Leftists’ newly unveiled “BREATHE Act” seeks to radically transform the country by tying long-advocated items on the socialist agenda to abolishing community law enforcement and enacting federal reparations.
“The BREATHE Act is bold. It’s meaningful. It’s transformative. It pushes us to reimagine power structures and what community investment really looks like,” Michigan Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib said in a virtual press conference unveiling the bill. “If we listen to our community members and leaders in the streets, we can start to envision through this bill a new vision for public safety. One that protects and affirms black lives.”
Democrat Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts was also supposed to join Tuesday’s online unveiling but suffered technical difficulties. A deep dive into Democrats’ new bill reveals nothing more than the typical formula for sweeping legislative proposals that tease activists with cake and ice cream but lack any substantive support.
The radically leftist proposal seeks to magically restore all of the “justices” the left so often exhaustively claims have deteriorated. It includes provisions for “educational justice,” “environmental justice,” and “economic justice,” most of which have nothing to do with policing, and certainly nothing to do with saving black lives. Quite the contrary, considering that dismantling state and local police departments would harm black people the most. Look no further than the devastation left behind in the aftermath of the riots that swept the nation last month, leaving minority communities in ashes.
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The legislation promises funding for “subsidizing community-owned sustainable energy solutions” and community “climate resilience.” It also requires public schools to radically alter their curriculums with fake history that “examine the political, economic, and social impacts of colonialism, genocide against indigenous people, and slavery,” while forcing the nation’s educational institutions to “provide free, high-quality health services at schools and/or at nearby student- and family-focused centers, which services to include reproductive autonomy.”
In other words, the far-left wants to mandate schools offer abortion in the name of social justice, while abortion is one of the largest killers of black Americans today.
Also slipped into the proposed policing legislation is handing illegally present citizens of foreign countries U.S. voting rights at the state and local levels.
Of the items in the bill that do address criminal justice, some enjoy a minimal level of support among prominent Democrats including former Vice President Joe Biden. On eliminating mandatory minimum sentences, as the bill does, Biden appears on the same page with the added stipulation of only eliminating them for non-violent crimes. On expunging records for drug convictions, Biden’s platform endorses decriminalizing the use of cannabis and expunging all prior cannabis use convictions. The bill goes one step further however, by expunging all federal and state drug convictions.
Aside from its eradication of local law enforcement, removal of school resource officers, closure of the prison system, and mandated funding for energy and climate solutions, the legislation builds on the expanding the Affordable Care Act and increases housing welfare while attempting to implement a system of policing with social workers.
How exactly do its authors plan to pay for this socialist utopia? No one knows. There aren’t even any estimates on how much the bill would cost, which further shows its creators are deeply unserious. The bill hasn’t even been introduced as legislation yet, and its fate will likely follow the road of the Green New Deal and “Medicare for All.”
These are all littered with extreme items to appease activists, polarize the nation, and push the policy debate left, but fail in reality to garner significant support among Democrats. Biden’s platform, with the few exceptions highlighted above, remains nearly entirely different that what the far left has proposed.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also remains at odds with anarchic calls to “defund police,” declaring it a “local decision.” Democratic leaders have attempted to distance themselves from the movement, trying instead to insist protestors mean to “reform the police.” The public ought to make no mistake, however, that the two words say what protestors claim they say, as the Minneapolis City Council voted last month to dismantle its police department charged with protecting nearly half a million residents.
Biden, along with probably most Democrats, will still offer lip service to the legislation. To not do so would alienate an energized base desperately needed in less than 120 days to make it over the finish line this November. But he won’t commit, because voters don’t want this crazy proposal.