Thursday, September 17, 2020

Decriminalizing Crime

Wanting to keep up with the Democratic presidential ticket, Daniel Henninger calls them exactly what they call themselves: The Harris-Biden ticket. Kamala herself declared that people would be voting for a Harris administration, with Biden as the president.

It seems like a Freudian slip, but the concept is too well articulated to be merely a slip of the tongue. I suspect that when senile Joe Biden lured her onto the ticket, he or one of his handlers used precisely this term. 

In his column this week Henninger offers some sober reflections on the rioting that has consumed many of America’s blue cities. If you don't like the idea of rioting, you might want to call it sedition or an insurrection, because that is what it has been. 

Henninger argues correctly that the American left has been laying the groundwork for such an insurrection, and for a massive crime wave, for some time now.

Of course, the media has done yeoman work lying about what has been happening. Many citizens have happily stuck their heads in the sand, but now they are beginning to wake up to reality.

Henninger explains it:

Up to now, the conventional liberal/media/Democratic story line has been that “most” of the protesters are peacefully objecting to racism and police practices. But it has become impossible not to see something else that falls between carrying signs and looting stores.

It is common practice for these protesters, men and women, to stand inches from the faces of cops, especially black cops, screaming insults and personal obscenities with no letup. This behavior is a phenomenon worth thinking about.

Doesn't this recall the situation of one Nicholas Sandmann. The Kentucky high school student was accosted by a native American activist who walked up to him and pounded a loud drum in his face. By my lights, that resembles nothing if not an assault. 

As it happened, the high school student stood his ground and even might have smirked at the strange person assaulting him. For that Sandmann was excoriated for being a racist bigot, or some such. The media launched a campaign to defame and destroy a high school student-- apparently, being white made him guilty-- but, not one commentator in the mainstream media dared mention that Nathan Philips was grossly out of line.

If you don’t believe me, try taking out one of your old drums, walk up to a stranger, and start pounding it in his face.

So, the media supports protesters, when they assault children on the street, and when they verbally assault the police. Local mayors and prosecutors have allowed this to happen and have instructed the police not to respond. Thus respect for the authority of the police is reduced. Thus are cities given over to mobs and criminal gangs.

Henninger explains:

It wasn’t long ago that everyone but the genuinely insane knew that if you did this to a cop, odds were you would be a) arrested and/or b) popped with a billy club.

But these protesters get up into the faces of the police, shrieking, because they know a) they will not be arrested, b) if they are arrested, they will be released quickly, and c) they will be released because the prosecutors in these cities probably won’t press charges. Instead, prosecutors are looking for reasons to cite the police for acts of violence.

This is new—a status quo in which there is no fear of the police by protesters or common street criminals. A line in the sand has been washed away.

Police no longer  pose a threat to criminals. Besides, under the new rules, even if the police arrest a criminal, the local prosecutors will simply release him. And then they will decide not to prosecute.

This redefinition of law and order involves the decriminalization of crime. As Henninger notes, and as I have remarked myself, the best way to mask the shame of the high minority crime rates is-- to decriminalize crime.

This condition didn’t happen in the past 100 days. Democratic politics has been building toward precisely this redefinition of law and order for at least 20 years.

Embarrassed and perplexed by the decadeslong persistence of crime and incarceration in inner-city neighborhoods, progressive legal theorists proposed “decriminalization” as an alternative. They essentially redefined crime as something closer to a behavioral problem. And they blamed the police function for incarceration rates.

This argument appealed to many liberals (living in low-crime ZIP Codes) who have elected progressive prosecutors in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, San Antonio, Seattle, Orlando, Fla., St. Louis, the New York City borough of Queens and elsewhere.

The result should have been predictable:

The result is an abrupt spike in urban crime and moblike political protesters exploiting official restraints on police. It’s a perfect, still-raging storm of progressive failure. Which now means Democratic failure.

So my argument: The Democratic left has turned certifiably insane, if one definition of irrational behavior is the refusal to recognize the damage being done, primarily to black and Hispanic neighborhoods, by catastrophic violence. Voters, it appears, have begun to notice.

As you know, the communities suffering the most damage are inhabited by members of minority groups. And yet, they all voted for the local mayors and prosecutors who have produced this madness.


Giordano Bruno said...

Wow, respectable, educated elites are discovering that the left is a violent, vicious mob that uses our social attachment to rules and norms to hide behind. Maybe the WSJ is beginning to see reality.

trigger warning said...

Foisting Harris on Biden, assuming "foist" is the correct verb, was necessary to get a Womyn o' Color (WOC) at the top of the ticket. Only Stacy Abrams would have been more risible. I assume her campaign theme song will be a rousing instrumental version of "WAP".

Giordano Bruno said...

Hey, one question. Has Daniel Henninger come out in support of Trump or is he still too refined to get behind the only person standing between himself and the end of America? Has he taken a clear position on the election, and is he doing everything he can with his influence to elect Donald Trump? Or does supporting Trump openly make him uncomfortable with his class?

I honestly do not know, I dropped the WSJ some time ago.

Sam L. said...

"Henninger argues correctly that the American left has been laying the groundwork for such an insurrection, and for a massive crime wave, for some time now.

Of course, the media has done yeoman work lying about what has been happening. Many citizens have happily stuck their heads in the sand, but now they are beginning to wake up to reality."

As I keep saying, I don't know whether the media is/are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dem Party, or it's the other way round, but i DO know they're in cahoots.

Anonymous said...

I hope to God my father reads that column (subscribes to WSJ) but he probably won't.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Nice that Danny Heninger is finally waking up. I canceled the WSJ in 2017 because of their oh-so-sophisticated anti-Trump editorial screeds. I’d say the last of them could turn off the lights when they leave NYC, but I know Kimberly Strassel lives in Wasilla, Alaska. Perhaps that’s why she’s far more sensible.

I’ve never felt the WSJ Editorial Board understood what was at stake with this ideological transformation among young people indoctrinated in theoretical constructs about how the world SHOULD work. It is their folly.

Cosmology and philosophy trumps everything else, whether the person intellectually recognizes it or not. Always. When your cosmology is George Lucas’ Jedi fantasy and your philosophy is pure Marxist Theory (that’s never worked, anywhere, not even ONCE!), we’re in trouble!

I’ve asked a question on these pages before: What is the value of having U.S citizenship?

Now, I see a begging question far darker, and more impactful on daily life and our future day-to-day lives...

Why would you ever become a police officer today?

These urban police departments are not going to get good candidates, but there will still be a need. Probably an increasing need. Which means the candidate standards will necessarily fall. The quality of policing will drop, likely with greater corruption, as the “defunding” movement will drive salaries down. They always tell us “Poverty causes crime,” right?

The Left always offers something for nothing. Look what they leave behind. They are Destroyers.