Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, who recently made a high-profile switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, has criticized his former political affiliation, particularly in relation to their approach to violent crime and the controversial “defund the police” movement. In an interview on “Fox News Sunday” with host Shannon Bream, Mayor Johnson voiced his concerns regarding the Democratic Party’s stance on addressing the escalating levels of violent crime across the United States.
Johnson asserted that the primary issue he observed was the Democratic Party’s reluctance to acknowledge the severity of violent crime in the cities they predominantly control. He stressed that his approach in Dallas was distinct from the prevailing trend within the Democratic Party, as he firmly opposed the idea of defunding the police and opted for an alternative strategy that, he contended, led to different and more favorable outcomes.
The mayor’s criticism extended to the Democratic Party’s explanation for rising violent crime, which, in his view, often attributed it to societal factors, the education system, and the economy, elements he argued had been consistently present. He further asserted that, while these factors may have been ongoing, the current levels of homicide and violent crime were unprecedented.
In response to criticism from a Democratic city council member who claimed that Dallas had become one of the safest major cities due to the Democratic-controlled council, Mayor Johnson clarified that the council eventually came to agree with his approach to crime reduction. He also pointed out that, during the time of the disagreements and debates, both he and the council were members of the Democratic Party.
The issue of defunding the police was addressed by Mayor Johnson, who acknowledged that the city council had indeed proposed amendments in that direction. However, he argued that these proposals were largely symbolic and lacked genuine policy rationale. Johnson cited examples where the proposed funds were earmarked for unrelated purposes, such as solar panels and environmental initiatives, which he believed had no relevance to addressing a surge in crime.
Mayor Johnson’s switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party occurred in September. He detailed his perspective on Dallas’s progress under his leadership and his concerns regarding Democratic-led policies in other major cities in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal. Johnson emphasized the importance of mayors championing law and order and practicing fiscal conservatism, qualities that he regarded as defining characteristics of the Republican Party and critical to the future success of urban centers in the United States.