Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) channeled 1970s singer Judy Collins Thursday as he sized up the state of America’s big cities under the leadership of leftist mayors.
The Louisiana Republican, a guest of Fox News Channel’s Jesse Watters, said Democrat policies under local leaders and President Joe Biden are “not working” in urban centers. True to form, the lawmaker noted for quotable quips turned a pop culture reference into an aphorism to deliver a chuckle-inducing soundbite.
“Not to be ugly, but if you asked most Americans to assess your leadership, they would say something like, ‘Don’t bother to bring in the clowns, they’re already here,’” Kennedy said, paraphrasing the 1973 song “Send in the Clowns.”
The data show that in cities like Washington, D.C., crimes have skyrocketed in 2022 as homicides “have increased 16% this year, over last year’s 14% increase…Robberies citywide are up 32%. And so far this year, there have been nearly 200 carjackings in D.C.”
The nation’s capital isn’t alone in dealing with surging crime.
Fox News also recently reported, “Los Angeles…Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Atlanta have all seen homicide numbers outpace their mark from 2021 halfway through this year, with Milwaukee seeing the largest spike of the group…Wisconsin’s largest city has recorded 96 homicides as of June 17 compared to 77 at this time a year ago, a 24.7% increase.”
The senator also seemed to place the blame for such violence on the Left’s demonization of police around America as well as various efforts to defund police. Kennedy noted that law enforcement needs the exact opposite kind of policies to be able to truly crackdown on crime.
“Number two, in the short-term, if you want things to get better, empower your cops,” Kennedy told Waters. “Too many of our mayors think that cops are more of a problem than criminals. They are wrong. Empower your cops, pay them, hire more of them, stand behind them when they have to do their jobs. Tell them to enforce all of our laws, the big ones and the little ones.”
“And mayors, get rid of your see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, prosecute-no-evil district attorneys,” he said in reference to a growing trend of progressive prosecutors who advocate a soft-on-crime approach.
Kennedy also observed that education in larger cities is failing, meaning that young Americans fall through the cracks and wind up on the streets rather than being productive citizens.
“Point three, and this is longer-term. We have to ask ourselves why is it that these young offenders are more likely to grow up and go to prison than get married or own a home? Now, there are several reasons, but I’ll give you one. Their schools suck,” he declared.
Media reports and other evidence back up his claims.
For example, The New York Post recently reported, “Less than half of all 3rd through 8th graders in New York City were proficient in reading in 2019, according to state test data cited in the report. National studies suggest the pandemic and school closures likely made matters worse for students already trailing literacy benchmarks.”
“To the mayors, I would say grow some oranges and fix the schools,” he continued. “We need no-excuse schools, every child can learn.”
“Find out which of our teachers can teach and pay them; find out which of our teachers can’t teach and teach them how or tell them to find a new line of work and social promotion,” he advised. “The new rule ought to be, ‘I don’t care how old you are, you’re not getting out of the third grade until you can read.’”
The senator continued, noting that school choice and vouchers would foster “competition” that “will be good for public schools.”
“And the final thing I would say Jesse — this is to the voters, I would tell them be patient, but only up to a point,” he warned.
“I’m going to put this down where the goats can get it. To the voters, I’d say you deserve better, demand it. Eat your vegetables, don’t elect them,” the senator concluded, ending his comments in true Kennedy-esque fashion.
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