A lot of policies the left is throwing around and which are finding a warm reception among the “right” people and institutions are quite unpopular with millions of ordinary Americans, and inconveniently for the leftists, they’re not just unpopular with white ordinary Americans. From Frederick M. Hess at realclearpolicy.com:
A year ago, “defund the police” activists were having quite a time. Outlets like CNN and Vox were publishing fawning profiles. Social media sensations like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar were leading the parade. Cities like Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Austin even approved partial defundings. It was a juggernaut.
Now? A tough-on-crime former cop just won the Democratic mayoral nomination in Bill de Blasio’s New York. Former President Barack Obama is warning fellow Democrats, “You lost a big audience the minute you say [‘defund the police’].” Sen. Bernie Sanders has rejected calls for “no more policing.” And White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, a few weeks ago, bizarrely claimed that it was not Democrats but Republicans who wanted to defund the police (because they opposed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill).
What happened? Intoxicated by a few policy wins in deep blue cities, enthusiasm in the left-leaning Twitter echo chamber, and their viselike grip on the national media, “defund” activists overlooked one important detail: Their agenda was deeply unpopular with most Americans. A summer 2020 YouGov poll found that just 16 percent of adults wanted to cut police funding — much less “defund” the police. Indeed, 81 percent of black Americans wanted police to spend as much or more time in their communities. During a year when major American cities saw an unnerving increase in homicides, after years of declines, that reaction was not just understandable, it was wholly predictable.
As a result, Democrats squandered an opportunity to build consensus around meaningful police reform. After all, in the wake of the George Floyd murder, there was broad national agreement supporting a range of reforms. Prominent Republicans like Sen. Tim Scott were eager to negotiate. Sen. Ted Cruz, sitting on a panel alongside Houston’s Democratic mayor, insisted it was time for “all of us together to look at ways to make sure that our justice system is more fair.” Rather than pressing an advantage where most Americans were with them, though, Democrats got suckered by a woke fringe into embracing a deeply unpopular agenda.