Consider the golden opportunity now presented to America’s progressive governors, mayors, and other public functionaries. They oversee a workforce divided among the myriad departments that compose their respective state, city, or county governments, the majority of whose members can be relied upon to sympathize with and endorse their leftist prescriptions on how things ought to be managed. They know they need not fear resistance from any substantial number of the bureaucratic drones laboring in the government hive’s various chambers, just so long, that is, as those drones are placated with a generous stream of salaries and benefits.
But in the various states, cities, and counties there is that more troublesome segment of their workforces: the police officers, firefighters, and other emergency workers, collectively known as first responders. The political views among these men and women tend not to align with those of their governors and mayors, who, despite their occasional pronouncements of admiration and gratitude following some well publicized display of valor, regard them with contempt, as a necessary but unpleasant burden in an otherwise compliant workforce.
Perhaps it is the nature of the work that attracts conservatives to the ranks of police and fire departments, and indeed reinforces conservative beliefs the longer one remains in these professions. It is in these jobs that one is offered an unparalleled view into the failures of progressive governance, failures which, at their worst, result in the death, mayhem, and disorder that police officers and firefighters are expected to clean up.
As I can attest through my own experience, even those who come into these professions with progressive views, as I did nearly 40 years ago, come to recognize the folly of those views when confronted with so much evidence of their failure. I recall a conversation with a firefighter during the heat of the 2000 Bush v. Gore campaign. We were in the receiving area of L.A. County-USC Medical Center, where many of the city’s broken bodies are brought for mending, and the firefighter asked me how many cops I knew would be voting for Gore. I couldn’t think of any, and I asked the same question about his colleagues. There were 39 firefighters at his station, he said, divided into three platoons working alternating 24-hour shifts, and among them he knew of only one Democrat. And he, I was assured, was regarded as the house dullard.
I’ve found this ratio to be consistent throughout my career. This is not to say there are no progressives to be found anywhere in a police or fire department. I was once directed to visit LAPD’s Facilities Management Division, a warren of cubicles at the downtown headquarters building, and an entity of whose existence I previously had been unaware. I was surprised to see so many Obama bumper stickers adorning the workspaces there. But the people working there, I realized, though technically police officers, were actually bureaucrats having more in common with clerks at the local DMV office than with the cops in South Los Angeles where I worked at the time. Surely there are similar entities at the Fire Department’s headquarters.
It is well understood that progressives operate as prescribed by Rahm Emanuel, who once famously said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
In the Covid pandemic, our progressive overlords have found their crisis that will allow them to cast off significant numbers of these conservative and nettlesome first responders, those who, for various reasons, decline to be vaccinated against the virus. In Chicago, for example, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, as feckless a person as ever bore the title, is threatening to terminate any police officer or firefighter who doesn’t roll up his sleeve for the jab, and several members of both departments have already been put on “no-pay” status for their failure to submit. Police officers and firefighters in Los Angeles, whose mayor is surpassed in incompetence only by Lightfoot, are facing a similar threat, though their deadline has been extended to December.
In the state of Washington, some first responders have already been shown the door for refusing the vaccine, with one now-former state trooper expressing his opinion of Governor Jay Inslee in his final radio broadcast. Robert LaMay, a 22-year veteran of the Washington State Patrol, filmed himself as he signed off on his last shift. “I wish I could say more,” he said over the radio, “but this is it, so state 10-34, this is the last time you’ll hear me in a state patrol car. And Jay Inslee can kiss my a–.”
Sad to say, but surely Governor Inslee is happy to see him go. Better to have a smaller force, he would argue, composed of reliable sycophants than one laced with insurrectionists so obstreperous as to imagine they should decide what medicines they should take. And in Chicago and Los Angeles, it seems the mayors would sooner accept the bloodshed that would surely follow the decimation of their police and fire departments than the continued employment of people who refuse to be brought to heel.
Echoing this sentiment is the Doddering Old Coot in Chief, who on CNN’s town hall Thursday evening told Anderson Cooper that any first responder who refused to be vaccinated should be fired. This of course was greeted with rapturous applause by the handpicked crowd. Left unsaid was what Biden, Cooper, everyone in the crowd, and indeed progressives across the country were thinking: “They all voted for Trump anyway, so the hell with them.”
Stock up on your ammo, gentle readers, it looks like you may need it.