The acerbic wit and writer H.L. Mencken once famously said, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” The good people of Los Angeles are about to find out exactly what he meant.
In November’s election, the city’s voters had the poor judgment to elect a George Soros-backed district attorney, far-left “justice reform advocate” George Gascon. They’ll be paying for their mistake for years to come.
The payment is coming due already, thanks to the socialist billionaire Soros. The Cuban-born Gascon had already served as both chief of police and district attorney in San Francisco, where he basically stopped prosecuting many crimes.
He was aided in that by California’s notorious Proposition 47, which after its passage in 2014 redefined many drug and theft offenses as misdemeanors.
How did that work out? The once-beautiful city by the bay’s streets are now filled with homeless drug addicts, the mentally ill and criminals of every stripe. Violent crime, drug use and theft have all soared. Residents and tourists alike must negotiate the city’s vomit- and feces-strewn sidewalks, and dodge people shooting up drugs and accosting passersby for “spare change.”
Break-ins and “property crimes” of all types are now common. Those who voted for this madness in San Francisco are now fleeing the city in droves.
Ask those who have left what kind of “job” Gascon did.
Better yet, ask Tony Montoya, head of the San Francisco Police Officers Association. Here’s what he said when Gascon announced he was quitting as San Francisco prosecutor:
“Good riddance. We are happy he will be leaving San Francisco, but feel horrible that he is taking his record of failure to an even larger county where he can cause even more harm to public safety.”
Not content to ruin one city, Gascon moved to Los Angeles to work his magic there. After a non-stop ad campaign largely paid for by Soros and Big Tech cash, voters chose the extremist Gascon over the moderate, “tough on crime” incumbent District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Los Angeles’ first-ever African American top prosecutor, who held the job since 2012.
Under Lacey, crime rates actually fell or remained low. They won’t stay that way.
At his swearing-in this week, Gascon let it be known: He’ll no longer prosecute a whole list of crimes, including trespassing, disturbing the peace, minors with alcohol, driving without a license or with a suspended license, making criminal threats, drug and paraphernalia possession, being under the influence of a controlled substance, public drunkenness, prostitution and resisting arrest.
And any minor accused of a misdemeanor will no longer be prosecuted.
He also wants to get rid of “enhancements” that keep repeat criminals in jail. As a piece this week notes, that will lead to “thousands” of hardened criminals back on the streets in coming months and years.
Oh yes, and don’t forget his first act as top prosecutor: The abolition of cash bail.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League is not amused.
“As homicides, shooting victims and shots fired into occupied homes soar in Los Angeles, it’s disturbing that Gascon’s first act in office is to explore every avenue possible to release from jail those responsible for this bloodshed,” the police union’s board said in a statement. “These victims and law-abiding residents lost a voice today while criminals and gang members gained an ally in the prosecutor’s office.”
Meanwhile, the city’s police force faces cuts of $150 million or more under the “Defund the Police” movement, aided and abetted by feckless Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who recently issued an edict for people to stop walking outside during the pandemic.
To be fair, Los Angeles isn’t alone in its descent into legal insanity. Indeed, such ideas are sweeping the nation’s largest and, for now, wealthiest state. As it often does, the Patriot Post hit the nail on the head in describing what’s going on in the Golden State these days.
California is at once making more and more activities criminal while decriminalizing things rational societies have always considered crimes.
For example, plastic straws, Coca-Cola for children, and standard-capacity gun magazines are all illegal in the Golden State. Shoplifting? That’s fine, so long as you need whatever you’re stealing. Proposition 20, which would have restored some stricter sentencing for such crimes, was defeated by a 62-38 margin on Nov. 3.
As Los Angeles goes, so goes the state. And, as many have said, as California goes, so goes the nation. Americans better hope that doesn’t hold true. If so, they’re in for a miserable decade. And they’ll have no one to blame but themselves. That’s democracy.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board