“Defund the Police” Needs a Rebrand

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The inimitable Patt Morrison wants to know what “Defund the Police” means:

We can write thousands of pieces telling people that “defund” doesn’t really mean defund, but honestly, you can hardly blame people for nevertheless thinking that defund means defund. That is, cut police budgets to zero and get rid of them entirely.

There’s not a Democratic politician alive who thinks we should do this, and keeping the phrase in use is just an invitation for unnecessary conflict between politicos and their base. Maybe it’s too late, but can’t we come up with something better? Rebuild the Police? Reform the Police? Demilitarize the Police? There’s got to be something.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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