Waiting for ‘Superman’ to run for office and fix everything

Dallas Police Chief David Brown speaks to the media on Monday. (Getty Images / Stewart F. House)

Dallas Police Chief David Brown speaks to the media on Monday. (Getty Images / Stewart F. House)

We are so starved in this country for leaders who “get it” that even a snippet of rational thought can make someone an overnight sensation. Currently in the spotlight is the chief of police in Dallas, David Brown.

In his six years as chief Brown has presided over a dramatic change in the way the department works:

And in the current, terrible situation — after four of Brown’s officers were shot and killed, along with another local officer, while eight others were injured — Brown has responded impressively. During a press conference Monday, he made this astute observation that applies well beyond the city limits of Dallas:

“What we’re doing, what we’re trying to accomplish here is above challenging. It is — we’re asking cops to do too much in this country. We are. We’re just asking us to do too much. Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve. Not enough mental health funding. Let the cop handle it. Not enough drug addiction funding. Let’s give it to the cops. Here in Dallas, we’ve got a loose dog problem. Let’s have the cops chase loose dogs. You know, schools fail. Give it to the cops. Seventy percent of the African-American community is being raised by single women. Let’s give it to the cops to solve that, as well. That’s too much to ask. Policing was never meant to solve all of those problems. I just ask for other parts of our democracy, along with the free press, to help us. To help us and not put that burden all on law enforcement to resolve.”

I hear that, and an involuntary thought pops up: Let’s get him to run for president! Or some kind of office. Because he sounds like someone who understands the why behind the what we are watching play out in real time, namely the breaking down of society and inadequacy of our institutions. There’s nothing truly political in that, nothing that people on either side of the aisle ought to find objectionable; nothing but a common-sense observation born of three-plus decades of service to his community. You might add to his diagnosis — and I’m not suggesting he intended that statement to be exhaustive — but I dare say you can’t subtract from it.

And if David Brown wanted to run for an office, and if I could vote for him, I might just do that. Maybe we’d disagree about the means of solving those problems, but he sounds like the kind of man who’d be practical about that. Most of all, he sounds like the kind of man who doesn’t play games about the nature of our problems, which in itself is rather refreshing in this country.

But then a less reflexive thought takes over: Why should it take a man like David Brown leaving a job he does well, and running for elected office, for us to have elected officials who understand the problems and are willing to do what it takes to solve them? Why don’t our current elected officials listen to men like David Brown — whom they hired, after all — and respond to what he says based on his expertise built on experience?

Maybe the elected officials in Dallas do; I’m not familiar with that city’s politics, although Brown’s comments about the undue tasks placed on cops make me think he hasn’t been totally heard there. But I know there are plenty of other cities and states where their own David Browns are saying similar things and not being heeded, or else we wouldn’t see the problems we see.

Instead, here’s what we get. From the left, generally vague calls to spend more money without specifics about what the money would do and how it’d make an impact. (Example: Just put more money into schools, and the problems with schools will somehow go away.) And that extra spending? Don’t try to offset it with cuts elsewhere, because that would look far too much like an act of setting priorities. All of which lets the right off easy: Just say there’s plenty of waste to be cut, and taxes are already too high, and you can get by without articulating an actual solution to the problems at hand.

And round and round we go.

It doesn’t always happen this way. SPLOSTs are a good example of government outlining a series of problems and solutions, and the means of accomplishing those, usually winning voters’ approval. (To the extent there’s a problem with SPLOSTs, it’s that they let local governments skate by without justifying much of their existing spending.) Or take the transportation funding bill which Georgia’s legislators passed last year, which succeeded because legislative leaders made a persuasive case that our problems had surpassed our ability to solve with existing revenues.

But too often, and particularly in Washington, we don’t see that kind of process at work. We hear calls for gun-control measures that can’t reasonably be expected to have an effect on gun violence. We hear calls for more spending on health care or education, with little to no evidence that existing spending is producing results. We simply don’t hear debate about some of the issues Brown outlined, especially the one about mental health.

