It was an interesting
scene when Judge Harry Rapkin was cornered by a reporter and camera crew
outside his beautiful home in his upscale neighborhood. Rapkin was
the last judge to handle the case of that miscreant Joseph P. Smith, the
man who murdered 11-year-old Carlie Brucia on Super Bowl Sunday. As
I watched the judge struggle for words and petulantly lash out at Bill O’Reilly
with all the eloquence of a grade-schooler, something my brother once said
occurred to me: “It’s easy to be idealistic when you don’t have to live with
O’Reilly was a bit taken aback by the judge's comportment, as he expected
to witness some contrition. After all, despite Smith’s laundry-list-like
rap sheet, Rapkin did not jail him for his probation violation. Rapkin
has countered that criticism by saying that Smith never appeared in his court
and that he did not have Smith’s history at his disposal. But that’s
why you cross all your T’s and dot all your I’s, Judge, and call such offenders
before you so as to ensure you’re not judging rashly.
I just may know what accounts for the judge’s failure to exhibit remorse,
however. I think the tragic consequences of his dereliction of duty
are so difficult to own up to that he can’t come to terms with his complicity
in the matter. It’s hard to admit that your actions contributed to
the death of an innocent.
You see, Judge Rapkin finds himself in a rather unique situation. Most
of the time liberals can espouse their beliefs and implement their policies
while remaining blissfully ignorant of their true effects. Steeped
in their ideology and ensconced in the cocoon of their comfortable little
worlds, they can usually pontificate about the plight of their fellow man
and pat themselves on the back for being fonts of compassion and insight,
then saunter off and have a café latte at Starbucks without ever having
to answer for the damage they wreak.
Liberals may, for instance, shift the blame for crime from the criminal and
to society and admonish about the perils of good old-fashioned punishment.
They then will advocate rehabilitation that amounts to nothing more than
psycho-babble and a slap on the wrist and then retreat to their well-policed,
patrician neighborhoods. But they’ll never have to negotiate the streets
of the dark underbelly of the naked city where gunshots ring out in the night,
nor will there be a collective finger angrily pointed at them for having
created a deterrent-compromised society. It’s easy.
Or they may muddy the waters when discussing the failing educational system
by trotting out the myths that class size is too great, budgets are too low,
schools are too old and technology too primitive. They will denude
the schools of the necessary ingredients for education, such as discipline
and obedience, by advocating permissiveness, radical-egalitarianism and gratuitous
rights for students. They will de-emphasize traditional elements of
curricula and replace them with a new educational paradigm, replete with
left-wing ideology. Then when the public schools are reduced to war-zones
or baby-sitting services where the three r’s being taught are racism, revisionism
and relativism, they will send their children to the best private schools.
But it’s easy, because they’ll never have to live in the shoes of the young
boy who is never instilled with discipline, who is socially-promoted and
who is damned to live a life in which the American dream is beyond his grasp.
Or liberals may support candidates who are totally bereft of a respect for
life, even those who support partial-birth abortion. They’ll most likely
never have to see babies who have been thrown in trash bins, though, or the
almost-born children who have their brains ripped from their skulls in abortion
mills. It’s easy.
But Judge Rapkin’s situation is unique – very, very unique. It’s usually
other people who have to live with liberals’ ideals because the trail of
tears rarely leads directly to any liberal’s doorstep, which is often situated
at the foot of an ivory tower. With respect to crime, education that
amounts to malpractice and abortion, it’s relatively difficult to connect
the dots. But Rapkin has been wrenched from his apathy-induced slumber,
as the haunting images of the fruits of his flawed ideals have been transmitted
into every home – including his own. So, yes, it’s easy to be idealistic
when you don’t have to live with your ideals. Just ask Judge Harry
Rapkin – he can tell you. And during one of his more honest moments
he just may whisper it in your ear. For he will now have to live with
his ideals . . . for the rest of his life.
Selwyn Duke's homepage is The Truth Page.