Let's Hear It for the Police

Posted: Nov 05, 2020 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Let's Hear It for the Police

Source: AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Washington -- My deadline for this column is Tuesday afternoon, so obviously I could not report on Tuesday's elections. I know, I know. The mainstream media already had their stories about Tuesday's presidential elections written weeks ago. It was a Biden landslide. Donald Trump is already packing his bags and leaving town, but where will he retreat to? The entire world is left-wing now. Even Monaco has gone left. Maybe the former president can retreat to Moscow with his old friend Vladimir Putin. Possibly, we shall see them playing golf together. One thing is certain: Donald will be smiling. I have never seen a man who had so much fun running for office, and his voice never cracked. Remember I said it. Donald just ran the most vigorous campaign since Bob Kennedy's tragically truncated 1968 campaign.

So, without Tuesday's big story to write about, what am I to do? Well, given the mobs in the streets that have been forming for weeks, I am sure the police will be active. I hope no one is hurt, especially among the police. They come from homes just like you and me. They have children and spouses. Some are coming home today with aches and pains, all acquired from their work in the line of duty. I hope they have no more serious wounds than aches and pains, and, of course, I hope their adversaries have no more serious wounds. Yet their adversaries can avoid injury by staying at home. The police cannot stay at home. They have to take to the streets to protect property and pedestrians. Thank God for the police.

The Democrats want to defund the police. They feel that sending psychologists out on patrol and social workers is the enlightened alternative to armed police. Well, America already has too many of these psychologists and social workers, so I have no quarrel with sending them out on a fool's errand. Yet, what about the poor people whose neighborhoods they are sent to protect? No, on second thought, I would stick with the police -- the brave, resourceful, dutiful police. They protect the poor, the middle class, the businesspeople and even the rich.

I come from a police family. Three generations ago, my great-grandfather was a patrolman in Chicago. He held the line in the Haymarket Riot of 1886 fighting simple demonstrators mixed with anarchists who carried bombs. For years thereafter, he attended the Haymarket Riot remembrance. In the end, he was the sole survivor, and I recall as a little boy laying a wreath at a Haymarket memorial in Chicago's Union Park. In the 1960s, the Students for a Democratic Society bombed the Haymarket memorial twice. On at least one occasion, Barack Obama's friend Bill Ayers participated in the bombing. I have written that Bill missed me by about 25 years. Now the Haymarket memorial is in a nearby police station. It is much safer there.

Four generations ago, my great-great-grandfather headed the Secret Service in Chicago. He got wind of a plot by counterfeiters to steal the body of Abraham Lincoln from its crypt in Springfield, Illinois, and hold it for ransom. The night of the kidnaping, he and his Pinkerton men surrounded the crypt and broke up the plot. They chased the counterfeiters back to Chicago, and eventually, Tyrrell sent the perpetrators to the calaboose.

So, as you can see, I have a great deal of sympathy for the police. They brave great danger to protect ordinary people. Of late, they have, in large numbers, been injured in carrying out their work. Some have been badly injured, and others have been murdered. Now "reformers" want to thin their ranks as though life would be much more pleasant without the cops around. Kamala Harris has even contributed to a fund for bailing out demonstrators who the police have arrested. Thirteen members of Joe Biden's staff did likewise. 

For some reason, the Democratic candidates feel the police are the cause of urban unrest. Already, the city council of Philadelphia has denied them the use of tear gas. Last week, 58 police officers in that city were injured, and one had her leg broken when a peaceful protestor ran over her in his pickup truck. During last week's riot, 443 incidents of looting were reported, and rioters used explosives to break into 22 automated-teller machines.

I wonder if Kamala and the Biden 13 sent any donations to the Philadelphia cop with the broken leg.

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator. He is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and the author, most recently, of "The Death of Liberalism," published by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 

Recommended Townhall Video