« Commentary Magazine Podcast

We Ain’t No Delinquents, We’re Misunderstood

2020-12-22 | 🔗
Increasingly, the progressive left has abandoned the cause of decriminalization in favor of decarceration, expanding the terms of the debate around criminal justice reform to include the virtual abolition of criminal justice as we know it. What was the genesis of this idea, and what could its political consequences be?
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the Commentary magazine Daily Podcast these Tuesday December twenty second, twenty twenty, I'm John POD words, the editor of Commentary magazine was, we has always executive ever a green waldheim, jump socio editor, no Rossman Heine our job, and senior writer Christine rose and high Christine, I John, so the the stimulus package, the corona virus relief package is, I guess, headed for reconciliation and then off to the president's task as part of a general omnibus spending bill and
I assume it's gotta be signed, although you here, you can never tell whisper. Thirdly, all office, one thing I wanted to highlight, is that we talked about it. You know general major features of of the bill is that it it it features and interesting grant a relief for people that under Org. circumstances. I myself would not be supportive of any federal relief for which US arts venues, meaning theatres, rock clubs, museum
the cultural, the largely non profit cultural sector of the United States with some profit men with a profit, rendering things like movie, theatres and Broadway, theatres and those theatres button, but largely this money, because you need to em. You need to have asked fifty percent of your ear. Ah, twenty five percent of your revenue, those that have lost more than ninety percent will be able to apply first within the first two weeks. Grants capped attack million dollars, and I may slightly New York Centric way. This is vitally important, said in New York City anyway. You're really talking about an extinction level event for dozens of cultural institutions that that
now, through no fault of their own and through no nothing. They could do lost their entire revenue streams and are you now sitting. There are still having to pay rent and things like that, and you know when I try to employ people. and it so what objective? So I think- and this is all around the country and others- clubs in Minneapolis their worth the other companies and small towns in Minnesota in Utah an hour or again and places like that. Almost everybody in this business has political views that I revile. Nonetheless, like every blanket. This is, this is an extinction level event. Everything that happened to them is through no fault of their own. This is not because their audiences went away
Ere they get out. They got to woke rating like that, I'm a body. What do you make of it? Well, yeah I mean tempting though it it is. I am not. I dont favour putting people with political view of views are revile out of business permanently so sure I'm I'm. I think it's biggest valuable, and not only do we need such things even when they are irritants and frustrating and maddening, but these places and and these industries do in fact employ Americans and in that sense there no different from from from any friends any other industry. We should say that they employ Americans and they have unlike a lot of other businesses. I mean they have
very serious, ancillary effects on other businesses. Restaurants, you know bars things that they things are associated with them, that you know if, if entire neighborhoods, where there are some arts for remsen things like that, get get kind of shut down, that has catastrophic ancillary affects one of the reasons that cities and states often invest in helping these institutions grow is that they have positive consequences on the net. goods therein in terms of small business help and employment at all of that, the ones that are Don prophets this year is very tough for food raising for a lot of these institutions, which often do therefore, especially for the smaller arts and thing in the smaller theatre in music groups. you mean here and you see we do their fundraising. Everything
usually in person event special concert, special talks, things that you can go to pay a kind of slightly increased ticket price for which is, in fact, a donation to the insight. and now they have to rely like everybody else, unkind of virtual efforts to bring in money and that's gonna be really tough, especially because many of their bigger donors. This year might not be giving it the same level that they they did in previous years. I actually agree. I think it's something that to keep arts is thriving, regardless of their output and and political views. It is a good thing, No, you have any. We haven't had taken this now, good this important months too late and the whole objective of pay check protection philosophy, much less. The legislation is to keep people employed in the given
the unemployment rules and to reduce the strain on the on the public coffers, to say nothing of the social burden associated with the indolence, so gas, now, whatever you can do, and this is the bare minimum of what you can do then, yes, its valuable. This is again this was imposed on people. This is not a natural condition. None of this was was something that there would be, maybe not in New York City, where people wouldn't go to the theatres amid a pandemic, but the rest of the country. You could probably have kept movie theatres, open people and patronising to the detriment of public health, so clothing them entertainment, venues, was unnecessary republic responds to the pandemic and unnecessary public response of pandemic also involves keeping the set. The safety net in Place- one- I think you know either if you If your concern that the fiscally responsible, conservative part of my brain, what what I read in the the world knew relief Beilin and seemingly all that
Concerning is what we're gonna see in terms of political rhetoric a couple years. From now. This is supposed to be temporary, so, for example, on the rent forgiveness ran. Forgiveness is supposed to be per part of this package, distributed by state and local governments, and it's supposed to be temporary, but I can guarantee you that d, you know the sort of progressive way in the Democratic Party will start to argue that they already argued that housing is a human right and a rent is a horrible and capitalistic in terrible and we'll see this temporary payment used as a justification for meeting some of these extremely expensive programmes permanent. So that's, I think what we need to keep our I m going forward whole about. I mean I am philosophically opposed to direct government interventions in the arts because I do not believe that it is good for governments to sponsor arts and specific artists, and things like that, because then you do get into the bizarre
