There’s generally a sinister, selfish motive behind most of the left’s supposedly ‘compassionate’ policy positions. At its root that motive comes down to raw power. Exploit fears over a novel virus, or the natural human tendency to care about the beauty and cleanliness of our environment, for more power and control. Create and maintain a wide-open border so more future voters will come swarming in. Give enough money away via welfare and other social programs, thereby purchasing multiple generations of dependent voters who believe they can’t afford to vote any other way. You get the picture.
But of late, many of the left’s obsessions don’t seem to be about power alone. Instead, they are about belief in the tenets of what can only be described as a cult … the cult of wokism. To the wokist, a quasi-religion that has captured the hearts and minds of a vast majority of Democrats and even some Republicans, the logic, the viability, and even the popularity of their truth claims do not matter in the least. Instead, what matters is that those truth claims, however absurd and however unlikely most people are to believe them, are openly assented to by all and openly challenged by none.
To what end? It’s difficult to say. Maybe they believe the public will come around eventually if all dissent is crushed and the insanity is pummeled into enough brains. It’s worked to some extent on some issues, at least on the surface. Maybe a few believe their BS and that they have to adhere to it all to be a ‘good person,’ and that being a ‘good person trumps all, even power. Which would be somewhat altruistic, I suppose, if their beliefs were grounded in any actual truth. But they aren’t, sadly, and so we’re stuck with nonsense like women are men, men are women, all cultures are of equal value, ‘whiteness’ is the cause of all evil in the world, and driving an electric car will stop hurricanes, or something.
Of course, belief is one thing. Believe what you want. I don’t care. But when the wackiest of those beliefs start driving implemented policies, things start to go especially awry. Enter the left’s inexplicable (at least until this column) soft-on-crime agenda, a perfect example of a woke policy position that has few electoral upsides. Is emptying prisons, arresting almost no one, and filling the streets with violent criminals a recipe for electoral success? History and polling suggest otherwise, yet here we are, with most Democrats advocating vehemently, as if their souls depend on it, for exactly those things.
Insane policy positions like this don’t lead to obtaining power, only losing it. Law and order have always been and will continue to remain a key issue driving GOP turnout. Yet, leftists continue to insist on giving their political opponents fuel because, in a twisted way, soft-on-crime policies perfectly align with their wokist religion, a religion that demands adherence despite all political downsides.
I believe the explanation for their weird stand on this particular issue involves digging deeper into a key foundation of wokism - the desire for equity. Instead of fostering equality of opportunity and letting the chips fall where they may, people who believe in ‘equity’ - as I explain in this Townhall column from July - seek to use any means necessary in pursuit of equality of actual results. Thus, if one favored group is doing poorly in a particular area, it must mean that the ‘oppressor’ group (read: white people) are in some way hoarding resources or doing something to actively hold the protected group down. The leftist ‘solution’ to this on the economic front tends to be a radical redistribution of wealth and even, in some places, land.
While that’s disastrous enough, it’s even worse when applied to criminal justice. Here’s the problem: In America, a significant percentage - and sometimes the majority - of violent crimes are unfortunately committed by black people, particularly young black males, less than a quarter of a group that itself only comprises 13% of the population. Now, without belaboring this and while acknowledging the fact that the majority of black people in America are law-abiding citizens who don’t like being victims of crime any more than any other people group, this presents a real dilemma for equity believers.
Tragically, their ‘solution’ to this problem is as evil, destructive, and unjust as it gets. On the one side, they believe in arresting fewer black individuals for crimes, which typically starts with reducing policing in majority-black areas. While this is a horrible cost to law-abiding black families just trying to raise their children in safety, it’s a small price to pay for equity, or so the ‘reasoning’ goes. On the other end, I think they believe the numbers can be balanced by arresting and imprisoning more white people. One might think the fact that white people tend to commit fewer violent crimes would be a problem for them, but it’s easily overcome by making as many non-violent paperwork and process crimes punishable by prison as possible.
Don’t believe me? Do you hear the Garland Justice Department promising to “crack down” on actual violent crime on our streets with the same energy they’re ‘protecting’ society from ‘dangerous’ white-collar criminals? This is the kind of logic that drops charges against looters, street thugs, and arsonists but imprisons and ruins the lives of hundreds of people for basically walking into the Capital building on January 6th. It’s the kind of evil that lets violent crime reign on the streets of Chicago but sends twenty FBI agents to arrest a father of seven for pushing his son’s assailant down on the steps of an abortion clinic. It’s the worst kind of anarcho-tyranny, made even eviler because of its twisted racial tinge.
No, I’m not excusing genuine white-collar crime. But - and I know some conservatives will disagree with me here - just as with minor theft and drug offenses, the punishment for such crimes, regardless of race, should focus more on restitution, rehabilitation, and prevention than incarceration, while society should be physically protected from violent criminals - again, regardless of race. If you believe race should enter the equation on such matters at all, you are the very definition of a racist. But then, leftists have always been the greatest at accusing others of evils they are actively participating in themselves.