A foreign correspondent I used to know liked to say that a good test for national decline is the smell of urine. In declining countries, one frequently smells it.
Americans in certain jurisdictions can expect to smell more urine soon. Left-wing prosecutors, some financed by George Soros, will be decriminalizing urination in public.
This is one of a several “quality of life” crimes the left wants to stop prosecuting. Some prosecutors also want theft below a certain dollar amount to go largely unpunished.
The theory behind this decriminalization effort is that poor people and members of certain minority groups commit a disproportionate number of these crimes. But it’s also the case that poor people and members of the same minority groups are disproportionately victimized by many of them.
They can expect to be smelling the urine first.
Left-wing prosecutors say they will continue scrupulously to prosecute violent crime. There will be exceptions based on the race of the thug and his victim, but that’s not the main problem. The main problem is that violent criminals will be serving shorter sentences. Hence, there will be more violent crime.
How will the public view these consequences? Most people, I assume, prefer a good quality of life to a diminished one. Most people would rather not be robbed, even if the amount taken is relatively small. And you have to be an extreme leftist not to be alarmed by a spike in violent crime.
Yet, softness on crime is at the forefront of the left’s radical agenda for America. This seems like a bad strategy. Why not give out a lot of free stuff first (by taxing the hell out of the wealthy), then crack down on freedom of expression (following the example of America’s colleges and universities), and, only later, risk the public’s ire by undermining law and order?
The answer, I think, is that the left can’t yet win the offices required to implement most aspects of its radical agenda. George Soros might be able to buy some congressional seats, but he can’t buy Congress as a whole.
In some jurisdictions, however, he can unseat serious prosecutors (many of them Democrats) and replace them with radicals. And he can do so at what, for him, is a low price.
The amount of money Soros spent to oust capable Democrat prosecutors in Northern Virginia was obscene by the standards of campaigns for this office. However, it was a drop in the bucket compared to what’s needed to unseat a member of Congress these days.
Moreover, conservatives and moderates focus on congressional races and contests for other high profile offices. Local prosecutor races fly under the radar, making it possible for Soros to ambush at least some of those he finds too conscientious about fighting crime.
The left is impatient and opportunistic. It will exploit weakness where it can, even if this means that, in some areas, the smell of urine — symptom of societal decline — will be the public’s introduction to leftist governance.
JOHN adds: Minneapolis is now one of those cities where it is is safe–if not, strictly speaking, legal–to urinate in public.