a future in which we are somehow privileges, certain forms of art over other forms of art and- and you get the you get. The situation which taxpayer dollars and money are often being used, have fun things that are morally noxious to a great many people in the country, one where the other, you can almost say he announced like if you dont, like a piss Christ, You also might not like the gene artery museum. You know it's either you can't ebb, or you know some museum dedicated to did. George greed out took a general Custer and added best for the government to be entirely out of this. I do think that there is a slight difference in policy terms when individual states are low, holidays, decide that it is in their interest to do things too,
deregulate so that our two institutions, and things like that can get, can gain purchase in neglected neighborhoods are troubled places or stuff like that to encourage the Creation of us in our take a sort of creative industry that otherwise would not necessarily locate their, but that's also not federal, that tends to be state local, I will say this, which is that this country is, as bit, is uniquely generous, tarts institutions. people are costly, saying. Oh, what about England has all this? You no support for the national theater and for the BBC in this terrible that we don't do stuff like this. That is like, same balderdash, this country- and I mean by by don't mean it at that for mental level, I mean that the individual elements unmarried philanthropic level has-
extraordinarily generous to the arts and arts institutions and to eat a patronising so you know there are way more symphonies way. More opera companies way more opera. How way more venues them, then than a lot of places would have, because that, because this country produces a great many wealthy people because of our capitalistic system, that has made it possible for people to thrive and to thrive in all fifty states, in different ways, and for them to make so much money that they want to give back to their communities, and they give back in this way, and now we have fifteen billion dollars come from the no government as part of this package and The more these people walk around saying that the United States is based in racism and monstrous, actually no exclusion and, as such, a terrible horrible place I'm when he used the phrase I like to they can all drop dead because they are they are. They are
forming their existing. They are thriving because of America's capitalistic culture that has allowed wealthy people to turn around and give their money to them so that they can produce what they produce They control guiding gratitude. The lack of gratitude about the about the United States and its philanthropic generosity at all levels, as expressed by all kinds of non profit left wing groups, is not creating in the extreme, they could drop dead. But we don't want to see them put out of work right, I'm sorry, I didn't drop dead drop dead in, of course, four called metaphorically making. But there is an artist, a producer of certain vintage no longer regards art, for our sake as a valuable enterprise and arts must the utilitarian form and just like everything else, and it must advance a particular project
so they're- not all that jazzed about the idea of expression for its own sake and pure artistic freedom lies, sing. The thing raining it in isn't such wasn't such a low. It The undesirable thing, if you're ideal, is less freedom and more safety line that, if you recall going back to some of the sort of antiracist stuff that you do a brain, candy and others have proposed. They see a role for the government in monitoring any money that goes to the arts, based on what the arts of producing that's desai DIA. Department of Anti racism is all encompassing. It's not just looking at the budget is looking at work You know anywhere. Money goes that inclusive places like dismissal, and which had a little money antiracist scandal in its depiction of whiteness that you, I think, no, is absolutely right that this isn't it. we'll always be politicized. So us saying in a regardless of your beliefs, we said we want to support the arts in general
the coming more and more radical review in a weird way. Given that that shifting political priorities of the arts community absolutely- and you know it just it just a step back a little bit. The history broadly future Broadway, for example, is the subject of the conversation that I had one. What's one of today's sponsors, Post, corona with dancing or the new podcast that you can get on wherever pod, casts r r r downloadable from beneath the the Apple store orb secure itunes wherever again, in contributor commentary and a no importance. America. businessman, author of start up nation, the book about Israel, one of the best,
and most cogent interviews. Al ever hear he and I had a conversation, the waste of his past in this new podcast realm Post Corona, which is dedicated to the subject of how what America is going to look like when we get out of the virus in in all kinds of field? So he had this fantastic interview a couple weeks ago with the with Billy Beane. The money ball, the subject of money ball about the future of sports, not just in the United States but but worldwide. That had some eye opening details about wildly popular sports that you have never heard of that have insane followings on social media am well how they might start moving to the fore as some of these other sports face kind of existing told crises are one thing I learned from this is that the fridge age of a baseball fan is sixty nine,
Oh, how how long baseball can survive with an average. Following of sixty nine seven interesting question, he had a guide of fantastic, conversation about the future of New York City with the culture, Linus and Re Hansel ARM of the Manhattan Institute. Bunch of other people really really worth listening to so post corona. Ah, the new podcast go to the Itunes store, gotta stature. You really will thank me for this one so We started talking about this yesterday and I wanted to really give some time and space to this topic the world of the left's Was a response or approach deserve crime criminality incarceration all that have become a obviously a major a political issue this year into
ways, one of which is, of course, a triggered. The The riots in the area station and unrest, and then, presumption on the part of liberals in the left that a Rubicon had been crossed and that the our can public was suddenly very, very much willing to listen to radical ideas about what to do about american Crime Control, and then came the November elections, and it seems very clear that whatever data people were using to assume that the public had moved in, that direction was horribly flawed. Because, as I said yesterday, twenty seven toss up races for the house, all twenty seven of them went to the Republicans and the Republicans and the Democrats alike. A true the lion's share of this to the funding.
