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Liberal policies of coddling criminals are responsible for the murders of more americans in the last 50 years than the totals of all americans killed in all wars during the same time period. Liberal notions of blaming crime on society rather than on the perpetrators, of eschewing punishment for criminals, of fighting against the police instead of the criminals, all contributed to the unnecessary murders of hundreds of thousands of americans, the majority of whom were poor and/or black. Liberals went from their crowning achievement, the success of the civil rights movement, to the depths of their own depravity in near record time, as crime came to be seen as a sort of social protest, a reaction against "the man". 1960's riots in Watts and Detroit weren't even met with much of a response from the police. In the words of Ramsay Clark, uber-liberal attorney general with the Johnson administration, "punishment as an end in itself is itself a crime in our times...Rehabilitation must be the goal of modern corrections. Every other consideration should be subordinated to it". Or listen to James Vorenberg, a member of Johnson's' crime commission, "To a considerable degree, law enforcement cannot deal with criminal behavior". It is no coincidence whatsoever that with the mainstreaming of liberalism, the 1960's, the violent crime rate in the US increased 226%. The murder rate increased 122% from 1963 to 1980. The number of violent crimes jumped from 1 million in 1960 to 2.9 million in 1970, while the number of prison sentences handed out by the liberal courts went from 40,000 in 1960 to 37,000 in 1970. In inner cities all over the country, people were afraid to go out of their houses at night. Liberals were coddling the criminals, but they weren't doing a whole lot for the ever-increasing number of victims, who were overwhelmingly the very people liberals claimed they wanted to help, the poor and minorities. Those people were virtual prisoners in their own homes, as gangs and thugs ruled the streets of their neighborhoods.
The poster child city for failed liberal crime policy was New York. The decaying, graffiti-covered city was a cesspool of crime. At a time when the citizenry of inner-city america was getting sick of living in fear, Rudolph Giuliani became the mayor of New York. He started by cracking down on what he termed "quality of life" crimes. He cleared the thugs out of the subway system and cleaned up the subway cars. He increased the number of police by 7,000. He targeted the high-crime areas that the police had previously steered clear of. Subway crime dropped by two-thirds in four years. His police chief Willian Bratton closed down chop shops, fences, drug and prostitution rings. The results were amazing. Within five years, felonies in NYC declined by 50 percent. Murder had decreased by 68 percent. The 2,600 murders in the city in the early 90's dropped to less than 800 by 1997. In five years, crime in Harlem fell 39%, in the South Bronx it fell 42%.
The liberals were utterly perplexed. The NY Times wrote, "The continued divergence between the shrinking crime rate and the rising rate of incarceration raises a series of troublesome questions, said criminologists and law enforcement experts". The Times was trying to blame Giuliani for taking criminals off the street and locking them up, thus making New York a far safer place. What probably really ticked them off was that Giuliani had single-handedly disproved all the liberals soft-on-crime bilge, for which libs will probably never forgive him.
Giuliani's methods were widely copied in the rest of the country. The liberal policy-inspired three plus decade countrywide crime wave ebbed. By 2002, there were 21 million fewer american crime victims than there were in 1973. Liberals still haven't figured out what happened, but they are sure Republicans did something wrong (yeah, they stopped listening to the liberals, and they made poor and minority people safer instead, along with the rest of us).
The data for this post came from Mona Charen's excellent book, Do-Gooders.