The loyalty of House Democrats to SB91, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that it is hurting our communities, defies understanding.
It requires a profoundly misguided understanding of the role that people play in determining their own life circumstances.
In some parts of the country we simply call this personal responsibility.
SB91 has been called many things; soft on crime and catch-and-release among them.
But what it really is, is a radical assault upon the notion of personal responsibility. No other state has so fully embraced this radical assault. Alaska stands alone.
Perhaps it is no coincidence that no other state has a higher violent crime rate.
When we declare that our entire criminal justice system in Alaska is inherently discriminatory we immediately turn our entire criminal population into victims. “Not your fault.” “It’s the system that’s putting you down.”
With such a large population of victims we then need a government empowered and equipped to take care of all of these victims. We need to devote enough resources to these victims to rollback the bad decisions they made, because it was really the government’s fault they made those bad decisions. It’s the government who is responsible for you being in prison, so it’s the government’s responsibility to get you out of prison and back on your feet.
With a large enough bank account and a willing enough citizenry, a state government can direct an astonishing amount of resources towards victims of all shapes and sizes. You can give people treatment. You can give them housing. You can give them heat for those houses. You can give them transportation. You can give them food. You can give them healthcare. You can give them income. In short, you can subsidize nearly every aspect of their life.
But one thing that no amount of government money can buy is personal responsibility.
And without personal responsibility, a person can never make it back on their feet.