Listen socialism which Dublin Thoroughly sound like their connected, but they are connected. We don't have to really get into that. Nonetheless, in the world of liberal opinion, left left wing opinion, let's say not liberal opinion, Things continue onward in this direction and we are looking at a significant body of law opinion. That is getting more and more radical about the notion that the way that people are punished for their transgressions in the United States is fundamentally unjust, needs to be changed and needs to move in reaction of greater compassion, support and solicitude for people who commit criminal acts Christine what we could talk about the specific things, but so like we have politicians are Christine. We have at least two politicians, we
about how am I gonna Presley rushing up from this. So there The most recent example from the past few two from the past week, our leaders like Mere about the mayor DC in a young Presley house, representative member, the squad arguing We should not. We should push convicted felon prisoners to the front of the line for covered vaccination I find this to be one of those really interesting litmus test. If you throw that out there to people have you an instant reaction, it's either, of course, they're so vulnerable. We must help them or Oh my god. How is that possibly reasonable? How why should people who broke in the social compact by committing crimes be pushed to the front line? So if it is a bit, Starck example of this much broader phenomenon. We see it in local governments, in particular the Pacific Northwest by Sight Portland in Seattle actually decriminalizing crime, saying you know that if you, if you rob or you steal or you you know
simple assaults things are actually in the criminal code are considered. Misdemeanours are Craigslist meters in some cases they just eliminated, as these are crimes anymore in part, because they can't effectively police said, but also Because of this notion that you know it, we feel bad for the people doing this. They have the problem is, society- has failed the criminal. This is kind of mindset in it used to be fringy on the left and youth and I want to separate that, in particular from the the kind of thoughtful efforts to reform the criminal justice system. to make sentencing fair, as we saw with the war on drugs, brought really unfair penalties for crack forces powder, cocaine, and Things like that are legitimate. You can get a lot of broad appeal for them, among them. Like an among lawmakers on both sides, the that's. What we're talking about that era has passed and, in fact the fact that both Joe Biden, Uncommonly Harris downplayed or completely ignored their own records on criminal justice in this recent election
shows you how much that era is gone. They deliberately Why did their own tough on crime records because that wasn't appealing to their coalition? So I think, We haven't small, bore things like these vaccination decisions, but in the a broad scale. It is this sympathy for the criminal, the criminal becomes the victim and the actual victims of crime disappear from this narrative. We see it happening in neighborhoods, where the most vital children, the elderly there was just a terrible drive by shooting in Chicago which than the bullet penetrated someone's house, killed. A grandmother who was just in her home of those victims disappear. They don't exist in this area because they complicate this issue of you know. Societies fail the current that is a point that really needs to be emphasised as the distinctions between decree delegation and the political effort to seek common sense, criminal justice reform efforts, now treatment, fur nonviolent drug offenders, as opposed to
conservation sentencing guideline reforms, increasing judicial discretion due to review that sort of thing. That argument, one I was largely an argument profit by the left, and they made sympathetic and compelling case that republic, sue and there is tension still within the conservative republican movement about this issue, but it largely that argument largely one and culminated in the twenty seventeen a first step act, which was crafted and passed by a Republican, let Congress and signed by republican president and as the progressive movement has made these victories, they become sort of up a victim of their own success because having one now, they need to find new ground to take and that effort has led them in a direction that is entirely hostile towards the enterprise of criminal justice itself. Just about
Every facet of criminal justice itself is under attack, and it only makes sense in so far as you have this ideology that regards just about every institution and convention that was that gave us Where would the United States give rise to as being tainted because it is a product of a tainted nation of a nation that has stated racism and racial injustice and therefore, all of its conventions, traditions and institutions are such are similar. We suspect, where, where Christine and and nowhere you both highlight the successes of new conversations about criminal justice reform, has to do with the word justice, in other words, what where there is common ground, is this notion that justice is being applied unequally, for example, crack cocaine versus powder cocaine? sentences that seem uniquely harsh in weird ways, because the same
and guidelines that were passed twenty five thirty years ago, the alleged of no don't allow for discretion and and even stuff, like the criminalization. Things that warrant necessarily criminal before so that we have new categories of cut felonies misdemeanours of things that would have been several offences at a different time or the the or the militarization of of of policing work cops, do things that they probably shouldn't do and said forfeiture, and all of that comes to the joy this system is doing things in a way that are on the r r that occur. when sense tells everybody it doesn't make sense that doesn't make sense. Put someone in jail for further three times as long for using cocaine, that's caught with, making soda work. You know how, however, you may crack verses versus powder. That kind of thing like it. Everybody can govern. That's gonna, that's kind of a good point, or you know