All of this has a certain “Waiting for ‘Superman'” ring to it. That was the title of a movie about public schools, and the false notion that they could be fixed if only the right superhuman leader would come along. That’s not how it works in real life. In real life, that’s how you end up in the sorry state we find ourselves in.

Reader Comments 0

114 comments
Sheryl Meyer
Sheryl Meyer

Why don't the current officials listen? Because he goes against their agenda!

Richard Radloff
Richard Radloff

He believes in personal responsibility. Most these days think it's the governments responsibility.

Cole Brown
Cole Brown

Because Chief Brown is too "right"..which isn't very popular these days.

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

In this case, we don't need Superman.  We don't need a miracle. We don't need prayer.  We don't need a Town Hall.  


We need police to stop shooting Black people over CDs, Toy guns, executing their 2nd ammendment right, walking in the middle of the street, running or just smarting off.  Thats really it.  Stop shooting Black people over nothing and its over....


Same problem from Rodney King, Driving while Black and now Black Lives Matter.  Its been 30 years of peaceful complaints before Black Timothy McVeigh eventually came along.  We never needed a miracle, we needed someone to acknowledge and help after 30 years of begging and one side, Republicans, werent trying to hear it.  Not Republicans faults, but they certainly helped create the monster.

Bruno2
Bruno2

@JFMcNamara 

"over CDs, Toy guns, executing their 2nd ammendment right, walking in the middle of the street, running or just smarting off"

Out of curiosity, at what point in life did you decide that telling the truth wasn't important??

Starik
Starik

@JFMcNamara It's not that simple. The publicity over these shootings is great, the number of shootings is small, really, considering the number of contacts police have with blacks every day.  The Baton Rouge guy wasn't shot over CDs.  The call was from a citizen who said he threatened the cops with a gun... which he did have, so why not investigate thoroughly before condemning the police.  Some shootings are justified, some not, and the questionable ones involve black and white police and black and white defendants, usually with guns,  Remember the Tamir Rice case involved a replica gun.


We need more oversight of police, not just by police departments and local prosecutors, but independent entities like citizens' review boards.

kitty72
kitty72

Kyle, how do we know what gun measures might help gun violence? The GOP won't allow research on gun violence, will they? Hmmm? How would we know what gets the best bang for the buck without data...on anything?

Bruno2
Bruno2

David Brown: "we’re asking cops to do too much in this country."

Chief Brown detailed the strain being placed upon the officers during these endless protests in a different article. Back to back to back 12 hour shifts, being subject to verbal and physical assaults from a bunch of punks who haven't a clue. I can't think of a better way to flush millions and millions of taxpayer dollars down the drain.

I was disappointed that Andrew Young chose to walk back his encouraging words to the police officers.  Andrew's original opinion is that these belligerent, uninformed protestors would offset some of the progress made in the past via legitimate protest.  The GA NAACP disagrees with Young, claiming that the BLM protestors are right up there with MLK.  I'm with Young on this one.

http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2016/07/13/andrew-young-i-apologize-for-calling-protesters-unlovable-little-brats/

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

The Brewer: You know there is a pill you can take to end your verbal diarrhea !

TheBrewer
TheBrewer

@MarkVV @TheBrewer


Funny, your side calls people racists all the time. I guess by your "logic" you're the racist. 

MarkVV
MarkVV

@TheBrewer The "defense" of the racists is to call people like the President racist. It is pathetic.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@TheBrewer @MarkVV Do not use the word logic when you do not know what it means, Calling racists "racists" is appropriate. Calling President Obama "racist" is merely stupid.

TheBrewer
TheBrewer

@MarkVV @TheBrewer


Ohhhhh, you really told me there.

FYI, you don't ever get to tell me what to do, kook. I can call the president a racist all I want. 

MarkVV
MarkVV

@TheBrewer @MarkVV Your lack of reading skull is again apparent. Where did I ever told you what to do? I merely advised you to limit yourself to matters you understand. I know there are so few. You can make an idiot of yourself s often as you want.

TheBrewer
TheBrewer

@MarkVV @TheBrewer

"Your lack of reading skull"

You ain't no good with that english is ya?

