As shellshocked progressives attempt to absorb and process the magnitude of a landslide defeat in the headline race in the nation’s most famously liberal city, it is a legitimate time to consider whether the progressive movement itself has now been all but vanquished – or at least excised – from mainstream American politics. Incredibly, that question is ripe just two years after the hard left’s meteoric rise in the wake of the George Floyd affair.
It is admittedly already too late to save many of the institutions that have been destroyed by “anti-racist” progressives, but a reversal of fortunes may gradually take hold as the nation recovers from years of unrelenting wokeness. Indeed, far-left prosecutors have proven the truth in the expression “get woke, go broke,” because the career of now-former San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin certainly looks to be broke after he absorbed a 20-point beating in the effort to recall him. Mr. Boudin has both a heritage which links the present radicalism neatly to its roots in the 1960s, and a familiarity with the criminal justice system, since he visited his revolutionary parents – members of the violent Weather Underground – in prison for years after their incarceration for serving as getaway drivers in an attempted Brink’s robbery in 1981.
Now, perhaps it sounds extreme, or like overreaction theater, to consider whether a single outcome, even in such a key race serving as a litmus test for an entirely outlying approach to law enforcement, could represent the beginning of the end of a movement. But when one of the very faces of that movement – one of the apples of George Soros’ eye, one daring enough to actually apply the soft-on-crime principles progressives have been advocating for years – goes down in flames for all to see, that conclusion may soon look spot-on. Fact is, reforming or even abolishing traditional law enforcement is not just one of a number of priorities among progressive deconstructionists. It is at the heart of their movement.
Voters are fleeing these hard left prosecutors for the simplest of reasons: the crime and rampant homelessness that have overtaken sections of their city. They fear for their safety, the preservation of which is the minimum, baseline commodity required of public officials. And much like three school board members from the city by the bay who were similarly shown the door earlier this year for renaming instead of reopening schools during the pandemic, the famously, historically liberal voters populating the streets of San Francisco said enough is enough. Even liberals apparently value public safety.
The next target is George Gascon in Los Angeles, and the smart money appears to be on the side of a successful recall of the Woke DA in LA County. Already, two high-profile progressive district attorneys, Alvin Bragg in New York and Larry Krasner in Philadelphia, have come under heavy fire for refusing to address soaring crime rates in their cities. Bragg was actually publicly upbraided by incoming New York Mayor Eric Adams – elected on a tough-on-crime platform – and was forced to reverse a number of controversial policies that had been leaked to the media, including softened criminal penalties for robbery, assault, and possession of a firearm. Krasner has been called on the carpet and forced to explain away a record homicide rate in Philadelphia. And you will recall when the woke DA in Chicago, Kim Foxx, washed her hands of the Jussie Smollett fiasco, refusing to come down on the poseur making preposterous claims of being attacked by MAGA extremists in the heart of the almost all-black south side of Chicago in the middle of a freezing night.
The rise of Boudin and other woke prosecutors is the handiwork – and now an epic failure – of the sugar daddy of progressivism, George Soros. He has been contributing unheard-of amounts of money to hand-selected candidates and purveyors of his radical agenda in races for district attorney in cities from coast to coast. These prosecutors rode into office calling for an end to “mass incarceration,” eliminating cash bail, a fresh review of wrongful convictions, and a refusal to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in some cases going so far as to call for the prosecution of ICE agents who violate so-called sanctuary city laws. They have further called for an end to prosecuting prostitution and so-called minor crimes, in favor of targeting corporations and prioritizing what they consider serious offenses. While some of these ideas might be well-intentioned in principle, we know with what the road to hell is paved.
Voters in San Francisco and cities across the nation, in addition to rejecting the lawlessness associated with raging wokeness, are doubtless also recalling when progressives had the opportunity to lead a productive discussion on policing after the death of George Floyd and chose to encourage mob violence and the movement to defund the police instead – a black eye to this day for the Democratic Party due to both the utter lunacy of the idea and its lingering attachment to the progressive movement.
The earthly road to perdition is paved not even with good intentions so much as ill will dressed up as social concern, deconstruction disguised as progress. Perhaps this lopsided defeat will contribute to a merciful end of the progressive experiment with the lives of inner-city residents. These radicals had their moment, and as the song goes, they blew it all sky high, expending all of their political capital on tearing things down instead of building them up. They long sought the opportunity to put their perverse principles into practice, and so, from San Francisco to New York, Milwaukee to Philadelphia, Chicago to Denver, they have done just that with high-horse prosecutors riding the BLM wave and Soros mega-funding into office. They made their bed, but now will have to sleep in it. And after this high-profile shellacking at the hands of fed-up voters, it may feel like a bed of nails.