even even even the decriminalization marijuana comes to the point of like really is part that bad. Is it really so bad that people who sell it should go to jail for twenty years ago? That kind of thing, that's what we're talking about here, so that that is where you can find common ground. Then you get into the question of people of whom there is no question that they have committed crimes and that those times are fence again to the common, sensible moral frame and which we all live. Then you get advocates for them. That's where the conversation starts to take a very peculiar turn, and I add my wanted to mention these two up ads that appeared in the New York Times within a day of each other, which is interesting as its AIDS, the New York Times. So therefore, it is the get out to the summit of elite conventional liberal opinion
and obviously this would be on the minds of the editors of the New York Times. One of them is biased. Serve up of a monthly columnist but I assume that she doesn't necessarily have entirely her pick of topic if she's, a monthly calmness, I'm not sure how that works. But the other is, as you Know- and I bet that sent in the date that they choose to publish the first violence was proving the monthly columnist and she where she goes and attends and execution in Ohio. The other is about an execution in. I'm sorry, I'm not sure what state of a woman named LISA Montgomery the first woman to be executed on on federal death road. Seventy years, and both of these are pieces about the image of fundamental injustice being done to the person who is who has been
but to death. In both these cases by, though we're talking about a period of ten to twenty years between the commission and the crime and the executions, since the process of getting to the death penalty is so involved in the United States with every possible avenue of appeal and sympathy about being having to go through and then possibly a final. You know this but he commuting the sentence in Europe and in the final at the final moment, who doesn't do it like president drop? and these k it both these pieces burning spaces about what it was like to watch an execution. the peace by Rachel Louis Snyder, about the execution of LISA Montgomery, is just about her life in her crime and about how terrible her life wasn't how monstrously she was raised and sexually abused and all that and the egg
The other case about Alfred Bourgeois again talks about the horrors of his of what what was done to him Ah, how terrible it is in both these pieces stipulate that they committed the crimes that they are that they are accused of, though, in the case of Alfred, Bourgeois. There runic raises a doubt about one aspect of it, but that they killed. People is no question and then The issue here is what led, Montgomery did was that she took a woman. She strangled her and she took a knife or whatever and cut her belly open and took her unborn child out of her stomach and kidnapped her and took her drove her a thousand miles
to Texas back to her husband. It is this crime for which she was. She was the death penalty, was you know, assigned in case of Alfred Bourgeois. He took his two year old daughter and bashed her head against the dashboard of his car. The open question to Elizabeth Brooding is whether he raped her before he dashed her head against the dashboard of his car, but that he dashed a two year old head against. The dashboard of a car is not in dispute, so these pieces are published to make the case that
death penalty is unsound and immoral. I want to talk about why you would publish the. Why would publishes visas are if you stipulate the crime, which is intellectually honest, then where are you, I can understand how you what where you are, if you are very serious purse of opponents that the death penalty, in the sense that you say the station However, it should not have this power or or you are you know somebody who's religion says you know without question- that the state should not put any one to death. Otherwise, where are we observe laying out Lamson laying the table out with these two pieces in the New York Times that represent? I think
cutting edge opinion death hounds he's very controversial, always has been, although not the United States, that much like two thirds of the american people. As far as I can tell pretty, consistently support the imposition of them which is the only penalty mentioned in the constitution of the United States, so for treason. Sometimes those numbers go like there's a there's, a way to look at the public opinion on the death penalty. That says that the abolition of capital punishment is is gaining ground. But that's if you ask in general terms you see if you, if you ask specifically, for example, like I remember, listen, you know ten years or so ago. Well, should
a terrorist attacks. American citizens should they be put to death. Yes, over welling majority of of of of American say yes, so that its there's a concern through any abstract alot of people. A lot of Moroccans will say: yes, it's a bad thing. Then, when you get to a specific crime that that they find is beyond the pale there, the rhapsode, while I'm looking directly a gallop which has been pulling this issue since nineteen forty, you couldn't have a more consistent pole and the question is very specific argue in favour of the death penalty for a person convicted of murder. Now, presently, it is fifty five percent support forty three percent oppose, but the direction is moving in toward oppose in nineteen ninety six, eighty percent supported death penalty for a person convicted of murder to sixteen percent opposed and the direction has been moving steadily
in one in one way, so it's it! It's not as clear cut is that I suspect out of the you, Emily China based stipulations that there's, if there's a moral conviction at work here, it brings case there is a moral conviction at work here, she's not being disingenuous she's, not here she's she's in any other Smithers Rachel. We Snyder that there is a moral conviction at work here. I am in agreement with that, but I think apes point addresses your point. No, which that, as a general principle, now it's a fifty five forty three issue or whenever I was saying service to avert one maybe I'm there are other poles. It would say that, but in specific, like, if you went out to the american people and said, look Montgomery took a woman strangled her caught her belly open, took an eight month old. You know in a
