Why Is Our Society Degrading So Badly, So Fast?

Our Founders created a nation in which the rule of law would prevail and be applied equally to citizens from all walks of life and also would act as a restraint on the power of our leaders.  The tradition also includes the assumed duty of all Americans, including our political leaders, to live within the established and agreed upon laws of society.

The Democratic Party's increasingly progressive, left-leaning, radical political agenda contests this fundamental and longstanding American tradition of the law applying equally to all our citizens.  Whether I am walking on the streets of my city or viewing the news, I am witnessing on a daily basis increasingly uncivil, lawless, and visibly politically corrupt conduct being tolerated by our country.

Democratic Party policies today support the idea that adhering to the rule of law is no longer obligatory for several designated and politically favored groups selected by them.  Progressive politics is attempting to move Americans to accept and adopt a multi-tier justice system based on the unequal application of the law, whereby treatment by the system is increasingly dependent on subjective political considerations. 

On a local level in many cities and communities, Democrats in power are by their actions undermining the rule of law.  For example, expected compliance with the law in several of our leading cities run by Democratic Party leaders, including most notably New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle, is now often based on a person's economic and immigration status, race, sex, sexual orientation, and increasingly an indication of a person's political and religious affiliations.  The reason for these exemptions being granted is based on the dual ideologies of identity politics and social justice.

The creation of an implied multi-tier justice system expressly violates our fundamental value of the law applying equally to citizens from all walks of life and most importantly results in the increasingly intolerable and dangerous conditions existing on the streets of these cities and an overall perception of communities in decline.  It has led to environments where ordinary people feel increasingly unsafe due to a lack of enforcement of quality-of-life crimes such as rampart homelessness and loitering, open drug use, and the willing accommodation of numerous illegal aliens performing criminal acts.

Their policies absolve individuals belonging to their politically favored groups of their responsibilities to adhere to our agreed upon laws and act in civil ways.  They contend that challenging social and economic conditions are responsible for criminal and antisocial behavior rather than the individual person acting in a negative way.  Progressive leaders in these locations are resisting enforcing the law, especially against quality-of-life violations, because they label these actions as the criminalization of poverty and accuse the police of the ongoing use of racist tactics.

Thirty years ago, America's urban centers faced similar issues, leading New York City to adopt under the combined leadership of Republican Mayor Giuliani and his police commissioner, William Bratton, strict law enforcement policies that became to be known as "broken windows' policing.  These policies were based on the lifelong and collaborative work of criminologist George L. Kelling and political scientist James Q. Wilson, who became best known for publishing an essay in The Atlantic in 1982, called "Broken Windows."

It emphasized community policing, proactive enforcement of the law, and maintaining order in public places by either arresting or dealing with people for even minor crimes such as drunkenness; vagrancy; prostitution; and, in NYC at that time, subway turnstile–jumpers and the infamous squeegee men.  All of these minor crimes were being overlooked, inviting even greater criminality.

The effect of implementing "broken windows" policies by the police in New York City and, soon afterward, across many other cities starting in the 1990s resulted in a dramatic decline in crime, including, most importantly, a significant drop in homicides committed.  This crime-fighting approach was fundamental to altering the quality of life of many of our cities and significantly contributed to many of them becoming highly desirable places to live. 

The current deterioration of living conditions in many of our cities and communities led by Democratic Party leaders and their progressive policies can be directly attributed to their moving away from the proactive community policing that was previously so effective and created environments that discouraged criminality.  Many of these locales are starting to lose population.

In addition, apparently included as one of the favored groups permitted to operate outside the acceptable bounds of civility and the law are Democratic leaders themselves in their ongoing and unrelenting pursuit of power.  In Washington, the Democrats are attempting to subvert the will of the majority of the American people, as expressed by the election results in 2016, by executing and plotting orchestrated campaigns to remove President Trump from office before the next election.  These efforts range from the recently unsuccessfully perpetrated Russia collusion hoax, which is now being followed up by an illegitimate impeachment drive by the House.

These operations also revealed the mostly clandestine activities of a permanent and extensive Deep State, also labeled "the swamp," actively working with the Democrats to subvert President Trump.  A broken environment exists in Washington that contributes to the perception that too many of our elected officials feel free to participate in and to tolerate corruption without being held accountable for their actions.  It is highly discouraging for many Americans that up to this point, there have been no legal consequences or viable restraints in place to curb these types of actions that are so fundamentally dangerous to the very foundations of our country.

As a nation, we can look back at the great success the implementation of broken windows enforcement policies and practices as a potential guide to current-day challenges of maintaining a just and civil society both in Washington and across our nation.  The crucial and pragmatic next steps in re-creating a proper environment of deterrence in our country against lawless conduct, including misconduct by government officials, will be the impending actions of Attorney General William Barr and U.S. attorney John Durham.

The key question is whether their lengthy investigations of improper activities associated with attempts to remove President Trump from office will lead to the suitable punishment of all the players responsible without exception.  If these efforts are unsuccessful, the Deep State wins, and all our freedoms are at risk.  A lack of decisive action against these participants will signal to many in government that they are free to operate outside the rule of law with impunity in their pursuit of political power.  At risk is our Founders' design for an enduring nation, in which the rule of law would prevail and be applied equally to citizens from all walks of life — and also would act as an ongoing restraint on the power of our government.

K.S. Guardiola blogs at "Set the Record - Right!" at rightquestions.blog and can be reached at deplorableurbanite@rightquestions.blog.

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