Trump & Capital Punishment

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portrait by Marco Grob

President Donald Trump was reported last week by news website Axios to be impressed by the stance of Singapore and Philippines in executing drug dealers. He reportedly noted their success in limiting the growth of drug trafficking and drug abuse in their societies by adopting a harsh punitive approach.

Naturally, such a position horrifies the limp wristed liberal elites. These elites have no compunction at sniffing in superiority at the supposed “illiberal and uncivilised practices” of these Eastern societies. Leaving aside the overt racism of such patronising criticisms of other cultures by supposed multiculturalists, it is always worth taking time to examine the facts.

It is notable that few will engage in the theological and philosophical arguments of capital punishment and particularly the evidence of its deterrence of drug crime. Liberals just declare by fiat that it is barbarous and uncivilised and that is supposed to shut down any further discussion. All are to genuflect and acknowledge their higher wisdom in such matters.

The example of Singapore is particularly interesting. For it has practiced mandatory death sentences on drug offences for decades. Patterns are much easier to identify. Singapore sits at the top of the global league of nations for its education standards, its healthcare, and its GDP. From its independence in 1965, the founding principles it was built on espoused a strong and robust deterrence against crime.

Unsurprisingly, Singapore has one of the lowest drug trafficking and drug dependency levels of any developed nation. In a recent Word Drug Report by the UN it was seen that 8.2% of the UK population are cannabis users whereas only 0.005% of the Singapore population are users. For opiates like heroin it is 0.9% in the UK and 0.005% in Singapore. Fewer that 2 in 10 abusers released from prison of mandatory drug rehabilitation centres relapse within two years in Singapore. The nation’s policies are strongly supported by the overwhelming majority of the Singapore people.

Despite the facts, the usual suspects seek to pressure Singapore into becoming “more civilised.” Chiara Sangiorgio, Amnesty International’s Death Penalty Adviser argued in October 2017 “Singapore is deluding itself if it thinks the death penalty is an effective tool to reduce crime rates. This is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, it does not make us safer – a fact the vast majority of the world’s countries have acknowledged.”

Someone once asked Mahatma Gandhi what he thought of western civilisation, and he replied: “I think it would be a very good idea.” Much of what calls itself Western Civilisation is far from civilised. A simple audit of the values of the Western liberal elites exposes the hypocrisy and deception of their worldview.

The West today is filled with uncivilised behaviour and laws. The promotion of the brutal hacking to death of the unborn child in the womb of his or her mother demeans us all. What is civilised about handing out untested hormone blockers to destroy the minds and bodies of gender confused children? What is civilised about permitting feral gangs to terrorize schools, housing estates, villages, towns and cities across our countries? What is civilised about destroying a law-abiding citizen’s business because he refuses to bake a cake espousing gay marriage?

Is it any more civilised to lock murderers and drug traffickers for decades at a time? If so, on what objective moral basis? If killing a criminal is uncivilised by capital punishment, then liberals must explain whether it is civilised for a police officer to shoot to kill an armed robber or terrorist?

There is a fundamental hypocrisy at the heart of the liberal position in their claims for justice on these issues. For there is nothing civilised about drone bombing innocent women and children in isolated Afghanistan or Serbian villages without due process and then turning your nose up at the hanging of a murderer after the due process of a public trial has established the guilt of the defendant.

GK Chesterton once observed, “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” Singapore, Philippines and Trump are right to insist that the death penalty is a powerful deterrent in dealing with the scourge of drug trafficking.

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