just staving eight month old, baby out of her stomach, to kidnap her to take her ass, her own, to bring her back to her husband who wanted another child. Should that person be put to death my guess, is your at eighty percent right that would you only really have people who say you cannot have the death penalty under any moral circumstance, but it is an argument about passionless. It's it's a logical fallacy to appeal to emotion. Need I tell us not, in fact I don't agree with that, but we can get to it. Because I think revulsion, moral revulsion at specific particular act is in fact at the root of criminal law,
our credibility and our systems already in Europe, and our system is designed to treat each case individually. We don't take a group of murderers and draw the forgery and say well. This guy shot someone this one. This person strangled a woman that each right which has passed but but that's precisely where the statute doesn't. If this fine individual criminal acts, as being you know, he wouldn't say broad categories, it doesn't say well, there's this gives you back to China, two year olds files with that that should have its own statute and they should have its statutes are clear. I believe I am right in, and I mean I I keep I keep thinking. I keep coming back to the Dukakis debate. Question rightly when he was asked about. Would he supported death penalty sentence for someone who killed his own wife, and that was his answer? moral, his moral conviction was. The death penalty is wrong. He said no, it costume mean they cost imposed, because people could not believe that a man I mean out. people admired him for that because they shared his conviction. But I do think that the there's also
There's the slippery slope proper rice, a few eliminate the death penalty than what is the most egregious sends you can give a person for the moment. You just crimes. It becomes life in prison, and everything beyond that is also adjusted in kind, and you could get to the point as special for decriminalizing misdemeanors, that are quality of life issues for people you're, going to get to a point where the criminal justice system is is rather treating criminal behaviour in general. What, with with kinder gentler approach- and you might you can make an argument for that? But in a violent country I think the? U s. That's gonna have consequences fairy braver,
I'm just wondering of, if that is the nature of the new anti law enforcement movement, has much to do with the kind of arguments where were given a mean that that the New York Times, comrades articles are one thing, and I think that is that is making an honest argument about the the ability of a state to put the citizen to death. And I think it is right that if, if you make a kind of argument you want you want, you want to give it the best counter argument. You can into it to you to make your case. But I think the kind of stuff that word seeing in the air in the end be activist particle left today isn't really about feature
additional arguments about having the right to put people desk as we're talking about groups and people who are not anti violence. Human abolish draining fright. Yes, that's that's where you get to that the meat of the argument and aims absolutely right. If you scratch one of these people enough- and you know why is there a penalty that's worth in that worsen? Arguably, yes, that would be solitary confinement, administrative segregation and a minister segregation is psychologically torment. Is this is, is torturers there's a lot of people who believe that should be eliminated too, and there should be just general, the general population, as opposed to segregate population, so particularly solitary populations and then scratch that little bit further, you get too well. There shouldn't be general populations either right, woven the right, I gotta think about solitary a lot of the people who were put in solitary or segregated from the rest, the population or done to protect the recipe prison population. These are extremely dangerous.
anything other prisoners by that its red is entirely the point of of of that and again it's where you start where you start where your moral frame begins, is the idea that you focus on an individual case for good rail and, in the case of, say, LISA Montgomery. As I say, this peace, voraciously Snyder says she was raise. She was repeatedly abused as a child. She was sexually abused. She told people, nobody did anything and you know she basically went psychotic the result of it. And so this was the end result of that and that this line history, should have been mitigating that she did not know right from wrong and she didn't know how to behave and- and
and all of that, and so what you have is this. You know. U turn this intense camera focus on the criminal who committed the crime and say look at the horrible life that she led wire doing this to her and in doing that- and this was what happened in the Sixtys and Seventys and eightys with Liberal added. It's about criminality that were so disastrous and ruinous too. Eric and liberalism that zoom in on the state, condition and life and circumstances of the criminal and you blot out the victim. You blind, out the victim, because in the end, the only reason that the criminal is in the criminal justice system is that the criminal committed a crime against somebody else who was permanently affected, either by being killed or being victimized or being, and not just them, of course, which
the most important thing about murders. Outta. If you murder somebody you not just killing them. We're sinking their families and everybody who knew them into a life. Long ago, using loss that isn't like the loss from a disease or something like that. It is a It is like having a nail sticking into your foot. That net isn't can never be released and every time you step this thing happened. This monstrous injustice happened to see but he and as I say when you talking about how people thought about this back during the crime wave of the sixty seventies and eighties, This was a big thing in serve liberal criminal justice circles.
