“Government’s first duty is to protect the people.” ~Ronald Reagan
The role of government is simple. It’s practical. It’s unbiased. It’s undisputed. It is to provide safety for all of its citizens. From putting out fires to clearing snow covered streets and highways to offering proper guidance during a storm, or a pandemic, those entrusted with the precious duties of serving the people must do so primarily and foremost, in the name of safety and security, and in the best interest of all. There should never be an abdication of such duties based on one’s personal opinions, political proclivities or pressures, philosophical or religious beliefs or biases. The role of government is to create a safe, clean, secure and healthy environment in which its citizens can live and learn and work and thrive. Government should carry out these responsibilities because government works for the people. Its power is derived from the people. It is answerable to the people. It is not for government to tell people how to think, what to think, how to live, who to love or what to believe. The Government should provide the basic services that create the best quality of life for its citizens, which includes all elements of safety and security. This basic principle is called Pragmatic Governance. We clear the snow from every street. We pick up everyone’s garbage. Firemen respond to all fires. Laws apply equally to all citizens. Enforcement of the laws, which we have all agreed to live under via an agreed upon and common social contract into which we are born, should be done in a just and fair manner, regardless of race, creed or color. Laws should not be enforced selectively. We are one people; we have one standard. We must reject the notion that when a law is broken that society is somehow guilty, rather than the lawbreaker. We should restore the idea that each individual is responsible for their own actions. A crime committed against an individual is a violation of the social contract. It breaks down the very society that we all contribute to and provide for. Breaking of the law is a social violation. It victimizes not only the particular victim of the crime but it victimizes all members of society. Therefore, the refusal to enforce any law is a refusal to enforce every law. It is, in fact, tantamount to committing a crime itself. Those sworn to uphold the law should do so as a matter of oath, professional obligation and principle. Effective law enforcement requires the reasonable compliance of the citizenry. Law enforcement officers should be respected, as they are carrying out the wishes of the citizenry, who have agreed to live in a functioning society free of crime and unnecessary and avoidable dangers. Laws are in place to protect citizens and to allow for the optimal functioning of every day life. Enforcement of the law is the most vital service provided by government.
Pragmatic Governance as a political philosophy can also go by another two word term: Common Sense. Governmental Common Sense. There can be no acceptable country, state or city without the law and without the law’s proper enforcement.
Under weak leadership, NYC has seen an increase in crime and a decrease in the quality of life. Leadership has abdicated its responsibility to its highest duty: the safety of its citizens. Political and Social pressures have been given a higher consideration than the enforcement of our laws. This is inexcusable. Increased homelessness, increased shootings, unlawful assemblies and riots, increased felonies such as assault and armed robberies, have all added to a climate of lawlessness. The promise of punishment must be restored. Pragmatic Governance would require immediate focus and attention be placed on these problems which are most urgently effecting the safety and security of the people of New York City.
The principles of Pragmatic Governance are to first and foremost keep people safe and secure and to uphold and enforce the law. The list of issues that would immediately be attended to and fixed under Pragmatic Governance would be:
-Enforcement of Quality of Life Crimes -
These include loitering, vagrancy, vandalism, graffiti, panhandling, excessive noise from car radios, car engines, motorcycles, traffic laws including bicycles, mopeds, Vespas, electric bikes.
-Enforce Fireworks possession and sales laws to the fullest - use Terrorism laws as a deterrent.
-Rioting and Looting crimes to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law - work with federal law enforcement to prosecute these crimes as federal violations punishable under the RICO statute with minimal sentencing of 25 years for offenders. End this menace once and for all for the good of citizens, neighborhoods and businesses.
-Label violent anarchist and leftists groups as Domestic Terror Organizations - cut off their funding, prosecute their leadership and arrest their followers.
-Accosting patrons inside or outside an establishment is a crime against the individual and the establishment - if done as a part of a group it should be prosecuted under racketeering laws and if inflammatory racial rhetoric is used it should also be considered a hate crime punishable under those laws.
-Increase police presence in subways, on streets, in housing projects, and in other high crime and targeted areas.
-Make arrests - it is not a success to lower the arrest rate when violent crimes and felonies are sharply on the rise. Arrest and prosecute crime without regard for artificially manipulating crime statistics.
-Restore the dignity and respect of the NYPD - new leadership at the top of the department and new leadership in City Hall that openly praises and supports the vital work of our police force. Police must carry out their duties without fear of recrimination.
-Return and Expansion of the Undercover Anti-crime unit.
-Strict gun enforcement
-Strict drug enforcement
-Enforcement of legal protest regulations - permits required or else it is an illegal assembly. It is also an illegal assembly if pedestrian pathways or any roadways are blocked in any way. It is also illegal to use amplification devices without a permit.
-Hire more police - end suspension of academy class graduations.
-Homelessness - an enforceable policy that ends the callous and dangerous policy of allowing people to live on the streets or in subway stations, building vestibules, park benches.
-Remove homeless shelters from residential areas - stop converting commercial hotels into shelters.
-Remove all dangerous (violent) mentally ill individuals from the streets.
-End Bail Reform. The experiment is over. It has put felons back on the streets and has led to an increase in crime and recidivism.
-End desk appearance tickets for low level crimes - this “slap on the wrist” policy is only leading to more crime and disorder. Prosecute people to the fullest extent of the law to serve as a deterrent to repeated crimes. DA’s who refuse to do so should be legally challenged and subsequently removed from office for their refusal to carry out their responsibilities.
-Proactive Policing - prevention of crime is the key. Stopping those who would commit a crime before it ever happens is a pillar of safety and security. (Fear of accusations of bias or racism should not be a deterrent to the fair and equitable application and enforcement of the law)
The implementation of the above measures - and others - will begin to restore a sense of trust in government again, in leadership, and instill the belief in citizens that government understands their every day need for safety in their lives and communities. Government should not be handcuffed by Socialist Academic Theory or forcing it into public policy. Citizens’ lives aren’t an academic experiment or dissertation. People require a government that knows what hardworking, taxpaying citizens need to live their lives properly. They deserve a government who will put in place practical policies that enforce the laws and keep them safe. The rights of law abiding citizens should be upheld and supported above those of the violators of our laws. Decisions that embolden criminality have no place in a decent society. The enforcement of the law is a public good, and a public necessity, which allows for peace and security for all. It allows individuals to thrive. It allows businesses to thrive. It encourages tourism and commerce. It is what clears the blockage in our social arteries by removing the violators from decent society and strictly maintaining social order. Government and law enforcement must have the upper hand in matters of crime and punishment in order to protect its citizens.
Pragmatic Governance is a simple, clear and effective away for government to carry out its most basic responsibilities to those it is sworn to serve and protect. It allows the priority of government to be the implementation of the law. Respect for the law is the bedrock of our society. Society functions best when government supports the law, enforces the law, supports those who enforce the law, protects those who abide by the law, and prosecutes fully those who do not.