Another liberal failure: next!

Why are crazies loose on the street? The liberals put them there. Back in the late 60’s, when the push to close mental institutions began, objections were raised that doing so would leave the unfortunate with nowhere to go. “Nonsense”, said the liberals, “the states will build marvelous new homes for them, bright, sunny, furnished by Ikea, perhaps – love those Swedes!”. I was a teenage liberal at the time but even I could grasp the concept of economic scarcity and understood that when the liberals cut the deal with state legislatures to free the loonies, one of the more cynical acts of politicians was taking place.

The legislators relished the idea of closing the institutions because, bad as they were, they were expensive to run. Sure they’d build new facilities, any day now. And by cutting those deals with no guarantee that new facilities would be built our ACLU types had to know what they were ding and what fate awaited the beneficiaries of their efforts. There must have been some liberals – Dollar Bill, you there? – who believed that the magic beans they’d been given in exchange for deinstitutionalizing the inmates would, if planted, sprout into big, beautiful housing. This teenager understood that the mentally ill are the most powerless of constituencies and that forced to make a choice between rewarding a powerful group of voters or spending scare – there’s that word again-resources on the crazed, it was no choice of all: no new institutions.

So the deal was cut, the sick were pushed out on the street, exactly as predicted, and they disappeared into subway tunnels and under highway overpasses, to be rediscovered by the media during Republican administrations and consigned to benign neglect during Democrat rule.

So forty years on, where are the liberals? They moved on to their next cause long ago and never looked back. Like every liberal scheme, the proponents measure success by their original intentions and aren’t troubled in the least by repeated failure, because to them, results are irrelevant. They know that the country will soon forget what they did, the warnings they ignored and will readily accede to their next project.

Liberals count on a national amnesia to protect them from their policies and actions and so far, their confidence has been proved right.



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20 responses to “Another liberal failure: next!

  1. Anonymous

    St Elizabeth’s in DC had been a hospital for TB patents around WW2, then converted to a psych hospital. It was closed in the 70s and patients were literally sent to the streets. The primary percentage of homeless people on the streets & sleeping in doorways & in parks in the 70s and 80s were those patients. However, I don’t recall that being pushed by Liberals.

  2. Inagua

    “…I don’t recall that being pushed by Liberals.”

    Did you ever hear of the Community Mental Health Act? O’Connor v. Donaldson? Addington v. Texas? They are all in Wikipedia, along with a good entry on deinstitutionalization. Read all about it and then tell me you can’t find liberal fingerprints all over this policy.

    • JRH

      Inagua, can’t you ever take your ideological blinders off, if only for a moment? O’Connor and Addington were unanimous decisions, written by Potter Stewart and Warren Burger, respectively, both of whom came from the Court’s conservative wing. And I’m surprised, though perhaps I shouldn’t be, that someone who purports to be a Constitution-loving libertarian would find a decision like Addington to be a liberal project. You fear Big Government, but object to a holding that the government bears a heavy burden of persuasion before it may force a person, against his will, to live in a state-operated mental health facility. You all are spending so much heat and energy calling any proposal about gun regulation — no matter how minor! — a great threat to freedom, but it’s too much to ask that the government present convincing evidence before it deprives a citizen of nearly all of his liberty? It’s becoming very clear that you only love freedom for yourself and people you deem worthy of it. That’s a dark vision of citizenship that, thankfully, has no home in our Constitution.

      • Inagua

        JHR – Please try reading for comprehension. I said that the policy of deinstitutionalization had “liberal fingerprints all over” it as a response to an ignorant poster who obviously knew nothing about the subject. That is different than claiming the policy was part of the Liberal Project. The driving force behind the policy was liberal, the ACLU was active in both the cases cited, and, to be sure, many libertarians and some conservatives were attracted to the personal liberty aspects of deinstitutionalization. Sorry if I didn’t make the nuance clear.

        BTW, I worked in a mental institution, Greystone in New Jersey, in 1967, where I came into sustained contact with several hundred mentally ill patients. I have great sympathy for the mentally ill, and I freely admit that I do not know what to do about people who simply can’t take care of themselves, like the shoeless guy in NYC that the cop recently bought boots for. Is that sad soul better off institutionalized or on the sidewalk? I don’t know.

        Please go to the other thread and answer my question to you about gun control.

  3. pulled up in OG

    I blame Geraldo.

    • Indeed- Willowbrook made his career. As well it should have. But the exposure of that horror did spark the entire deinstitutionalizatiom movement, both for better and for worse.

