Dave Wedding has twice been elected as sheriff of Vanderburgh County, Indiana as a Democrat, but the longtime law enforcement officer is leaving the Left and embracing the GOP because he says he’s tired of the Democratic Party’s lack of support for police and its embrace of a far-Left agenda.
The sheriff made his party switch official late last week, and pulled no punches in his criticism of the direction that the Democrats have taken in recent years.
Wedding, twice elected sheriff as a Democrat, noted a large U.S. flag nearby and said Democrats “want to burn that thing every day.”
“I’m tired of seeing fires set in our streets,” Wedding said. “I’m tired of people defying God, our church, our police, our government and everything we stand for.
Local lefties in the county seem awfully defensive about Wedding’s abandonment, proclaiming their fealty to the flag in a press release that accused the sheriff of “political opportunism.”
Democrats love their country and that’s why we are fighting so hard for the preservation of democracy,” county Chairwoman Edie Hardcastle said. “We are fighting for our flag and the rule of law as long as it is applied to all Americans, and the freedom of religion so we can all worship as we like in the United States.”
If it’s political opportunism that’s driving the sheriff’s switch to the Republican Party, that would indicate some problems for Democrats in the area. In fact, Wedding isn’t the first sheriff in southern Indiana to bid farewell to the Democratic Party and switch his party affiliation. Posey County Sheriff Tom Latham, who was elected as a Democrat just two years ago, jumped ship back in June, also because of the anti-police rhetoric embraced by Democrats.
“I have always lived my life by conservative values and have felt strongly that a political party does not define me as a person. That being said, my values – and the values of today’s Democrat platform – are so different that I can no longer call myself a Democrat. The unity and hope once idealized by John F. Kennedy has been replaced with divisiveness and anger. Personally – and professionally – I can no longer be a member of an organization that promotes this agenda. I will not sit silently as Democrats urge the defunding of police across our nation. I will not be complicit in advocating for division.
“There are good men and women in law enforcement. Men and women who have given their lives for the safety of the community they serve. I have served alongside many. These men and women deserve to be respected, not demeaned and demonized. The evil and disgraceful actions of one officer, does not represent myself, nor does it destroy my faith in law enforcement as a whole.
“Today I move forward as a Republican officeholder, but I have many strong friendships with local Democrats here in Posey County. Those friendships will not change, and neither will my commitment to serve this great community.”
Honestly, it doesn’t seem that either Sheriff Wedding or Sheriff Latham switched parties because of political opportunism. It sounds like they’re genuinely concerned about the direction that the Democrats are going, particularly when it comes to issues of policing.
Many Democrats seem to be just as concerned, frankly, though their concern seems to be far more focused on how voters will respond to the calls to defund police and not the actual policy itself. Joe Biden’s been talking out of both sides of his mouth on the issue, claiming that he doesn’t support defunding police even while he says that he wants to redirect funding from police into social workers and other non-law enforcement intervention programs.
Democrats as a party are “more open than ever to reimagining public safety,” according to a new piece at Vox. Unfortunately for gun owners, while Democrats imagine that they can overhaul the criminal justice system “from top to bottom” and reorient “our public safety approach toward prevention and away from over-policing” so that they can “prevent law enforcement from becoming unnecessarily entangled in the everyday lives of Americans,” they’re still embracing an old-school model of gun control that turns lawful activities like possessing an AR-15 or a 20-round magazine into a crime that must be enforced by armed agents of the State.
As long as the Left act like law-abiding gun owners are a bigger threat to public safety than violent criminals, I suspect we’ll see more moves by law enforcement officers like these sheriffs, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if many of their constituents also walk away from the Democrats come November.