A Chilling Prospect

Opinion section
Valley News - Opinion

The radical left is now calling for funding cuts, the dismantling or even defunding of police departments in cities life Minneapolis, Los Angeles and others across the country in order to reinvent community “public safety.” While it would have been unthinkable just a few weeks ago, it is now becoming a reality.

There are many other things that may well be affected by rapidly shifting beliefs about what is the best direction in which our country should now be headed that could precipitate wide ranging changes that dramatically alter many of our established institutions. No matter how seemingly remote a possibility at the moment, people in power could decide that priorities should change relative to the benefits of funding what has long been seen as vital public services: Services provided by Saint Jude’s Hospital for Children, Shriners Hospital for Children, Rady Children’s Hospital and other organizations that provide health care and other services to special needs children, cancer patients and children with developmental disabilities from around the country.

The main reason for doing it would be to divert funds from going to help future members of our society who are deemed to be incapable of contributing to the growth and prosperity of same or even adequately earn an independent living. Much of the funding for these organizations comes from private and corporate donations, but they could be cut off by those in power.

To help put things in context, I was born in 1950 without a left hand. While I never received help from an organization such as those mentioned above, I greatly admire the work they have done and are doing to save young cancer patients and help children of all kinds to learn how to overcome adversity caused by numerous birth defects, accidental loss of limbs or other debilitating physical and/or mental disabilities. The work they do is remarkable and has had tremendously positive effects on these special children for decades. I was fortunate to learn how to cope and even achieve many successes in athletics and business over my lifetime without special help, but greatly admire what these types of organizations do for others.

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis was a tragedy. But the ensuing protests, coopted by various leftist groups across the country that have been turned into violent riots, the destruction of private and public property, bodily injury and death, and threatens the civil liberties of many, if not all of our citizens, also threatens the very existence of our constitutional republic. Changes are needed, obviously, but not those that radicals are calling for.

The nearly unconscionable push by the left to defund police departments throughout America seems absurd on its face, but it is all too real, especially in light of Los Angeles Mayor Gil Carcetti’s announcement that he plans to cut over $250 million from the Los Angeles Police Department’s annual budget to “reportedly” fund programs to help the African American community and other minority groups in undisclosed ways to help potentially solve “inequality” and promote “social justice.”

While most reasonable people would agree that “defunding” or cutting funding for police departments in our communities is dreadfully dangerous, the fact is that many governing bodies are beginning to contemplate doing just that. Is it that unreasonable to therefor imagine changing attitudes about other heretofore “necessary” public services? Would you have ever thought that elderly people would be so carelessly exposed to the coronavirus as they were in nursing homes throughout the country in recent months, which contributed to a third of all COVID-19 deaths? Me either, but it happened. I choose to believe that it was incompetence and not a deliberate act that caused this, but with things changing as rapidly as they are, who knows if the lives of our seniors are going to be valued any more than unborn children.

Before you dismiss my warning out of hand, please consider that before 2020 we never would have believed that our government would knowingly destroy the most vibrant economy in our nation’s history and allow many of our major cities to be overrun by anarchists. In 1930s Germany, the first to be “culled” from society were the physically and mentally disabled. History has a way of repeating itself, even when it comes to genocide. Dismiss my early warning at your own peril.

Lynn Effinger