Societal decay is not inevitable

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Here is an interesting statistic: so far in 2021, there have been some 400 violent incidents on airplanes by unruly passengers. In a full normal year, the number is more like 200. We’re therefore on pace to have 4 times as many incidents as usual.

Then there are the crime statistics we all know about: murder, violent crime, robberies, etc., are up 50-200% in various large cities. Videos of brazen shoplifting are going viral. Some cities, like San Francisco, have prohibited police from arresting shoplifters if the value of the goods are less than $1000. Criminals are being let out on bond as cities — almost all Democratically run — seem hellbent on plunging their citizenry into a chaos of crime and homelessness.

This is not speculation or a self-serving interpretation of statistics. What we are witnessing is a real degradation of public order ushered in by specific policies of mayors and city councils.

Much of this loosening of the rules and consequences of our criminal justice system has been implemented as a kind of sop to the BLM activists. Some if it is done as a sort of mea culpa for centuries of racism.

Whatever the reason, the results are hurting people of color in particular, as their neighborhoods are disproportionately affected by the increase in violence.

But that doesn’t matter to the political classes. They would rather receive accolades on Twitter for their wokeness than save the lives of innocent children and bystanders caught in the crossfire.

What is really going on? The anti-police, pro-social disorder activists start from a position of compassion, claiming to be doing what they’re doing for the benefit of the downtrodden and oppressed.

Now, as a rule, compassion is a wonderful thing. We should always have compassion for those who are less fortunate or caught in a situation that is hard to escape from. There are, in fact, many people in both public and private institutions (including many liberals!) trying to help these folks and often doing a wonderful job.

But what separates these effective practitioners of compassion from the more destructive types is that the latter couples their compassion with resentment and even hate.

They blame the sorry situation of the people they claim to help on the rich, on whites, on “the system,” on capitalism, on Trump, on the United States in general. They don’t typically go to a person who is suffering and say, “I’m here to help you.” Instead they say, “You’re in this state because of someone else. Let’s go get them!”

This was exactly the tactic of the Bolsheviks in early 20th-century Russia. They didn’t just try and help the peasants; they told the peasants that they were bad off because businessmen, doctors, teachers, priests, and anyone who wasn’t a peasant — in the end — was somehow responsible for their plight and needed to be removed. Thus the mass killings and deportations began, as did social disintegration and general misery, and the ones who suffered the most were the peasants.

One of the key things the Bolsheviks did to amass their power is to destabilize society by undermining nearly all aspects of traditional societal norms and rules. The chaos that ensued was replaced by a Marxist structure intended to ensure a worker’s paradise, but only resulted in 70 years of misery, suffering and death for the Russian people.

We are seeing this same dynamic at work now. In order to gain power and marginalize their opponents, many figures in the Democratic Party are calling for and enacting policies that undermine trust in society’s standards and mores.

The cops are now the bad guys; all white people are inherently racist; religion is out; traditional family structures and gender roles are out; capitalism is evil; the education system is biased; etc., etc. There is no institution of American culture which is not subject to this onslaught of criticism and angry denunciation.

As a result, people who are already prone to antisocial behavior are seeing all of this as approval for them to run amok, and so they are. The result is the predictable chaos we are seeing now and the actual injury and death of thousands of innocent victims, for which the politicians seem to care not one bit.

From the angry passenger in the plane who fights the mask mandate to the petty thief to the grifting politician using the chaos to buy votes, this mass assault on core values of decency, respect, and obedience to proper authority is undermining our society at every level.

But, there are large swaths of people who are not buying into this. You will see many people begin to leave the cities since their leadership refuses to protect them. You will also see voters change their minds, especially those in the middle, as they realize they were duped by Democrats pretending to be moderate to let in a Trojan horse of crazy leftists who want to demonize and destroy this country.

