Escape to Rancho Mirage
Ben Stein
by
Macy’s in New York last night after being looted (YouTube screenshot)

Rancho Mirage
Morningside CC

No riots here, I am happy to report. It’s hot and I had a great swim this morning and then shopped for lunch and dinner for my entourage of wife and nurses and a very special visitor. We went to a fine market called Gelson’s. Just to shop for hamburgers and steaks. It’s incredibly expensive but never crowded and has cheerful help.

Then sleep for a few hours and watch Macy’s in Herald Square being looted on TV. No police anywhere. For the last three days, I have seen unrestrained looting, and the police did nothing. What the hell is going on? What are the police doing? I guess they are scared that if they restrain a looter, he might die and then the policeman goes to prison.

Meanwhile, you can get arrested for going to church but you are not arrested for clear theft, arson, and looting. Great days. I marched and demonstrated for black civil rights long ago and even briefly went to jail for it. That was a long time ago.

The way it looks from here is that the entire political class is terrified of being called racists for enforcing the law against black people. That means there is no law. The last few days have been a catastrophe for the rule of law. Without law there is no freedom and no safety. Now, because of the combined power of the media and the black vote, law has just about been killed. The whole country cowers in terror before the violent looters and their allies in the mainstream media. Again, that means no law enforcement and no society.

Well, I’m old now. I got to live in America in our best days. The 1950s and ’60s and ’70s. It was fun, fun, fun, but we didn’t steal. We didn’t try to kill the police. We demonstrated against a terrible war and for civil rights, but we did our marching with at least a tiny bit of dignity.

Now, the streets are packed with would-be killers. And we hide in our gated communities and grill steaks and listen to music from Elvis Presley. What did the poet say? “Bliss it was in that day to be alive, but to be young was very heaven.”

I was able to live in those days at Columbia and Yale and American University and UC Santa Cruz. And I still have my moments. But the TV is a grim harbinger of still more horror to come. Goodbye, Macy’s.

Ben Stein
Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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