"
Where did I ever told you what to do? "

Oh the irony. 


"You can make an idiot of yourself s "

Oh the irony.

lvg
lvg

Have to agree with Obama haters- Dallas was not the time or place to be giving speeches about gun control.Appealing to moderates in Black community and Police who are under attack  like Kaseem has done here to create trust is more important. 

foo2u
foo2u

Barry?... Is that you?...

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve

@lvg ANY time is a good time to talk about gun control.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@lvg Police are the part of the society that is, or at least should be, most interested in gun control.

TheBrewer
TheBrewer

@MarkVV @lvg


Yeah, that sounds like a great idea. Give the police unlimited power with guns. What could possibly go wrong?

TheBrewer
TheBrewer

Hey Kooks, 


you can thank your cult leader Obama for being the greatest gun salesman in the history of the USA. Under his regime more guns have been sold than ANY other president in the history of these United States.


Keep up the great work!

FredJohnsson
FredJohnsson

@TheBrewer And yet kooks like you persist in claiming that he is taking your right to buy guns away.  Glad to see you survived Jade Helm.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@TheBrewer 

Assault weaponis a term used in the United States to define some types of firearms. The definition varies among regulating jurisdictions, but usually includes semi-automatic firearms with a detachable magazine and a pistol grip, and sometimes other features such as a flash suppressor or barrel shroud.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_weapon


TheBrewer
TheBrewer

@MarkVV @TheBrewer


That makes zero sense. An assault weapon could be ANY gun. Hand guns are semi-auto including .22s. 

Def: Assault weapon is a term used by the left for any gun that makes them wet their fragile little panties.



lvg
lvg

Better hope superman is on his way to Cleveland:


The chairman of the New Black Panther Party, a “black power” movement, said his group will carry arms for self-defense during protests at the Republican convention next week if allowed under Ohio law.

“If it is an open state to carry, we will exercise our Second Amendment rights because there are other groups threatening to be there that are threatening to do harm to us,” Hashim Nzinga, chairman of the New Black Panther Party, told Reuters in an interview.

“If that state allows us to bear arms, the Panthers and the others who can legally bear arms will bear arms.”

.

Officials in Ohio have said it will be legal for protesters to carry weapons at demonstrations outside the convention under the state’s “open carry” laws. Several other groups, including some supporters of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, have said they will carry weapons in protests as well, leading to concerns about rival groups being armed in close proximity.

Nzinga said he expected “a couple hundred” members of the New Black Panther Party to join a black unity protest that is scheduled to be held on Thursday in Cleveland."""


http://nypost.com/2016/07/12/new-black-panther-party-will-be-armed-during-rnc-protests/


Same group and not BLM responsible for Dallas sniper becoming radicalized. Ah the thrill of seeing the Second Amendment rights being exercised by all these well regulated militias! Hope there is no infringements  by the tyrannical government folks. Wayne La Pierre will be so thankful .

TheBrewer
TheBrewer

@lvg


" Ah the thrill of seeing the Second Amendment rights being exercised by all these well regulated militias!"

So you are advocating violence. If these democrat voters start shooting GOP supporters then you will have blood on your hands. 

TheBrewer
TheBrewer

@lvg

"Wayne La Pierre will be so thankful ."

People like you have helped sell guns. Great job, kook.

lvg
lvg

@TheBrewer @lvg I thought open carry of assault weapons was the way to demonstrate second amendment rights or is it different when it is a well regulated black group defending their rights?

lvg
lvg

@TheBrewer @lvg Not me brother. I think they should be heavily regulated, registered,   insured and never open carried and definitely not assault weapons. Hey but this is the GOP/NRA convention.

TheBrewer
TheBrewer

@lvg @TheBrewer


What's an assault weapon?

I highly doubt most of those protestors have clean backgrounds to have a carry permit. BUT, if they do then more power to them. 

If they start shooting people then that blood is on your hands. Most law abiding gun owners don't go around threatening to kill people. 

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@TheBrewer @lvg So guns=violence...according to you. Thank you for that definition. The NRA will be pleased!