HILL: Mugged by reality 

New York Mayor Eric Adams, joined by and city officials, speaks during a City Hall press conference, Wednesday Aug. 9, 2023, in New York. Adams is calling on the federal government to declare a national emergency to ease the financial crisis the city is facing as it struggles to accommodate thousands of arriving migrants. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

One great thing about going on a two-week trip out west is the almost total lack of modern technology connectivity. 

No cellphone 5G bars high in the mountains. Very limited Wi-Fi available only on the rare occasions when you pass through small resorts such as Big Sky, Montana or near national park lodges like Fort Yellowstone in Mammoth Springs, Wyoming. No CNN or Fox Business News droning on in the background as you go about your workday. 

It really is very pleasant and good for your mind, heart and soul. It is sort of like going into a detox rehab center, although for entirely less important reasons. 

Upon return to normal daily routines, technological interconnectivity reestablishes itself almost as magically as human nerves reconnect after surgery. With it comes all the news stories, mostly bad and sensational, and the occasional sports-related score, controversy or reports of another athlete signing a trillion-dollar contract with some team. 

It is like being smacked in the face by reality. 

If returning to daily life is being smacked in the face, then what we saw on the news were liberals being “mugged by reality.” Many liberals desperately want to believe in the essential goodness of every human being even though G.K. Chesterton said original sin was the most provable part of Christian theology because everyone can see it in the streets every day of our lives. 

And on the news. And on social media. 

A close friend, the dearly departed Michael Cromartie formerly of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in D.C., lived in a commune in Durham after college and was an avowed liberal ― until he was mugged and held at gunpoint in a hotel in Denver, Colorado, where he was attending some peace and love convention. 

“My worldview changed immediately as I was staring down the barrel of that gun,” he told our Institute for the Public Trust classes many times. “At least I was able to get them to let me keep my tie to wear with a tattered old brown suit and white shirt so I could attend the peace conference after they somehow let me go ― after taking everything else I owned, by the way. 

“I became a conservative for liberal reasons at that very moment,” he added. “Welfare systems were obviously not working, so I decided there had to be better ways to try to improve society.” 

We are not doing anyone any favors if we turn a blind eye to anyone, rich or poor, black or white, who is breaking the law. America is a nation of laws if nothing else ― once we lose that, we will not be able to run a civilized society. We need to strengthen our community by teaching a common set of shared ethics and normative community standards through our public schools, churches and civic organizations ― not tear them down as the progressive left always seems to do.  

Only by teaching every citizen it is their responsibility and duty to govern their own actions will we see any progress in this regard. 

Former Mayor Bill de Blasio proudly declared New York City to be a sanctuary city and open to all immigrants regardless of whether they obeyed existing immigration laws and processes or not. Current NYC Mayor Eric Adams is now saying the flood of illegal immigrants from the Mexican border “will destroy this city” ― which is an amazing statement considering only 100,000 of the 3 million illegal immigrants who have flooded the southern border since President Joe Biden took office have made it to New York. 

What have the other 2.9 million done to Texas and other border states? 

Mugged by reality ― Case No. 1. 

Shivanthi Sathanandan, the second vice chairwoman for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party who was at the forefront of the “Defund the Police” movement in 2021, was recently attacked by four carjackers who left her bloody and bowed before her children. She posted a picture of her bloody face on social media, begged for more police protection on the streets and proclaimed: “We need to catch these young people who are running wild creating chaos across our city and HOLD THEM IN CUSTODY AND PROSECUTE THEM. PERIOD.” 

Mugged by reality — Case No. 2. 

Liberals who get mugged by reality are the best ones to lead the fight back toward a common-sense approach to crime — if they learn and are converted by their own personal trauma. It is either that or move from wherever they have been mugged to the Rocky Mountains.