Imagine: Crime and Punishment in Our Leftist Utopia

In 1971, John Lennon wrote the iconic song, Imagine, about his dreams of a leftist utopian world with no religion, countries, or possessions.  The song is beautiful, but as many wise conservatives have explained, terribly blind to the horrors its prescriptions would lead to.

We are now at a point in our country where the left is trying to pitch new ideas to build their utopian society.  This time they want to change how we deal with law and order.  Once again, their views are naïve and dangerous at best.  A great way to imagine the ideas of the left in practice is to take a look at a story and compare how it would play out using their positions as opposed to how a conservative thinks it should happen.  First, let’s tell the story with a conservative vision.

Michelle is walking home one night.  Suddenly, out of the shadows, a large man grabs her and drags her into a dark alley.  She struggles and manages to pull the gun she carries from her purse.  Bang!  She shoots the man dead.  Shaken, she calls the police.  They arrive at the scene and follow the evidence, which corroborates Michelle’s story.  The next day there is a story on the news about the brave girl who fought off an attacker.

Now, let’s look at the same story in the fanciful world of the left.

Michelle is walking home one night, thinking about how wonderful life is now that her city disbanded the police force.  Sure, there have been some minor problems, like a precipitous rise in the murder rate.  And yes, the murder rate in the black community has quadrupled, but that’s a small price to pay to save black lives.

Suddenly, out of the shadows, a large man grabs her and drags her into a dark alley.  As she struggles, she has the vile thought that it would be nice if she had a gun now, but she quickly remembers how bad guns are and why the government banned them.  Fortunately, out of the corner of her eye she sees a whiskey bottle that must have been left in the alley by one of the many homeless people who had flocked to the city since they began their program to help the homeless.  Michelle grabs the bottle and swings as hard as she can, smashing it over the man’s head.  Shaken, she checks his pulse.  Dead. 

“It’s ok,” she thinks, not because the evidence would exonerate her of course, because that’s beside the point.  She is a woman and you have to believe all women unless they accuse a Democrat presidential nominee.  As she pulls out her phone to call the coroner to come get the body, the light from the device gives her a closer look at the deceased, and a look of horror comes over her face.  He is black!  The realization hits her that she is not the victim, but instead a racist and a murderer.

Michelle breaks down in tears.  “How could I have not seen the signs?” she cries.  “I used to like Drew Brees and he had the audacity to say that people should respect the flag.  I am a modern day Bull Connor!” 

Feeling guilty and dejected, Michelle goes to the former police station, now the Office of Social Justice, and tells them what happened.  The official is shocked at her bigotry and tells her that they are going to throw the book at her.  “Oh no!” she exclaims.  “But you outlawed the death penalty!  Are you going to send me to prison?” 

“Of course not,” he responds.  “Prisons are draconian and punitive.  We only use those for people who continue to think differently than they should.  You will be sent to a conformity school, where you can relearn the right things to think.”

The next day the leading story in the news reads, “Unarmed Black Man Killed by White Woman.”

There you have a look at how crime and punishment would work in our parallel universes.  I should add a disclaimer here because people will twist the meaning.  I am in no way conflating this story with Derek Chauvin’s killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.  What he did was wrong and he deserves to be punished, but not because of race; because of the facts.  The point of the story was that justice based on evidence yields much different results than “social justice” based on skin color.  There is no reason for thousands to take to the streets in protest of something that we already agree on, that racism is bad and people should be treated fairly regardless of skin color.  Too bad John Lennon didn’t imagine people being judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.  I think somebody else did, though.  Imagine that.

When the Police are in the Wrong – But so is Everyone Else

As a general rule I almost always defend the police.  There are many reasons for this default position, chief among them is that social justice warriors are constantly crying wolf and making exaggerated claims of police brutality.  Whenever a new allegation of excessive force hits the news my initial instinct is to roll my eyes and say, “Here we go again.” 