And it was one of the ways in which conservatives got political will. You call it like purchase in the United States was by saying: why aren't these people talking about us we're living in a wash in crime, and all they talk about is how terrible it is for the criminal not for the victim, and then we got victim impact statements and court that warnings extent before and all that about learn. So much the way this is taking shape today is cuts to the core of this is a fundamental idea in leftism and socialism from like the nineteenth century there? If I read the re, read the problem punishment a few months ago and there's this whole discussion about how society an unjust society makes the criminal that is the argued,
being, and that is that is that was the radical argument on the left then, and it is, it is the it is the same now. That is an incredibly interesting, as I also re, read crime and punishment. fear and, of course the interested they were crampons radium read for many years have had. Rather all is that it's the portrait of a millennium, basically a russian millennial. Rascal S aim is a young intellectual he's a rider. He writes essays for like a like a hot new jazzy website attractiveness and an has interesting theories about criminals and criminality
just ask is point that the obsession with these there is, together with very specific things, are going on with him he's very sick he's got a terrible fever and his moral digg is senses incapacitated impart the it's not that he just like goes evil like all sorts of stuff is going on, but much of the first thirty. The novel is taken up with the, conversation that he has with his intellectual friends end with the guy who was investigating the murder that he commits about what justice is and all of this and rest COMECON is very intelligent and he's very thoughtful, and he is- and he is read very deeply and and- and this is not just as he in the classic realm of people who take things with deadly seriousness- allows him to argue at the highest possible level for the view that he holds in order in part to discredit it morally, spiritually and
and finally, as as as the ultimate act of godless NEO Nazism, that you kill someone just to see if you can get away with it right, and so that's not what's going on in these in these pieces, ITALY, but it did, but it tells you here that this is an on when conversation about justice, injustice and that somehow there is a tradition, on the secular left, which is not where Elizabeth Room again, because she's a serious castle but there is a tradition on the left of focusing on the idea that the criminal class knows something about society, that other people don't know and, of course, does S. First great book was about people who are unjust. What many people who were unjustly imprisoned
how's the dad, which is about his own time in Siberia, where he was and EDA where he would. He had been committed because he was part of a revolutionary mob revolutionary group that wanted to overthrow the tsar he spent ten years in prison, but tat the ethic it's interesting to me the decline, the distinction between the kind of people arguing for my religious, her faith or moral tradition. That says the state should not have this power? That's a cosmic great! It's could they? They see this as a kind of cosmic unjust principal right. Only God has the power to take a human life away, whether through get so that's one thing, but it's actually in a total exploitation. Reversal of that principle, when you look at The kind of criminal justice decoration, abolish prisons. Folks are arguing, they're saying in fact they they had that power, the power to look systematically overs a society and say exactly what raskolnikov was arguing to his comrades, which is that you know some life's a just war.
more than others. Some lives can be weak. We can justify the elimination of some people did to pursue a broader principle, that's good for everyone. There's there's a we're kind of both its cosmic collect. this and its in it? It is the it's the polar opposite of what the moral, particularly that sort of catholic moral reasoning is with regard to death, tells you which is the same reasoning that they used to do her sin, their opposition to abortion. It's the same thing that consistency doesn't exist on the secular, ok, let me use pull back and we're having a very stressful conversation. So it's time to talk about head space, your daily those mindfulness in the form of guided meditations An easy to use up had space is one of the only meditation apps advancing the field of mine from us and meditation through clinically validated research. So whatever situation. Had space really can't help, you feel better overwhelmed. Heads says three method. Also s meditation for you need to
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heads based outcome, Slash commentary today now just a return to this question of the moral frame and the victim all of these conversations fundamentally centre on the idea. That the population that is being imprisoned, cars rate with someone like that have some kind of extra grievance or reason for having been in this situation, that has not taken account of in the way that they are treated in the criminal just the system systemic racism, you know poverty. Are we now even have this idea that is first popularize by Malcolm Gladwell and is now getting increasing, purchased out. Give me just a documentary on the woman whisper promoting the side, the other doctor, that you no more
criminality is the result of head injury like young, when you are young. You have some kind of a concussive experience that we that that that ruins your impulse control centre or interferes with the growth of your impulse control centre in Europe in your brain and therefore leads to a lower a lowered moral sense or a lowered understanding of how to control your actions or something like that. and obviously, if that's the case them no crime, I can really be held responsible for his or her actions because Their brain isn't, isn't setting the right signals about what to do when they are in a stressful situation or confrontational situation, or something like that
and again. What we have here is a focus on the criminal and not on the population that is being either preyed upon or- and I think this is the most important point- if you talk about how we need to define the prison that we need to get rid of cousins and all that, because there are too many black people in them or their too many minorities in what you are effectively doing. There saying that The defining quality are characteristic of a minority population is, is some kind of a direct toward criminality. That needs to be mitigated because we don't treat minorities properly in this country and that in turn, says absolutely no thing about the overwhelming majority of african American. Hispanic, a whoever it is who do not commit crimes and war
