We have long thought that the best antidote to out-of-control progressivism would turn out not to be heated argument but rather the product itself. That there would come a time when society would come to appreciate that the cavalier and wholesale abandonment of traditional answers to perennial problems could only wreak havoc. So we thought this past week most intriguing.

First and foremost are the reported recalculations by authorities in big cities across America in the wake of the serious uptick in major crime that followed such things as defunding the police and defanging the criminal laws. In its most prominent iteration, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has revisited the credo of leniency contained in his infamous out-of-the-gate directive to his prosecutors. It is tragic that it took a precipitous increase in crime and the tragic ambush murders of officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora to finally get Bragg to change his mind – even if it was grudging and incomplete.


And then there was this story about Austin, the state capital of Texas, and its water problem. Austin prides itself on being a high-tech hub, the center of the Texas “Silicon Prairie.” It is home to Google and Facebook. But essentials like potable water are key to supporting business, and according to Fox News Business, because of winter storms Austin is having trouble keeping its drinking water clean. The other day the city issued the latest of several “boil water” notices.

Fox News reports, though, that this latest notice has caused particular anger against the mayor “who appears to prioritize defunding the police instead of ensuring Austin can handle the brief winter storms it experiences year to year – efforts that have led to an incredible spike in homicides.”

Fox News goes on to quote a local activist: “City leaders have ignored the real issues facing everyday Austinites and have manifestly failed to provide core services…. Last year we set an all-time homicide record and we are on track to set a new record this year.”

Consider also a story in the Wall Street Journal about how lawmakers in at least dozen states are backing bills designed to increase transparency regarding school curricula in an effort to bar teachers from promoting concepts perceived as divisive. Some would allow parents to sit in on classes or require that staff sessions be open to members of the public. Others would require school officials to post detailed information about instructional material. Still others would require schools to post information about textbooks and audio-visual material.

Clearly, parents are looking to push back against the progressive hijacking of the education of their children.

And what about the New York Times report that auditors in Washington State have found that the mail-in ballots of black voters in the 2020 elections were rejected at four times the rate of white voters and that similar trends have been seen in other states. Rejection rates were also elevated for Native American, Hispanic and Asian and Pacific Islander voters?

The rejections, according to The Times were all because of problematic signatures. That is, some signatures were missing or did not match those on file. There was no evidence, according to the Times, that ballots cast by black or other minorities were knowingly singled out by poll workers. What exactly the woke advocates for making the mail ballot option more readily available as a matter of expanding voting rights will do with this news remains to be seen. Will they urge a special exemption for errors by minorities, or that errors don’t count?

On a different note, the NYC Department of Education, which has become a bastion of progressive educational thought, has turned the city’s application process for high schools with enhanced and specialized programs into a lottery system where the highest grades do not drive admissions as heretofore. This has long been a principal goal of woke educators in order to implement their own notions of fairness for minorities. But most everyone else believes that it will result in the dumbing down of the specialized schools and their sought-after programs, something that benefits no one. We will doubtless hear soon about what irate parents, disappointed students, and those alarmed by anything that discourages the pursuit of excellence think about it.

Are we on the way back to reason and basics? Perhaps it is too early to say, but we are convinced that the seeds have already been planted.

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