Defining Deviancy Down

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from Rush Limbaugh,

RUSH: You know, the drug problem is a fascinating thing. As to your question on leaning on Mexico to do something about it, I have some thoughts on that but, you know, you look at El Chapo, $14 billion seized. When you stop and think of the — I don’t think we can. I don’t think we have the ability to visualize the amount of drugs that are pouring into the country.

And let’s be honest about something. This is a demand-side problem. I mean, you can sit there and blame the El Chapos of the world all you want. The Pablo Escobars and all that, but, if there weren’t a demand, and the demand is directly related to addiction, and more and more people are becoming addicted to this stuff, and it is literally destroying the major cities of California.

Los Angeles — and this is not spoken of publicly in respectable media — San Francisco somewhat. But San Francisco, people who live there I think have just become immune to it. It’s part of walking around downtown every day to see homeless people shooting up, doing whatever they do to take drugs, sleeping on the streets and so forth, the piles of human feces. The cops have given up arresting people for defecating and urinating in public. It’s become common in many parts of the city.

The upscale areas, the financial district, the hotels, they do their best to keep the areas clean, but in the rest of the city, Los Angeles, city hall has a rat infestation problem that nobody talks about. Rats, homeless problem, San Francisco, same thing, and these are rich cities. California’s a wealthy state, but it is a bifurcated state. You talk about the gap between the haves and have-nots. California would lead the league here, maybe New York neck-and-neck with them.

And what do they have in common? They have been run by liberal socialists for at least a generation. And they are hellholes in many spots of these really once beautiful cities. And drugs is one of the primary problems. Homelessness is another. The cost of housing — I’ve got a story here in the Stack about people leaving Los Angeles, people leaving California, the numbers of people leaving, it’s huge, and it’s led by Millennials ’cause they can’t find affordable places to live. And there’s a picture of a Millennial couple walking up the steps of a house that’s for sale, and it is a veritable shack.

And it’s been trending this way. It hasn’t been cheap to buy a house in California since the eighties. But the gap has been widening, and the possibility, the ability to get into any kind of starter home for young people, it isn’t there. And so people are leaving California in droves. California doesn’t like to talk about it. One of the reasons is taxes, the overall high cost of living.

But you cannot remove from that equation the effects of wanton illegal immigration combined with homelessness and the drug problem and the overall break down of any kind of economic order. It’s a serious problem.

But to take us out of the equation would be a mistake too. We’ve got responsibility for dealing with this. And I think all of this is directly related to what Daniel Patrick Moynihan said way, way back in the 1970s. He came up with this philosophy that describes our inability to maintain standards. It’s called defining deviancy down. You try as hard as you can. You have a set of laws and a moral code, and you have right and wrong and legal and illegal. And more and more people start engaging in what society says is wrong and illegal, you finally give up trying to stop it because so many people are doing it.

So you declare aberrant behavior normal, and you have just defined deviancy down. You’ve just expanded the legal aspects of deviant behavior. And you keep doing this over and over and over and now you get to the point where the cops don’t even address people shooting up, don’t even arrest ’em. Might be looking for suppliers and this kind of thing, but the users oftentimes are ignored.

The people who have presided over rampant increases in homelessness and all of this other public behavior which is simply unacceptable continue to get elected. And in these liberal outposts, we extend sympathy and excuses and understanding for this behavior and we exonerate people who actually are perpetrators here under the premise that they’re victims of something. And so we look elsewhere to affix blame.

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