more likely to be the victims of the criminal class that does them than anybody else is because it's not like these crimes are black on white or hispanic on white or something like that. They are mostly black on black Hispanic on hispanic. What are and everybody, and so this focus on the criminal again like it. It it defames the law abiding. It seems to me and that's where I get it. That's where I want to talk a little about the politics of the because if this is where I lead opinions going and not only is it going there, but there's now kind of barrier against backtracking because it didn't these views are being adopted, not only is fashionable but as auntie racist as as, as you said,
in so therefore backing often say- I'm sorry I can't go. I can't go with this like this. Is your you're doing something terrible is her like defining the police like enough? Don't talk about defining the police, would get wet. Democrats said on that famous phone call that did we read about two days after the election like New York, me with the funding the police to stop talking about it. It's like they were saying, stop talking about it now, because it's bad politically does like stopped augmented because you're, immoral and wrong, and you are going to destroy this country by talking about it. There saying this is look. I mean voters, don't like it, but if they're right in this conversation, hardens and deepens and the class of people are talking about, it have no way to back themselves off from the Easiest opinions here, whereas this gonna lead our political conversation over the next couple of years. Now it's gonna leave did anyone who is moderate or from a moderate district or who, who is trying to read
form rather than abolish anything about the criminal justice system will be branded a racist if they're on the left, and they already assumed the Republicans, arises and will lead to either stagnation, when which case the void will be filled by legislators who or who are required to moderate their views in order compromises, but by the activists class, which we now know is it's just gotten a huge infusion of cash. The summer, through the black lives matter movement, which then does it out all these smaller groups, although its rather it is not a problem twelve belong darling in dollars and severe shadowy financial network which several good reporters of trying to sort of come through, but it still comes down to. You then cannot have- and we already see this actually when it comes to disk and those of criminal behaviour. You can't say that fifty per More than half of the murders in this country are committed by a very small minority population is saying that fact, which is from the FBI, crime statistics brands your racist you're not even allowed
say that, because I think already this idea that it's not the fault of the perk, you know forget about the victim. It's not the fault of the poor, this is happening. It's society. So can you fix that right? How If you are saying that there is a dispensation to people who commit violent crimes than yours, they don't have free will and that they are not acting of their own free? Will that there's some systemic problem? How do you correctest systemic problem like that. In one sense, it could become quite disturb me it if you want to abolish the prisons, but you still have to track violent people. Honey spots are going to do that. We're gonna, put they're gonna be some way to track. There's still needs to be some way to control and track violent people that very small percentage of the population that extra violent. It could in some ways become far more repressive than the system we have now. So it's not that it's just will evolve. Prisons that everyone will be like kumbaya hugging, each other rather than murder, each other. No that I mean I have a pretty prettier cynical view
nature, as you can shuffle, but I, but how do you solve this problem that they spend a lot of time? Complaining about? Is, I guess the question I have for the the activists class, I am more they're kind of weird. There are all these weird portents in in what actual hard data we are collecting about, the twenty twenty election, not pulling data which, as we know, was incredible useless. But these precinct by pressing voting numbers on, totals and things like that and what we are seeing, is this these green shoots of change. You know in these have trump republican direction among minorities.
In places that Biden one by fifty percent. Just like Hillary did over hill. We won by sixty bide ones by fifty, but in these places they were publican vote jumps by eighty percent. Now, of course, if you have one vote and you jump eighty percent, you get to one point: eight votes. It's not like you know it's not like that jump. itself, is you know, statistically its statistically measurable, but it
get you anywhere near majority, but the question is: are there things about the american conversation that have been going on? We know that the Trump conversation turned off suburban heights right cuz, that's where all the vitamins growth against is in relation to Hillary came was in the was in suburban counties and suburban places. Where Biden that performs her, sometimes by two hundred and twenty one and stuff like that, so we know about that conversation. But what is the story about these hispanic? Neighborhoods is black neighborhoods in places like that minority neighborhoods? Where, where Trump did you know,. better than he didn't twenty. Sixteen, for example, what what's? What's the explanation for it? Crime is up in some of those neighborhoods, I'm resigned as a normative neighborhoods. Crime is up in all of those neighborhoods every city.
Every major city in the United States is seen crime spike. It's not now again, it's often incredibly small base because we ve had almost thirty years of a diminution of crime, which is one of the reasons the things like the death penalty stop seeming so necessary. The death penalty was wild popular by ninety ninety six, because we have just started with the crime, the downturn and crime two years earlier and people were still tariff, I'd and wanted criminals punished. Now it's like five years later, it's like you know many people, United Sates dont, have any experience of crime, whereas Forty years ago, every American had an experience of crime in some fashion, rather car smashed into a mugging somebody. They knew something terrible. what happened to driving through a bad neighborhood being like absolutely terrified. While you were driving that you're, you know your car might your battery
I die whatever how want to slice it, and so people really don't have that much experience but any more, but where there is experience of it, there was movement and that wouldn't nest They ve been movement a trump. If the Democrats hadn't gone banana as on this subject, and I just dont know where this goes. No, as are as our resident macro economic, political, thirty thousand feet, Studier of data I mean you're getting a really interesting look from nor right. Nobody like devalue, woogie, we ve been we written these pieces about you written these pieces about. You know what overall electoral consequences issues. Wise might be, and so I don't know I mean I think Democrats of walking could be walking themselves into