Fair minded people have been trained to respond this way after listening to these unfair accusations for so many years.   When we heard that Michael Brown was senselessly murdered by a racist cop in Ferguson, Missouri, and then found out that Brown was a dangerous criminal who was trying to assault the officer, some credibility was lost.  When protesters and rioters took to the streets after the incident even more credibility was lost.  When this pattern repeated itself time and time again across America, all credibility was lost.  Now when we hear about wrongdoing by the police we jump to the conclusion that the accusers are either exaggerating, twisting the facts, or flat out lying.

This was my gut reaction when I heard about the incident that occurred in Minneapolis.  “Time to defend another police officer from slander,” I thought.  Then I watched the video and realized something very rare had occurred.  I was wrong.  Making any kind of judgement based on a video is usually unwise because it rarely shows what led up to the events you see on the screen, but the video that shows now former police officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on the neck of George Floyd is different.  The problem is not that Floyd was innocent.  He was a bad guy who had committed a crime.  He then refused to get into the police car, so force was warranted.  The problem is that once he was no longer a threat, Chauvin remained on his neck.  Even if you say that Floyd was still somehow dangerous in handcuffs, the officer remained on top of him even after he had lost consciousness.  This was certainly excessive force.  There is no excuse for Chauvin’s actions and he deserves to be punished firmly.  In fact, the Bible tells us that the punishment for murder should be death.

We should all be united on this.  Unfortunately, there is the race problem.  No, I don’t mean with the police.  In fact, I watched the video multiple times and there is exactly zero evidence that race played any part in Floyd’s death.  Chauvin used terrible judgement and is certainly in the wrong, but there is no reason to believe that Floyd’s race was a factor in what occurred.  So who has the race problem?  The people who are making it about race, obviously. 

The racial division and rioting we have seen is not just because of what happened to George Floyd.  It is a result of the media reporting on the events and ridiculous statements by public figures.  The left is once again trying to divide us.  If you are the one who makes it about race, then you have the race problem.  When the headlines constantly tell us that “an unarmed black man” was killed, they are giving us irrelevant information unless there is evidence that he was killed because he was black.  Correlation does not equal causation.  George Floyd being black was not the cause of his murder.  George Floyd was murdered and he happened to be black. 

The media needs to stick to the facts, remain fair, and quit advocating for the left and trying to divide us.  Last week President Trump said something obviously true, that mail-in voting will make it easier to cheat in elections, and was “fact-checked” for making claims that lacked evidence.  (Could the claim lack evidence because voter fraud is now so easy to get away with?)  If the media wanted to make things better in our country maybe they should fact-check Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey when he said of Floyd, “He’d be alive today if he were white.”  That claim surely lacks evidence considering the fact that 42 white people have been shot and killed by the police this year.  The only reason to say something like that is to pit people against each other based on skin color.  It is evil.

Then we have the protesters.  What is it that they want to accomplish?  Please do not hit me with the Colin Kaepernick memes.  He was supposedly protesting “bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”  Chauvin was arrested and will be prosecuted for his crime.  I just said he should face the death penalty.  Explain to me how Kaepernick or the protesters want a tougher punishment than I suggest, and remember, leftists are usually the people who are against capital punishment.  Also, do not tell me they are protesting for the murdering to stop.  Almost everyone wants that so who are they trying to persuade?  How is throwing rocks through windows and burning down buildings supposed to end murder?

People will point out that some of these feelings are based on historical racial injustices.  They are undeniably correct, but that should be more reason to avoid cheapening real claims of racism by saying everything is about race when it is not.  Remember from the story of the boy who cried wolf, when he actually encountered a real wolf, nobody believed him and came to help.

Why is the left trying to sow division?  The usual reason, power.  They know that if people are united then they will lose votes.  This is why the media is always trying to scare people and cause hysteria.  At least this might give the hysterical people something else to focus on instead of trying to stop friends from eating dinner together, going to church, and keeping kids from playing Little League games.