This kind of thing happened in the 1960s, and things went from bad to worse in the 1970s and early 80s until a few key figures like Reagan on the national stage and Rudy Giuliani on the local one began rolling back the excesses of the socialistic, destructive initiatives of certain quarters of the Democratic Party.

We can and will do so again, I believe. We will stop kowtowing to those who would use compassion to indict their fellow citizens of crimes that cannot be proven and largely don’t exist. We will realize that we have a truly good society and polity that can and does address inequities and injustices effectively, and stop characterizing entire groups or nations based on the actions of a single individual who failed to live up to the standard.

It will be hard to do this since the press and Big Tech do so much to cover it up and obfuscate the issues, but I believe in the power of truth and the goodness of our people of all colors and political persuasions to overcome the forces of division and hatred.

I invite my Democratic friends to move together towards the light and away from the darkness of certain forces in our culture now, and we on the right can pledge to do so as well if people on our side, as Trump sometimes did, attack the pillars of our constitutional republic.

It can be done. I believe it!

Trey Hoffman

Peachtree City, Ga.

8 COMMENTS

  1. This is clearly written by someone who thinks they know what’s going on in the world but doesn’t go into it. Very typical of a conservative, if we’re gonna continue making it political as the author did. This is a person who has convinced themselves that old systems were working and that all current criticism is an attack on the country as a whole. This is a person who probably claims to love freedom but attacks others who choose to live in ways they don’t understand i.e. without religion, free of gender roles, etc. In fact, this person has probably never been to a big city in their life nor ever met one of these “crazy leftists” that they claim to know so much about. It’s clear they simply read about all these issues but never engage with them in the real world. Instead, they’d rather grandstand about “coming together” and then pointing their finger at others and never himself or people like himself. I suggest you leave the safe, homogenous bubble that is Peachtree City and stop playing party loyalty. Because if you genuinely think Republicanism/Conservatism is the savior, I’d suggest you educate yourself, but you’d probably call it “indoctrination” or “fake news.” Do better.

  2. Trey Hoffman–
    I have been pondering Trey’s suggestion that we be more circumspect with our compassion (especially that goofy old compassion that couples so well with “resentment and even hate”).

    I can’t get very far with Trey’s assertions and not hear, “Bad timing. Really, really bad timing”.

    He writes, tongue in cheek, “The cops are now the bad guys; all white people are inherently racist…”.
    Just days ago Judge Cahill sentenced ex-officer Chauvin to 22 years in prison for the murder of Mr. George Floyd. Cahill stated Chauvin treated Floyd, ” without respect and denied him the dignity owed to all human beings.”

    Compassion from Chauvin or any one of his fellow officers would have prevented the death of Mr. Floyd and avoided the understandable aftermath. (Understandable to those with the capacity for compassion–suffering with others).

    Granted, not all police persons are “the bad guys”. I would ask,
    how many “bad apples” does it take before we are willing to inspect the tree and the roots and make systematic change?

    If my musings cause you to bristle–if you are formulating reasons to overlook or justify Chauvin’s behavior , even after viewing the final nine minutes of George Floyd’s life…you can see why it is easy to believe that “all white people are inherently racist.”

    Yet again–very unfortunate timing to assert “religion is out; traditional family structures and gender roles are out.”
    Last Thursday the Supreme Court decided in favor of a Catholic agency in Philadelphia that had refused to work with same sex couples applying to be foster parents.
    A sad set-back for LGBTQ+ families; and for children in need of loving homes, in my opinion.
    Quite a victory for “religion” and “traditional family structures” over compassion, wouldn’t you say, Trey?

    Sadly , there is no need to worry that grace, mercy, and yes, compassion will flow freely from the main-stream to the marginalized…but we’ll keep working on it!

  3. So glad Trey brought up this issue of crime, as I have been concerned about it, too — which is the reason I did research it to be sure the alarmist news stories I’ve been seeing were accurate. I learned some interesting things.