even haven't gotten eighty one million votes in the last election. They could be walking themselves into a cul de sac, yet will assuredly the potential for backlash I think we probably did so see a lot of that. I think rising crime rates as a theory of everything, is possibly flawed in part, because we saw a rejection of the kind of maximum list, progressive prescriptions for economic and social reform in twenty eight team. As well in the good colony was reserved for known for their over. arrest just good times, have you buddy, please, with those salad days of the Trump era and progressive ran in, and we wrote about this and in November over essence, ran in in competitive racism, competitive districts and competitive, stay. In twenty eighteen and of all the benchmark, proud candidates
Only one managed to win and didn't do especially well as well as they thought so the writing was on the wall for Progressive ISM at the time. I am one of the things that I find really thing is that, as we begin to be retrospect, us on the Trump era, are these spasms that I think are cultural spasms that I think are attributable to the president, just being a cultural figure on Donald trumps, hostility towards women and disrespect for women? I think contributor Finally, to the meat moment, Donald trumps, racial agitation, I think, contributed mightily to the US that events over the last summer- and I think that what the reaction that he from
did, even if he was just sort of a up in tangible presence in that debate, created the conditions for the people who hold radical views to perceive themselves to be. Proceed. Those views to be less radical and at the moment for them had arrived, or at least the urgency had become around those views had become more you. No more present and that has led them to move towards the fringes more to the extremes in a way that does not represent the country. Broad so the president created a reality distortion field around just how legitimate and valuable and welcome these expressions of social anxiety were among the activists class, and they went too far in the created the conditions for a backlash right now, but the quest do will will will be a political regulars who are who want a winner. Actions. Will they be capable of having the conversations with in
by their own party about what to do to stave off catastrophe, and, as I say, I think there is a real problem with the vocabulary that they will that they will feel they are constrained from using to talk this through Would you say you guys have gone too far shut the hell up before you destroy us and that's a issue of serve psychological betterment, and so let me talk to you today about better help. The last sponsor today is there something interfering your happiness or preventing you from achieving our goals. Better help will assess your means and match you with your own licence, professional therapist. You can start communicating and under forty eight hours it's not a crisis line. It's not self help. It is professional, counselling done securely on line with a broad range of expertise available. That may not be locally. valuable in many areas available for clients.
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special offer for power commentary. Listeners get ten percent off your first month at better help, dot com, slash commentary, so I mean we're not in the habit of offering advice to the Democratic Party into liberals and how to make themselves more popular and not to not to be enough not to have electoral consequences for their people good and bad ideas. I think we want them to have electoral consequent swedish stupid. That ideas now is very bright ass. The Democrats job yet This is not an option in order not to train them to better ideas, but to make sure that their ideas- don't don't you know, get gain the upper hand, the United States so but Christine, talked about this. You when I yesterday right, so why? Why should we care, let them let them let them choke on this? Let that let the public, you know let the public reared
are and and and and say. We don't want any more this. What why should we still care Wilson? There two reasons. There's the extremely pact. Immediate reason that this kind of thinking, if it is politically effective, does lead to actual. Consequences in the real world for the most vulnerable populations, the ones who live in the neighborhood, where it's the highest crime rates, the people who have to get to work on public transportation in public transportation, crime rate start speaking, That said, there are real world dangerous consequences for ordinary people if these ideas take hold- and we have already seen this with you Know- Annie Mccarthy had a great piece for us last year about the progressive prosecutor projects when, when crimes that are harmful to people are then not prosecuted either you see there are real role consequences to having to allowing for greater range of criminal behaviour in society. We note, as we know this from previous areas where crime was high, so there's that, but I think for for this
chattering classes of which we are a part. There's there's another danger. We ve already seen how that's played out with the speech. She's related to raise on campuses and in the broader culture were, lose a way of talking about criminal behaviour, personal responsibility and agency. If we start making everything a systemic problem right of everything so don't make if we don't want to get into the specifics, but we want to talk about. You know, I'm deprave, because I'm deprive you of criminals are all given that the sort of that had the benefit of the doubt for why they did what they did. Then I think we have. It is very difficult to make a persuasive, intellectual argument against that way of thinking and that kind of world view can in fact, people on rights are the as much as it can on the left and that's dangerous. If there are certain things are not allowed to talk about certain facts. You're not allowed to raise. That makes the ability to come to any sort of reasonable before our policy decision making that much harder for them
we are pointing out is that all wisdom can be located in Stephen Somtimes, lyrics, Reggie Officer, Crocky written in nineteen. Fifty, of its, I think I think, there's there's there's great merit that everyone go look up. The lyrics did you officer grubby the greatest eleven o clock song ever written since we began with Broadway we can. With Broadway, with various models for our last disease. No one wants a fellow with a social disease I will vote tomorrow with our final podcast of twenty twenty, and we have many surprises. I don't know what they are as we haven't even talked about it, but we should come up with the prize. That doesn't mean I get to break out the pursuit. Finally, I guess that's than this tiny brave- and I think I say variety show ripe apple trade norm realise we all have
Why will be discussing here? Don't get me started because you know in our boats were both stars of Irma High School, knowledge? I didn't community theatre in Arlington Virginia as late as this my thirtieth we're gonna have to be the voice of reason and stop us ourselves. We, we will do g officer promptly with new accompanying us on the pursuit of that would be by the way play the piano ably. We can have all think anyone outside so until to Morrow frayed known Christina Jump onwards, kids calibre.
Transcript generated on 2020-12-23.