Tim Barto: Twenty years later, and we’ve come to demonize first responders?



Twenty years ago, first responders were the toast of the nation. Firefighters, healthcare workers, and police officers were hailed as heroes for their actions and sacrifices on Sept. 11, 2001.  

This past weekend, amidst the nearly wall-to-wall media coverage of the 20th anniversary of the attack, praises were again heaped upon the first responders, which was wholly appropriate.  

But there is a glaring contradiction in the coverage, especially among those on the left.

Subsequent to the burning, looting, and murdering that took place during the mostly peaceful demonstrations of 2020, it became fashionable – mandatory in some circles – for the woke crowd to call for defunding the police. That would be the same group of guys and gals in uniform that ran towards the Twin Towers on Sept. 11.

Within the past few months, it has become equally fashionable to malign people who don’t like being told they have to take a needle in the arm if they want to keep their jobs.

The maligned in this situation includes healthcare workers: doctors, nurses, and emergency medical technicians, all of whom who were hailed as heroes for their actions during 9/11 . . . as well as their more recent dedication to duty during the COVID pandemic. 

How is it that such a contradiction can exist? 

There is a twisted logic that allows someone to honor selfless dedication and sacrifice, only to turn around and call for an end to the jobs those dedicated and sacrificial souls occupy.

It’s the same logic that makes it acceptable for a person wearing a gorilla mask to throw an egg at gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder without the accusations of racism that would be obligatory if the same action was taken against a left-leaning candidate.  

Woman leftist in gorilla mask throws egg at Republican Larry Elders in California.

And it’s the same logic that allows people to make excuses for high school athletes whose idea of honoring the heroes of 9/11 was to dishonor our flag and national anthem and further divide our society. 

All these situations are illogical and contradictory, and the idea that they are acceptable to anyone is troublesome.  

But then, we live in a society where a “human being capable of being pregnant”) is encouraged to celebrate and “shout” the aborting of their own baby.

We have reached the point of absurdity in our society where even our word choices and pronouns are scrutinized, sanitized, and demonized; and that is why a person can praise the actions of first responders and then turn around and demand those heroes be fired or defunded.

Tim Barto is Vice President of Alaska Policy Forum.


  1. The contradiction has been going on for a very long time, a lot longer than 2001. A dysfunctional family cursing at the responding officers when dispatch is called on them for domestic disturbance. Then! Turning around to call the same dispatch themselves while someone within their family and social circle threatens them during a heated conflict.
    I am sure the police officers get tired of serving the same kinds of peoples who have a love-hate relationship with the police. The unpredicatibility makes the children crazy and hard hearted.

  2. It’s a world gone mad and the left is leading the charge towards social, cultural and political suicide. We must fight back at every opportunity to save this great nation.

  3. The ones doing the demonizing are demons themselves. They deflect and project all in attempts to keep the attention off the ones doing the actual evil.

    Do not be fooled by the latest headlines of the MSM. They are only covering from the fact that they are in cahoots with the real criminals.

  4. Exploiting teens for your culture war is shameless. Standing up for a cause they believe in takes a hell of a lot more courage than this petty rant and MRAK choosing to stir people up at the expense of children. They are not disrespecting our flag and country. They are young people hoping that people like yourself may one day be able to accept that our country, despite that great things about it, can change for the better. The whole idea of kneeling for the anthem was given to Colin Kaepernick by a military veteran who told him it is a way of showing respect for those that have fallen. When are conservatives going to stop playing the victim on this issue. One can love a country and hope for better at the same time!

  5. Surely no such contradictions exist on the right. How do you feel about the Trump supporters that assaulted and killed police officers on 1/6?

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