Hamilton: Urban corruption: Apportioning the blame (column)
April 27, 2017
In his 2017 book, "Big Agenda," David Horowitz writes, "… the Achilles' heel of the Democratic Party [is] its monopoly control over the inner cities of America and its responsibility for the misery and suffering inside them." But wait! There are court decisions that are also to blame. Mr. Horowitz continues:
Their "control stretches over a period of 50 to a 100 years in major cities like Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore, St. Louis, Washington, D.C. and many others. These are the centers of America's worst poverty, highest crime rates, failing schools, and general hopelessness.
"Everything that is wrong with the inner cities of American that policy can effect, Democrats are responsible for: every killing field, every school that fails year in and out to teach children the basic skills they need to get ahead; every school that fails to graduate 30 to 40 percent of its charges while those who do get degrees are often functionally illiterate; every welfare system that promotes dependency, condemning its recipients to lifetimes of destitution; every gun control law that disarms law-abiding citizens in high-crime areas and leaves them defenseless against predators; every catch and release policy that puts violent criminals back on the streets, every regulation that ties the hands of police; every material and moral support provided to antipolice agitators like Black Lives Matter, who incite violence against the only protection inner-city families have; every onerous regulation and corporate tax that drives businesses and jobs out of inner-city neighborhoods; every rhetorical assault that tars Democrats' opponents as 'racists' and 'race traitors,' perpetuating a one-party system that denies inner-city inhabitants the leverage and influence of a two-party system…"
Wow! Agree or disagree with Mr. Horowitz' assessment; however, what he describes are the symptoms of a much larger problem stemming from court decisions that began the draining of political power out of rural America and injecting an ever increasing amount of political power (read: tax dollars) into urban America.
To preserve “rural virtues,” the Founders gave each state, irrespective of population, two U.S. Senators. Congressional districts with, say, 200,000 inhabitants and districts with, say, only 100,000 inhabitants were allotted one Representative each. Thus, the “rural virtues” fix was in until Baker v. Carr (1962) took decisions on how voting districts are composed away from local governments and gave them to the federal government.
While "One-Person, One-Vote" sounds nice, it runs contra to the vision of Thomas Jefferson who said, "I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries as long as they are chiefly agricultural; and this will be as long as there shall be vacant lands in any part of America. When they [people] get plied upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, they will become corrupt, as in Europe."
To preserve "rural virtues," the Founders gave each state, irrespective of population, two U.S. Senators. Congressional districts with, say, 200,000 inhabitants and districts with, say, only 100,000 inhabitants were allotted one Representative each. Thus, the "rural virtues" fix was in until Baker v. Carr (1962) took decisions on how voting districts are composed away from local governments and gave them to the federal government. The final nails in the political-power coffin of rural America came two-years-later with the "One Person, One Vote" doctrine of Reynolds vs. Sims and Westberry vs. Sanders that state legislatures must redistrict so that voting districts include roughly the "same number" of people.
Blame whichever political party you wish; however, America's on-going, post-World War II population shift away from rural-dominated political districts to urban-dominated political districts proved Thomas Jefferson correct: Our large cities have "become corrupt."
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and is a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University. For more, see: http://www.central-view.com.
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