    First, despite the increase in violent crime in 2020, overall violent crime rates are DOWN from what they were in the 1980’s and 1990’s — in the 90’s the rates were quite high! Even with the increases lately, we’re still under what they were. Of course, what we want is an answer why crime rates are up. Trey believes it’s because the police are no longer trusted, and “societal norms” are under attack. This could certainly contribute to more people becoming criminals.

    But some other factors are being investigated, too. First of course is the pandemic and its restrictions putting so much pressure on so many people, particularly the most vulnerable who may be desperate enough to act out in criminal ways. Everyone has been under a tremendous amount of stress and accompanying anxiety. Also related to the pandemic: gun sales went up, up, up during the pandemic! The fact that violent crime increased may be due to how many more guns are out there for people to do violent crimes with!

    Both these possible factors point to solutions that Trey might not like to consider: common-sense gun control, and more government aid to people who are struggling financially and emotionally because of the pandemic, its accompanying economic downturn, and the mental toll it has taken on all of us.

    And if Trey is right, that lack of trust in police is one problem contributing to rising crime rates, this could be fixed, too, by governmental oversight. For instance, the George Floyd Policing Act (HR 7120), which passed in the House of Representatives a year ago, would not only help establish trust in the police force again, it would establish “a framework to prevent and remedy racial profiling by law enforcement at the federal, state, and local levels. It also limits the unnecessary use of force and restricts the use of no-knock warrants, chokeholds, and carotid holds,” according to the official description of the bill.

    Trey rightly says that Democrats and Republicans can work together to solve the problem, and this would be a huge step where all lawmakers could show their good faith in stepping up to remedy some of the biggest problems that have become evident in law enforcement. Yes, it took all of us watching a policeman murder an unarmed and helpless person of color before many of us could even believe that this kind of horror was taking place, but it is, and it can be stopped, when we all stand together as Trey suggests.

    And PTCitizen has a point here, too: “But the bigger problem is the non-ideological and disinterested establishment who is more concerned with the political process than with the outcomes. Moreover, they’re happy to work forces in order to keep themselves in power, and guard their position against outsiders.” I think we just saw this in action as Mitch McConnel shut down the For the People Act without even so much as the courtesy of debate. He wants to keep his party in power at any cost, and if that means disenfranchising millions of voters (making them non-voters!), he will do it.

    it was also very heartening to read this from Trey … “I invite my Democratic friends to move together towards the light and away from the darkness of certain forces in our culture now, and we on the right can pledge to do so as well if people on our side, as Trump sometimes did, attack the pillars of our constitutional republic.” He is admitting Pres. Trump did, indeed, attack the very foundations of the USA. Well done, Mr. Hoffman, even if it is a half-hearted “sometimes did.” One of those sometimes was Jan 6, and clearly, if you are ready to admit that and call for the prosecution of all involved, including the former president, maybe progress CAN be made!

    • The “For the People Act” is unconstitutional at inception. Don’t be fooled by clever marketing. S1 was an authoritarian takeover of the electoral which would have effectively stripped people of representation in the electoral process and diluted the voting power of legal voters.

      • If For the People was an over-reach, it was a predictable reactive, swing of the pendulum in response to the many GOP state governments’ passage or proposal of outlandish laws severely restricting voter rights, particularly among people of color and poor people.

  4. Like most of your letters, I can almost agree with what you right until you go the route of binary forces. Democrats are not always the problem. And Republicans aren’t always the solution. In fact, you can dissect just about any of the social problems affecting America today and find a sufficient balance of blame between both parties.

    You came very close when you identified the ‘political class’ as being one of the root causes. Within that political class is a small number of vocal ideologues who drive most of the public discourse, often in transgressive directions. But the bigger problem is the non-ideological and disinterested establishment who is more concerned with the political process than with the outcomes. Moreover, they’re happy to work forces in order to keep themselves in power, and guard their position against outsiders.

    A lot of the problems in this country would go away if we simply stopped voting for incumbents, career politicians, and political insides.