AMAC Exclusive – By Daniel Roman
Joe Biden evidently had quite a lot to fear from the voters in Virginia and New Jersey, but when it came to hammering the final nail into the coffin of the “Defund the Police” left, even they were compelled take a step back, and let the voters of Seattle do the honors. On Tuesday, a candidate identified with Republicans won an election in the city for the first time since 1989.
Seattle is almost a buzzword for left-wing insanity. Police have all but vanished from the streets as politicians have prohibited them from dealing with the increasing homeless population, with the result that the city became a mecca for vagrant drug addicts from across America. Last summer, Seattle burned during weeks of rioting, and it has continued to smoke ever since. But Tuesday’s election was a sign the citizens of Seattle may have finally had enough. Ann Davison, who describes herself as nonpartisan but has previously run for statewide elected office as a registered Republican, defeated radical leftist Nicole Thomas-Kennedy in the contest for City Attorney.
It is hard to describe just how liberal Seattle is, and therefore how momentous the victory of Ann Davison is. In 2020, Seattle gave a mere 9.11% of its votes to Donald Trump. Even wealthy, cultured Mitt Romney only managed 13.73% there in 2012. Yet as things stand on November 5th, Ann Davison leads Democrat Nicole Thomas-Kennedy by a margin of 58.7% to 41.3%, a veritable landslide. While Davison has said she voted for Barack Obama in 2008, she also has aligned herself with the “Walk away” (from the Democratic party) movement, and campaigned on restoring public safety by shutting down homeless shelters and empowering the police to more aggressively make arrests for property crime.
Needless to say, Davison’s victory owes much to the extremism of her opponent. Thomas-Kennedy is a radical both in policy and tone. A self-described “abolitionist” who supports dismantling both police forces and prisons, she has called the police pigs and said property destruction is a moral imperative. In fact, it may be easier to let her words speak for themselves, lest the impact they had on the race be lost. Paraphrasing in this case would do a disservice to Ms. Thomas-Kennedy, losing important subtleties. Here are just a few of her more colorful takes:
In the three-way all-party primary, in which the two top vote-getters moved on to a general election, Thomas-Kennedy came in first with 36%, while Davison won 33% and 12-year incumbent Pete Holmes – whose decade-long decimation of public safety and indulgence of riots, drug use, and property damage was now seen as moderation by urban Democratic Socialists of America – won only 31%, eliminating him from the next round. Holmes’ fate should be a warning to those liberal politicians in America’s cities who have felt that, safe in their guarded mansions with their kids in private school, they can afford to try and ride the tiger of CRT/Defund the Police and open civil unrest. In the end, it was never enough, and the tiger came for Peter Holmes.
Holmes’ elimination set up a 2-candidate race between Davison, who promised to reverse the devastating crime trends of the last decade and remove far-left ideology from policing, and Thomas-Kennedy, who promised to drop the mask Holmes had worn and end all police arrests for misdemeanors. Thomas-Kennedy, who is white, tried to justify her policies on racial grounds. “Ninety percent of the people prosecuted for misdemeanors are poor enough to qualify for a public defender. We’re really only prosecuting poor people and disproportionately Black and brown people,” Thomas-Kennedy told an interviewer.
“It was an educational experience for me to realize that abolition is not just getting rid of police and prison,” she said. “It’s about community building and it’s a process…. I think that’s what people think, that it’s just going to be overnight, like The Purge, you know, and that is not what I want.”
The Purge that Thomas-Kennedy refers to is a film set in a dystopian future where the U.S. is taken over by a political party, the New Founding Fathers, who institute a “Purge,” a single day when all crime is legal and law enforcement is suspended. Everyone is encouraged to loot and murder to their hearts’ contentment, ostensibly based on the theory that humans are prone to crime, and if they get it out of their systems rather than suppressing it they will be law-abiding the rest of the year. In reality, the government uses the occasion to arrange the murder of its political opponents and falsifies statistics showing that both violent and non-violent crime has massively decreased. It is disturbing that Thomas-Kennedy and her fellow “police abolitionists” not only seem to take inspiration from the villains in the film, but don’t realize that the people they are taking inspiration from are the bad guys. She did reassure voters, however, that her approach would be more gradual than the events in the movie.
Davison ran against Nicole-Thomas’s delusions, and on a platform of restoring law and order to Seattle. “If we just sit there and say, ‘Oh, we’re not caring if we hold the limits of what our law says,’ then we’re not actually intervening when we’re able to do so,” Davison told Crosscurrent. “Sometimes that limit really is the way to show care…. The limits have to mean something. Because they’re there so that we can intervene.” In electing Davison, voters seem to have chosen actually caring about the poor, non-whites, and the victims of crime, over abstractions and theories taken from misreading of science fiction films.
Davison was the only Republican-linked person to win (although understandably given the local political dynamics, she significantly downplayed the affiliation) But even beyond her victory, the left had a bad night in Seattle. For mayor, City Councilor Bruce Harrell, an Asian American moderate, defeated a supporter of defunding the police 64%-36%. Hopefully this will be an auspicious sign for December 7th, where self-declared Socialist Kshama Sawant faces a recall from the City Council.
Nationally it was a good night for the police as well. In New York, Eric Adams, a black former police officer, will be the new Mayor, promising a shift back toward the Giuliani zero-tolerance for crime approach. Adams defeated multiple more liberal candidates backed by Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders. In Minneapolis, a ballot initiative to abolish the police department was defeated.
Seattle stands out for just how left-wing it has been. If even in Seattle, where Donald Trump was in the single digits, anti-police polices go down by 17%, what chance do they have elsewhere? Democrats need to pay attention. It is not just parents in Northern Virginia who have had enough of government by moral abstraction. People want to be safe. And if Democrats won’t offer that, even the most left-wing voters will find people who will.
Daniel Roman is the pen name of a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a Master’s degree in Iranian Studies.
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