Re: “Sorry, Obama, this moment needs radical young activists” [Dec. 2, Opinion]:
For the first time in a long time, I find that I disagree, and rather strongly, with Charles Blow in his recent column against President Barack Obama’s opposition to the “defund the police” sound bite. While that phrase fits a bumper sticker nicely and can make a person who feels that the police are not on their side feel good at a visceral level, it does more to harm than help the prospects for solving the problems that have led to the need for a “defund the police” movement.
I completely believe that we need serious restructuring of what the police do, how they do it and how they are trained, and that we could well end up spending more on the police department after all is said and done than less. What we want is less spent on (barely) quasi-military equipment and tactics and more on training that enables the police in the street to deal correctly and safely with the huge range of challenges they encounter every day.
However, that sort of change requires that politicians who support these changes be elected into meaningful offices. In our deeply divided country, that often means persuading people on the red side to cross that divide to vote for a blue politician. Screaming “defund the police” in their face may feel good, but it does not get them to vote for your candidate.
Jim Secan, Seattle