If you follow the news as presented by the mainstream media, you might well infer that America has lost its mind, at least insofar as policing is concerned. As depicted by the media, the current debate is between those who want to abolish the police and those who merely want to hamstring it.
However, a new Rasmusssen poll indicates that, combined, these two positions — abolish and hamstring — have little public support. Americans are worried about too little policing, not too much. We haven’t lost our minds.
Most Americans value the role of the police and worry that increasing criticism of cops will make their communities less safe. Black Americans are the most concerned.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 63% of American Adults still regard being a police officer as one of the most important jobs in our country today, down only slightly from 68% three years ago. Twenty-six percent (26%) disagree, up from 19% in the earlier survey. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure.
Sixty-four percent (64%) are concerned that the growing criticism of America’s police will lead to a shortage of police officers and reduce public safety in the community where they live. That includes 39% who are Very Concerned. But 33% don’t share that concern, with 14% who are Not At All Concerned about the risk to public safety.
Blacks (67%) are the most concerned about public safety where they live, compared to 63% of whites and 65% of other minority Americans.
The public also agrees with President Trump’s pro-police sentiments:
Fifty-six percent (56%) of Likely U.S. Voters agree with President Trump when he said recently: “Our police have been letting us live in peace, and we want to make sure we don’t have any bad actors in there. [But] 99% of them are great, great people.” Thirty percent (30%) don’t agree, while 14% are not sure.
What about cutting police budgets? According to Rasmussen, “59% are opposed to cutting their local police budget, while 14% are undecided.”
Do Americans consider cops to be racist? No.
Sixteen percent (16%) of Americans think most cops are racist in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, up from 10% a year ago. But 67% still rate the performance of their local police as good or excellent.
Interestingly, Americans see less racism among cops than they do among their fellow countrymen in general. Twenty-two percent (22%) believe most Americans are racist.
So, American hasn’t lost its mind. And unless Joe Biden gets wholeheartedly behind the police — something I doubt he’s capable of doing at this point — President Trump holds a winning hand on a very important issue.