I don’t like to say “I told you so” – but just because I don’t like to say it doesn’t mean I won’t. Shortly after Bill de Blasio was elected Mayor of New York City in November, 2013, I wrote a column for the Herald in which I expressed worry about how the miraculous reduction in crime I never imagined possible, which actually happened under the tremendous leadership of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was maintained by his successor, Mike Bloomberg, would be squandered by a clueless leftist who has no business running any large city, let alone one that is arguably the center of the universe (apologies to natives of Chicago, Los Angeles, Athens, Paris, Rome…).
Almost seven years later, de Blasio has, unfortunately but predictably, succeeded in reverting back to a “dangerous hellhole” status that began in the 1960s under the inept mayorship of John Lindsay, continued under the inert Abe Beame, grew even worse under the vastly overrated Ed Koch, and deteriorated into one big crack den under the quintessential nice guy/weak leader David Dinkins (think the ‘Jimmy Carter’ of New York City politics). Less than a year ago a NYC police officer told me, quite disgustedly, that de Blasio’s latest policies effectively result in slapping criminals – even violent ones – on the wrist and releasing them.
On September 6, the New York Post reported that of the 1000-plus shootings that took place in the city this past year, only about 200 resulted in arrests, according to the five borough district attorneys. And for those who might consider themselves lucky not to live in or near the Big Apple, the troubling reality is that you’re not safe, either, because this type of lawlessness and disorder is quickly coming to a city near you – if it hasn’t already arrived.
Then there are those who may dismiss this week’s column as yet another ploy to persuade swing voters to reelect Donald Trump in November. While I understand your reasoning and do not deny that I try to make that case every chance I get, I remind you that my warnings came in late 2013, when absolutely no one had an inkling that Trump even would have run for president in 2016, let alone win. In fact, in 2013 it had been seven years since I walked away from the Republican Party, and I referred to the Barack Obama/Mitt Romney presidential race of 2012 as “Obamney” – essentially, to me they were six of one, half a dozen of another. It wasn’t about politics, it was about crime – and it still is.
There is a dangerous mindset of political overcorrectness that has caused many longstanding radical anarchists to hijack a legitimate concern: that suspects should not be treated disparagingly by the police based on their race. With so many knee-jerk guilty white liberals bending over backwards to remove any doubt that they are ‘woke’ when it comes to their ‘white privilege, law enforcement officers in New York and throughout the country are forced to practice defensive policing. Transfer that approach to our armed forces and essentially you’ve got the Vietnam War, and we all know how that turned out.
It has taken the bad guys a while, but they’ve figured out that Bill de Blasio is no Rudy Giuliani. His literal get-out-of-jail-free cards are not a bluff; he’s really making it that easy for lawbreakers to run rampant and crime fighters to sit by idly, helpless to do anything about it because the mayor has sapped them of their authority and thereby their formidability.
In 2016, when recounting so many of the problems that crippled America at the time, Candidate Trump declared that “I alone can fix it.” I wouldn’t go as far as that, because I don’t think he’s America’s only hope – but he may be America’s only viable hope in 2020, because to this point, his principal opponent, Joe Biden, has not shown even close to the proper amount of outrage over the ever present vandalism, lootings, shootings, and murders, that have transformed our greatest American cities, making them look like Middle East war zones.
Many Trump-bashers have employed a new political strategy: reminding the public that all of this chaos and lawlessness throughout America’s cities is happening under President Trump’s watch, so why should anyone have faith that he can fix it? Here’s why: second terms are when presidents can let loose and really do what they want. They can never run again, and in Trump’s case, already having been impeached and acquitted, the possibility of the Democrats actually trying it again would be absurd – even for them. To put it more plainly, if Trump wins again, he’ll send troops to clean up the cities swiftly and, at times brutally, and he won’t wait to ask mayors or governors for permission. And he will have overwhelming public support, particularly from people in the worst parts of town who, for perhaps the first time in their lives, will be able to walk up and down the street without looking over their shoulder.
Trump alone won’t fix the problem; it’s going to take cooperation by the people, to throw their incompetent local leaders out of office. And to put things into perspective yet again, this is not some rant about pro-life vs. pro-choice, the size of a gun, emissions standards on cars, or the rate of capital gains taxes. We are talking about actual, direct, life and death. If you’re an aspiring violent criminal and you know the chances of getting caught if you shoot someone are 20 percent, and even then, you might get sent home with a ticket whereby you promise to appear in court again, why in the world would any of that scare you into abiding by the law?
The overwhelming majority of cops are good, but there are some bad ones. And there are very few types of people worse than bad cops – but you know what one such type is? Criminals.