Steve Hilton: Trump can give voters a choice - reform the police with him or abolish them with Democrats

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The overwhelming majority of you agree that we need law and order and justice, that we need to support the police, but also reform the police. And that tackling racial inequality is not only important in itself, but also a chance for conservatives to show that their ideas are the ones that work and that Democratic policies make things worse, especially for African-Americans.


My great fear is that because the Democrats have been shouting the loudest about justice and inequality --  people who support the right cause-- equal opportunity for Americans of all races will vote the wrong party.

Look at the record on law enforcement. As we showed you last week, some of the worst examples of police brutality have happened in places run by Democrats for years.

We saw it again just this weekend with the shooting in Atlanta. Who is in charge of the police there? A Democratic mayor and a Democratic City Council. They've run the city for years. Yes, they've now fired the cop who killed Rayshard Brooks.


But they also hired him. They trained him. They could have done anything they wanted to reform police practices, but they didn't. Democrats' past record on policing is bad enough. But their new policies are even worse. Defund the police is fast becoming the actual position.

Already, 55 percent of Democrats say they support it, according to a poll released Friday. AOC is pushing it, of course. And although Joe Biden says he's not for it now, look at how she has pushed him on climate change, abortion and Medicare-for-All.

We know who will be the puppet masters in a Biden presidency. The congressional co-chairs of his policy groups -- AOC, Bobby Scott, Karen Bass, Marcia Fudge, Pramila Jayapal, Lucille Roybal-Allard. It's official. In a Biden administration, the Loony Left will be in charge of policy -- people who want to defund the police. If you take away the funds, how does it exist? This is about abolishing the police.

It's not just that Democrats in office have failed to deliver equal opportunity for African-Americans. In some policy areas, they are actively blocking it.

Meanwhile, President Trump's signaled last week his commitment to limit use of force and lead the way on police reform with an executive order expected soon. That is great news. And his supporters will be right behind him.

But let's make sure it's real reform, not window dressing, like the bill the House Democrats published last week. They talk about banning chokeholds, requiring de-escalation, using deadly force only as a last resort. But that's all in place now. The trouble is that some officers ignore it.

What we need is real accountability, so when the rules are broken, there are serious consequences. We need a national database for complaints so a bad cop can't be fired in one place then rehired in another. We never allow that for airline pilots. We shouldn't for police officers, either.

We must give Americans access to an independent police complaints process that gets around the unions. And I hope the president can encourage police departments to use alternative responders when that's more appropriate for the situation. We shouldn't be asking our brave police to solve all society's problems.

This is an opportunity for the president to create a clear and winning dividing line for the election -- reform the police with Trump or abolish the police with the Democrats. The cause of equal opportunity also includes jobs, incomes, housing, education -- all of that, too. The Democrats are the wrong party.

In Detroit, Michigan, over a third of the people live in poverty -- a Democratic mayor since 1962. St. Louis, Missouri almost a quarter living in poverty -- a Democratic mayor since 1949. And guess which American city is the capital of U.S. inequality? The one with the biggest protest this weekend, Atlanta, run by Democrats for over a century.

It's not just that Democrats in office have failed to deliver equal opportunity for African-Americans. In some policy areas, they are actively blocking it.

We know that one of the best ways to give black kids opportunity is charter schools. As a former education secretary said, the charter movement is one of the most profound changes in American education, bringing new options to underserved communities and introducing competition and innovation into the education system.

On the substance, there is no debate. The party with the right policies to advance the right cause, equal opportunity for all races, is the Republican Party. That's why the Democrats don't want you to look at the substance, whether it's their past record or future policies. Instead, they are all about the symbols.

That was Obama's education secretary, for goodness sake. But since then, Democrats have moved away to the left. California's Gavin Newsom talked in his election campaign about closing charter schools. Now, he is helping to block them. Who would that hurt the most? Black students. But that doesn't matter to the people who really decide the policy.

California teachers unions -- they don't care about equal opportunity for black kids. They just want protection for their members, which they bought with over a million dollars donated to Newsom's campaign.

With a Biden presidency, you'd get this kind of anti-black schools policy nationwide, courtesy of the AFT's Randi Weingarten and the NEA's Lily Garcia on Biden's education policy group, in exchange for millions of dollars in bribes -- sorry, donations -- to Democrats. On every equality issue is the same picture with today's Democrats, signaling their virtue with social justice slogans, while pushing policies that would hurt African-Americans instead of helping them.

In the first three years of Bill Clinton's NAFTA, black Americans lost over 36,000 jobs. Now, President Trump has renegotiated it, and that's expected to bring back over 175,000 jobs. He already delivered the lowest African-American unemployment in history. Trump cut business taxes from 35 percent to 21. The Democrats said it only helped the rich and have now promised to reverse it. But it helped grow the number of black-owned businesses. Why are Democrats against that?

Now the president wants to cut payroll tax that would help African-American workers, too. So of course, the Democrats are against that, too, just as they're against the Trump opportunity zones that are bringing investment to black neighborhoods.

On the substance, there is no debate. The party with the right policies to advance the right cause, equal opportunity for all races, is the Republican Party. That's why the Democrats don't want you to look at the substance, whether it's their past record or future policies. Instead, they are all about the symbols.

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And has there ever been a more nauseating spectacle of empty gesture politics than Nancy Pelosi and her crew parading in African garb in the Congress last week? One leg kneeling for a photo op, while the other kicks African-Americans down the ladder of opportunity with the Democrats' anti-black policies on education, the economy and all the rest.

And now, they are seriously trying to tell us that the person who will heal our racial divide is their newly confirmed presidential nominee, Joe Biden. The same Joe Biden who said that certain desegregation policies would cause his children to grow up in a racial jungle. The same Joe Biden who helped destroy countless families and communities by locking up millions of black men with a 1994 crime bill whose injustices President Trump reversed.

Yes, the same Joe Biden that said, all of these terrible things:

Joe Biden, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee: I mean, you've got the first sort of mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man.

In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent -- I'm not joking.

Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.

If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black.

The Democrats' policies, judged by their impact, systematically disadvantaged African-Americans. The Democratic Party, judged on its record, has institutionally disadvantaged African-Americans. And the Democrats' presidential candidate has been making racially offensive statements himself for decades.

But symbols do matter. By defending offensive symbols, Republicans can concede substantive policy debate to the Democrats. Conservatives care about their community, their neighbors, about good manners and respect.

It's just disrespectful to our African-American neighbors to maintain statues in public places that cause not just offense, but real distress. And it's disrespectful to our Native American neighbors to glorify the man who they see as having committed genocide on their ancestors.

None of this is to erase history. Put it all in a museum. Let's remember it and learn from it.


Treat people as you would want to be treated. The same goes for the military bases. What's wrong with Camp George Washington or Camp Ulysses Grant? Yes, make Juneteenth a federal holiday. Symbols matter. And you'll never win on the substance unless you understand that. Do not let the Democrats get away with their con trick.

President Trump should take the lead, meet the moment and show everyone that it's his party, the Republican Party, that has the right ideas and a real commitment to bring equal opportunity to every American of every race.

Adapted from Steve Hilton's monologue from "The Next Revolution" on June 14, 2020.