one pushing them.
Even despite the election shenanigans going on regarding the presidency, the Democrats have LOST GROUND in many key areas. Trump is pulling in plenty of minority support, and once-blue areas are turning a little bit red, such as Zapata County in Texas, which is 93% Hispanic and in the last century, has voted for two Republican presidents: Warren Harding and Donald Trump.
Going far-Left is hurting the Democrats in many places, even in areas which were once solid-blue.
But even despite this reality, many on the Left believe that the key to winning in the future is to double-down and go even further to the Left. This means being far less tolerant of not only right-wingers, but even moderates and those who do not really talk much about politics. So for anyone living in deep-blue cities like Oakland, they have to outwardly express support for Leftist beliefs, even if they 100% oppose them.
And so, many express “support” for “defund the police” while at the same time saying that they want the same amount of officers as are currently active or an increase in the number of officers. And the best part? Apart from Chinese respondents, African Americans are the least likely to support defunding the police, and are also most likely to want an increase in police officers and least likely to want a reduction in the police force.
So it is a complete myth that supporting “defund the police” is an act of supporting black people and what they have to go through. Black people want to be safe too, and a reduction in police officers means a reduction in their safety. “Defund the police” is not at all a slogan to help and protect black people. It’s a slogan for chaos and destruction. A slogan for far-Leftists to tug at people’s heart strings and make them believe they are fighting for a noble cause when they are not.
I’ve already mentioned how James Clyburn noted that he believes “defund the police” hurt the Democrats in down-ballot elections, and I believe he is correct, to an extent. I think there are a lot more reasons than just that, but I believe that is one of them.
Which also makes the idea that Joe Biden is ahead at any capacity all the more ludicrous. Sure, he never outright expressed support for “defunding the police” but it’s hard to gauge what he believes when he spent the last few months of the election largely hunkered down at home or believing he was running against George Bush (or George Lopez, if you ask the media).
But at any rate, I believe this second theory, that people are outright lying to pollsters about what they believe, is more likely to be correct than the first one. Of course, there is the possibility that it could be a mix of both to an extent, but I still believe this second theory is the correct one.
People have lives to live and if they have to, they will lie about what they believe if expressing such beliefs could hurt them at any capacity. It’s the sad reality in which we live.
But it is still clear that people do value the police, even while loud Leftists make it seem as though the country has turned against them. “Defund the police” is a slogan from a loud minority, not from a majority.
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