The Incarceration Speech: Typical Hillary

In a speech to the David N. Dinkins Leadership & Public Policy Forum at Columbia University on April 29, Hillary said, "It's time to end the era of mass incarceration." The problem is that in her speech she offered platitudes rather than specific, concrete solutions as methods to achieve for what she called. She spoke many words, yet they were entirely void of meaning or substance.

For example, while talking about the "injustice" of the justice system, she made this remark:

… let's remember that everyone in every community benefits when there is respect for the law and when everyone in every community is respected by the law.   [emphasis in the original]

How did she propose that respect for and by the law and citizens be restored? By rebuilding the "bonds of trust and respect" between the police and citizens, and by restoring "trust in our politics, our press, our markets." Her statement was quite ironic, given what the MSM has reluctantly reported about her shenanigans while she was Secretary of State, and about her role at the Clinton Foundation. Only fools (and Democrats) "trust and respect" anything she does and says.

Discussing how unfair our legal system is, she said: "We need to restore balance to our criminal justice system." She called for "fresh thinking and bold action from all of us." How did she propose that this be done?

... it is not enough just to agree and give speeches about it -- we actually have to work together to get the job done. We need to deliver real reforms that can be felt on our streets, in our courthouses, and our jails and prisons, in communities too long neglected.

She never defined "balance" or "fresh thinking" or "real reforms," specifically or otherwise. She just offered the platitude.

She offered two more-or-less specific ideas on how to reduce incarceration: "smart strategies" and "chart a new course."

First, we need smart strategies to fight crime that help restore trust between law enforcement and our communities, especially communities of color.

We can start by making sure that federal funds for state and local law enforcement are used to bolster best practices, rather than to buy weapons of war that have no place on our streets.

Here Hillary didn't want to admit that she knows that some criminals represent a threat of harm or death to police. She knew what the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) said about weapons and who has them, and that a NIJ study of persons arrested for a wide range of crimes "showed that a higher percentage of arrestees than regular citizens own firearms." She knew that, as the Cleveland Police Foundation says: "It's Dangerous Out There!"

Hillary proposed spending money on "best practices" rather than "weapons of war that have no place on our streets." Yet she provided no explanation (or evidence) of how they would be better. And she said that "best practices" will restore trust. She didn't mention how many gang members and other criminals will listen to the "best practices." Or say how many will trust cops, will forsake crime after hearing them.

The second area where we need to chart a new course is how we approach punishment and prison.

Of the more than 2 million Americans incarcerated today, a significant percentage are low-level offenders: people held for violating parole or minor drug crimes, or who are simply awaiting trial in backlogged courts.

Hillary never explained what a "significant percentage" is. 

Parole violation is done purposely by criminals. They should be incarcerated -- at least so law enforcement officials will know where they are. Otherwise, with what could society threaten them?  

There is no such thing as a "minor" drug crime. All drugs ruin lives.

Regarding backlogged courts, that issue has already been addressed in the U.S. Constitution's Sixth Amendment, yet she ignored it. She never specifically specified how long criminals must wait before being set loose. Further, she never differentiated between those accused of murder or rape and low-level offenders when turning criminals loose. 

"Keeping them behind bars does little to reduce crime." Hillary made this statement, yet offered no substantiation of her assertion.

Regarding those incarcerated, she continued:

They're not there to look after their children or bring home a paycheck.

And it's not just families trying to stay afloat with one parent behind bars. Of the 600,000 prisoners who reenter society each year, roughly 60 percent face long-term unemployment.

Hillary knew that criminals knew what awaited them before committing crimes. And that doing time extends beyond being incarcerated. Yet she made the statements anyway. 

Without the mass incarceration that we currently practice, millions fewer people would be living in poverty.

Hillary made the above statement, yet again offered no substantiation of her assertion.

She spoke about criminal penalty sentencing: "It's a stark fact that the United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population, yet we have almost 25 percent of the world's total prison population."  Bill Otis, a former federal prosecutor with the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, said, when speaking about Freddie Gray (about whom Hillary spoke), that "any 25-year-old with 18 arrests has 'made his decision on how he's going to live,' ...[.]" Otis' statement applies to the "almost 25 percent of the world's total prison population" as well. "Criminal penalty sentencing" is not a major cause of incarceration, lifestyle choice is.

She spoke of "missing" African-American men:

When we talk about one and a half million missing African American men, we're talking about missing husbands, missing fathers, missing brothers.

She made the statement, yet offered nothing in the way of a remedy. Plus every one of the one and a half million missing African American men "had his day in court" and was convicted by a jury of his peers (unless he made a plea-bargain). So there is a specific reason why they are "missing" -- they were convicted! 

She called for "alternative punishments for low-level offenders." Alternative punishment, any kind of punishment, would be welcomed, considering that liberal judges often opt for no punishment or jail time at all, set no bail, return criminals to communities. Yet again she offered no definition of "alternative punishments" or how they could be achieved.

She followed her "incarceration" remark with: "We need a true national debate about how to reduce our prison population while keeping our communities safe." Again, she offered a platitude but offered no definition of a "true national debate."

Near the end of her speech, Hillary said;

I'll be talking about all of this in the months to come, offering new solutions to protect and strengthen our families and communities.

We can expect more of her "offering new solutions" via screeching platitudes while saying nothing specific. 

By the way, offers "a flat, dull, or trite remark, especially one uttered as if it were fresh or profound" as the definition of platitude. That definition certainly fits Hillary's utterances.