CALDARA | Currently choosing roaming | Opinion
Have you ever had one of those times when you witness something that makes you do a double take? it only happened to me.
The other day I was driving to work and waiting for a red light one block from my office at the Independence Institute. Crossing the crosswalk in front of me was a young man, in his mid-twenties I guess, his dog on a leash a few feet behind him.
The dog did what all dogs do, except they usually do on grassy terrain.
Yeah. He pooped there in the street in the middle of the crosswalk for all to admire and cross and step over. The poor dog must not have been feeling well.
Now at this point I have to admit the prejudices that all of us bald men in our mid-50s have against young people (you know, with all their hair, energy, idealism, romance and potential ahead of them) .
So in my best attitude out of the lawn, I was waiting for this sporty bun man, stay away from my disbelieving daughter to keep walking and let the car tires and the socks of other people’s shoes take care of the disorder of his dog.
Instead, he reached into his pocket, pulled out a plastic bag (the ones virtue signaling progressives ban), and picked up his dog’s things just in time to beat the traffic light. .
You would think that this little act of personal responsibility would rekindle my faith in humanity. Instead, it rekindled my anger at Denver’s encouragement of lawlessness and vagrancy.
What I failed to mention is that this responsible young man – who, all the same, better avoid my daughter – was cleaning up his dog’s poop right next to a camp of about ten. “homeless” tents.
I spend most of the time near these charming structures and their inhabitants on my way to lunch meetings. I can navigate a minefield of garbage, passed out bodies, human excrement, vomit and urine on sidewalks and streets.
The people, including the women, who inhabit this tent and garbage kibbutz are about the same age as the dog walker. They are all young and appear to be in good physical shape and health, perhaps more so than the dog walker himself.
These are not people “currently experiencing homelessness”. They are currently choosing roaming.
You see the dichotomy. This young man was cleaning his dog’s poop as human feces were literally all around him.
The best in Denver don’t have the basic human courtesy to wrap their own trash and given the trash they leave behind, they have plenty.
They are self-centered and empowered people, at least those who do not suffer from serious mental illness and who, if we were truly compassionate people, should be institutionalized and treated.
This is the Denver created by Mayors Hickenlooper and Hancock, and a progressive city council encouraging with their constant financial incentives and lack of law enforcement. What you subsidize goes up. And as the latest Common Sense Institute report attests, Denver spends at least half a billion dollars a year to encourage the homeless.
Return to our responsible dog owner. Maybe he didn’t clean up after his four-legged friend out of a sense of community obligation. He knows it’s the law. Maybe one or more of his pet owner friends got a ticket and a fine for not cleaning up after their pet and he didn’t want that to happen to him. Maybe he remembered his last speeding ticket.
How fascinating that cleaning up after your dog on the sidewalk seems to be more strictly enforced than defecating on the sidewalk. Welcome to the Mile-High City.
So where do we go from here? I have a modest proposal.
I suggest that all Denver dog owners continue to be conscientious and pick up after their dog, but do not throw in the nearest appropriate receptacle. Gather your dog’s belongings and unpack them at the entrance to town hall.
Yes. Throw doggy bullshit at town hall.
Since Denver turned into feces under their watch, they should own it. Denver residents should show their pride in the city. I think it’s time to step into the civil disobedience toolbox and celebrate those who have encouraged this sign of city living – those who won’t enforce the laws to stop it.
What will they do ? Ticket you? This only begs the question: why don’t you apply the same for human waste?
Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute in Denver and hosts “The Devil’s Advocate with Jon Caldara” on Colorado Public Television Channel 12. His column appears on Sundays in Colorado Politics.