  4. Anonymous

    I like the way the entire liberal movement spanning a couple of generations is itself generalized into one collective entity, kind of like The Borg, resistance is futile ….

    • Inagua

      If you have difficulty recognizing the Liberal Project in its many faceted manifestations, just remember that it always involves control by elites at the top, and dumb followers at the bottom who support the goal because it makes them feel morally superior.

      This simple analysis works for everything from population control to ban the bomb, to limits of growth, to recycling, to funny light bulbs, to global warming, to quotas, to price controls, to bailouts, to stimulus spending, to green energy, to bike helmets, to nuclear winter, to hair weaving regulations, to offshore drilling, to ANWAR drilling, to the XM Pipeline, to the blocked Boeing plant in South Carolina, to expanded disability, etc, etc, etc.

      The Liberal Project is never done because there are still so many unregulated activities still erroneously permitted to the citizens.

      • Libertarian Advocate


        Inagaua: Your mercilessness toward the liberal pysche is breathtaking in its simple elegance. No wasted words, no anger, just the facts

        • Anonymous

          Well Inagua, based on the success of the Conservative movement lately it would appear that the Liberal Project may well be growing for another few election cycles until the money runs out finally.

        • Inagua

          I expect the Liberal Project to continue unabated for at least another fifty years. I expect that we will have a cabinet level department of Hangnails and Ingrown Toenails before it is all over.

  5. More blame available……
    Eugenics movement was the popular cornerstone of the repressive regressives now mediaized as “liberals”….
    Geraldo helped codify the guilt felt in the 39 States that bought into and twisted Darwin’s concept so much he probably would never have published had he known.
    CT did not end eugenics until your late teen years, CF.
    We need balance not idealogy to honor our evolution.
    We are experincing political eugenics……
    Alternative …
    Revolutionary thought ….

  6. Mickster

    Anybody who feels that this is the exclusive fault of the right or the left is a MORON.
    Lawmakers – our Congress – is primarily focused on getting themselves re-elected. That means they spend most of their time raising money not actually reading or drafting legislation.

    Their focus is on two segments of the population:

    1. Those that will contribute $$$ ; and
    2. Those that actually vote.

    Guess who don’t fall into those categories:
    a) Homeless;
    b) Mentally ill;
    c) Those on food stamps;
    d) Those without health insurance;
    e) Those without property.
    f) Immigrants.

    The list above is much longer but I just can’t think right now. If we continue to ignore those that are ‘marginalized’ by our society, we will continue to suffer the atrocities we have this past week.

    If we continue to allow regular citizens to buy and use any gun that’s either semi or full automatic we will also continue to suffer like we do now.

    I confess – I love guns, including assault weapons. I would never have one in my home ( my wife would have killed me many years ago). I respect the 2nd amendment rights of US citizens but know that hunters don’t need assault weapons to get Bambi.

    BTW the NRA-backed candidates lost most of their seats this year so lets not worry about that lobby and $$$

    Help the mentally ill and get assault weapons off the streets.

  7. Walt

    Dude –
    This is why we should all embrace Obamacare. Two years after The Golfer in Chief signed the $2.7 billion James Zadroga Act to provide health care for the first 911 responders, not a penny of the money has been paid out. See how efficient the government is!! How would you feel waiting two years for your head transplant under Obamacare? Because that is what we are all looking at:

    I guess the bright side is, if you live in Staten Island, do you really want to prolong it? Staten Island is the Cos Cob of the five boroughs. But with charm.

    Your Pal,

    • My Huguenot ancestors landed with the Dutch at the foot of New Amsterdam and with the entire island stretched out before them free for the claiming, settled on Staten Island. We’ve been blowing real estate deals ever since.

      • We blew the deal even before Staten Island, when Fountains farmed Brooklyn on land granted to them by Governor Stuyvesant (where they served as arrow-fodder between his estate on the East River and the Indians of Long Island). That land happened to be in what is now Bushwick and East New York, two of the worst neighborhoods in Brooklyn. To this day there is a Fountain Avenue running through the most dismal parts, passing one forlorn public housing project after another before ending, singularly appropriately I think, in an abandoned garbage dump beneath the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.

  8. Odd note: Fairfield Hills State Hospital was, I think, the largest institution for the mentally ill in Connecticut. Was located in Newtown, closed in 1995. Kinda creepy place, as one might expect.

    • Libertarian Advocate

      Weird that…. Gotta say, I was in Cambodia in 2004. I’d never experienced a more spiritually oppressive place in all my life, as if all the ghosts of Polpot’s victims weighed down on the entire country. Couldn’t have been happier to get out of there….