Criminals are, after all, good people...not

According to a recent news report, California has adopted a policy of increased leniency toward criminals.  Unsurprisingly, violent crime in that state has significantly increased.  Could anyone fail to make the connection between the leniency and the increased violence?  Unfortunately, yes.  Liberals and progressives have many talents, and cognitive dissonance is one of them.  Indeed, without it, progressive liberalism would soon cease to exist.

It is a well known law of economics that the more one rewards something, the more of it one gets, and the converse is also true.  The less one punishes criminality – murder, robbery, rape, and the like – the more of it is produced.  So why do liberals persist in their fantasies, despite the overwhelming body of facts that would persuade any sane policy-maker that the fantasies are wrong?

The reason is that liberal ideology holds that humans are by nature good – or at the worst, neutral, a blank slate upon which society programs our behaviors.  Liberals are convinced that, if only the right people in power make the right policies, then the masses of ordinary folk will behave altruistically, tolerantly, and benevolently.

This is contrary to the worldview by which the Founders shaped our Constitution.  They instituted a system of checks and balances, the purpose of which was not to enhance man's supposed inherent niceness to each other, but rather to restrain our evil impulses.

In Genesis 8:21 we are taught that "every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood."  This is such a powerful statement that many people, even many people of faith, recoil from it.  What about the innocent little babies?

Nevertheless, it is a belief that is far more productive than its opposite.  It is comparable to the Russian proverb "trust but verify," which President Reagan cleverly turned against the Russians when he demanded that Russian compliance with weapons limitation treaties be subject to close inspections.

Compare that to Barack Obama's "trust, just trust" principle, which allowed Iran to become a nuclear threat to the world.

To be sure, prisons do not turn mean, vicious individuals into reformed paragons of virtue.  The very term penitentiary is a misnomer in that regard.  But they do serve at least two useful purposes.  The most obvious is that they separate criminals from their would-be victims.  The other purpose is that they deter some – okay, only some – people from committing some – okay, only some – crimes.  But one innocent person spared from becoming a victim is worth the imprisonment of a thousand guilty predators.

Maddeningly, liberals claim that their policies are compassionate and humane.  They turn deaf ears to the victims and their families – victims who are punished by the liberal policies of leniency toward violent offenders.

There seems always to be yet another billion dollars to be spent on illegal aliens; on welfare for immigrant populations who hate us; and for abortions, "sex reassignment" surgery, and teaching Ebonics to illiterate victims of the public education system.  But spending money on affirmative crime control – instead of on unconstitutional gun control – is too often out of the question, if one questions liberals.

Many improvements could be made in our criminal justice system.  It is sadly true that innocent people get convicted while guilty persons walk free.  Those problems deserve attention and money.

But those problems will not be solved by releasing known evil attackers from their cages, to send yet more citizens to the prisons of death and loss of loved ones.

None of this will make any sense whatsoever to progressives.  After all, their every inclination is toward evil, a fact they attribute only to us, not themselves.