No Mob Rule, No Criminal Domination | Opinion

Two civilization-destroying streams are coming together to form a river of violence and intimidation that can sweep away the Constitution, the rule of law and the most basic elements of our free society.

On the political front, there is a self-righteous fanaticism dominating the quasi-religious ideology of the Left. This fanaticism has convinced many on the Left that the end justifies the means and therefore, they have the right to break the law for political purposes.

Whether it is burning down neighborhoods, smashing store windows or throwing Molotov cocktails into pro-life offices, the woke Left has now broken free from the restrictions of the American system of law and constitutional government.

Theodore White warned of this growing extremism in his book, The Making of the President 1972, when he described the militant, uncompromising Left as having moved from a liberal ideology to a liberal theology. Now, 50 years later, the theology of the woke Left has grown more extreme, more hostile and more willing to use force and intimidation to get what it wants.

Mobs are always wrong, whether in the form of a summer of riots in cities, people occupying the Capitol on January 6, 2021, or groups staking out the homes of Supreme Court Justices.

Most recently, the mobs threatening conservative Justices, protesting outside of their homes and consciously seeking to intimidate them into voting as the Left demands are an example of the political violence that is growing and becoming legitimized on the Left.

This political violence is paralleled by the personal violence of hardened criminals that the Left is releasing from jail and putting back on the street. The timidity of the innocent in refusing to put down either mobs or criminals increases the demands and the dangers of both.

The spirit of breaking the law in large groups is mob violence. In small groups, that spirit is criminal. However, when criminals see mobs being tolerated, they are more likely to believe there will be no consequences for crime.

The 1982 Atlantic essay "Broken Windows: The Police and Neighborhood Safety," by George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson, established a framework for a revolution in policing. When Bill Bratton took their theory and turned it into practical policing in Boston, New York and Los Angeles, the effect was revolutionary.

Their model was simple: clean up the neighborhood and crime will go down. Let the neighborhood decay with graffiti, garbage and broken windows, and the crime rate will go up.

Police car at crime scene
WAUKESHA, WI - NOVEMBER 21: Police and emergency personnel work on a crime scene on November 21, 2021 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. According to reports, an SUV drove through pedestrians at a holiday parade, killing at least one and injuring 20 more. Jim Vondruska/Getty Images

Effective and serious policing, backed up by district attorneys who fought for the rights of innocent victims and were tough on criminals, led to dramatic declines in crime and amazingly safe cities. The Left hated it. (Recall the Left's hatred of the police, illustrated most dramatically by the Black Panthers' public commitment to killing policemen in the late 1960s.)

The threat to society posed by a collapse of cultural values was made explicit in a brilliant 1993 essay for The American Scholar by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who was a renowned sociologist before entering public office.

In "Defining Deviancy Down" Moynihan argued that a society may decide to cope with collapsing discipline and behavior by simply making it less and less unacceptable. Children born without fathers would be made acceptable. Schools that failed to educate children would be made acceptable. Boys who grew up with no male role model, no incentive to go to work and a willingness to engage in predatory behavior would be made acceptable.

We have had several decades of the woke Left and big-government socialism promoting and glorifying anti-social behavior, violence, criminals and hostility toward police and toward middle-class values.

In many ways, the 1971 movie A Clockwork Orange, based on Anthony Burgess' 1962 novel, was a prophetic forecast of a dystopian future of mindless violence, helpless victims and brutality. Today, when there is a juvenile gang in Boston led by an 11-year-old, when six people are shot in Atlanta on Mother's Day, when carjackings occur in public in New York City and when a theater in Chicago cancels a nighttime performance because of a nearby shooting, A Clockwork Orange might be a useful reference for every American.

Americans are at a crossroads. Americans must decide whether to continue to ignore the decay of the Left's insanely destructive policies, or to reassert the right of citizens to expect personal safety as the first responsibility of government.

Anyone threatening a Supreme Court Justice is violating the law and should be imprisoned for at least a year. Anyone engaged in violent crime should be locked up until they are too old to be dangerous.

It is time for the innocent and the law-abiding to be defended against the vicious, the violent and the predatory.

It really is that simple.

The question is whether the American people are ready to throw out the politicians who have put their lives and their country at risk.

For more commentary from Newt, visit Gingrich360.com.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.