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.