As a conservative who has advocated for criminal justice reform, I have a lot of admiration for the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which has been remarkably effective at raising awareness of the myriad ways that black Americans are treated differently — or, put more bluntly, treated worse — by law enforcement. Although I haven’t always agreed with their tactics or rhetoric, I have appreciated the movement’s tenacity and unwillingness to be mollified by platitudes and talking points from politicians who’ve attempted to co-opt them.
That’s why I think #BlackLivesMatter is wasting its time pressing Democrats for answers, or action. The party of big government can’t meet their demands.
For starters, the Democratic presidential contenders have done an infamously bad job of responding to #BlackLivesMatter protesters who’ve attended their events. Sen. Bernie Sanders and former governor Martin O’Malley were practically heckled off the stage at the Netroots Nation conference after they were unable to effectively articulate, let alone posit, concrete solutions to protesters’ concerns. Former secretary of state and Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign has been similarly panned by #BlackLivesMatter leaders.