So here's a cleaver idea to solve homelessness from the good politicians in South Carolina.
This Week's Poll from the Lester & Charlie Institute of Forward Thinking:
What seems to be weighing big on the small minds of many politicians here in the U.S. is this pressing question: What to do with all those pesky undesirables who keep cropping up across America?
Minorities. The poor. College students. Some of these varmints think they should have a say in their local governments! They even want to vote. Or have the right to assemble. Where does it stop? Next thing you know, gays will want to get gay married. Dogs and cats will want to live together. Mayhem!
We still haven't stopped chuckling over what happened two weeks ago when we told you about the troubles over in Beavercreek, Ohio, where the white locals stopped clutching their pearls long enough to put the kibosh on the construction of three new bus stops -- bus stops that would allow riders in Dayton, 73% of whom are minorities, access to Beavercreek stores, the medical center and even a state university. Check out some of the seriously hilarious comments over at the Huffington Post, where a handful of Beavercreek locals seem awfully eager to tell us just how non-racist they are, what with their "many black friends" -- and even black co-workers. (Co-workers! Well, if that isn't just the absolute height of tolerance. Is it too much to hope they're not talking about the cafeteria help?)
Still, we have to admit that all that nonsense seemed almost downright liberal compared to what's going on in Columbia, South Carolina.
There, a fledgling economic boom in Columbia's downtown has inspired the local pols to clean things up a bit -- by getting rid of the homeless people. Not, of course, by helping them find ways to get on their feet during the economic boom. But by getting them out of town. To the city's winter shelter, on Columbia's outskirts, which is being transformed from a nighttime-only cold-weather facility to a 24/7, year-round paradise!
But, before anyone tries to call this some form of "compassionate conservatism," know this: The shelter has 240 beds. The city has over 1,500 homeless.
So what about the rest of those homeless -- who, according to the new measure, face jail time if they won't go to the shelter? We know for a fact that many politicians are highly creative when it comes to math. So we were eagerly anticipating learning how the ones in South Carolina would account for the discrepancy!
Turns out, they haven't. Which leads us to assume that turnover at the facility will be high -- and plenty of homeless people will end up back on the streets of downtown Columbia. And the measure will have changed absolutely nothing.
Except for this: Once you check in to the new shelter, you won't be allowed to leave.
Seriously. Or, at least you can't leave without a police escort. That escort is meant to ensure that, wherever you go, you don't end up back in downtown Columbia. And even if you choose jail, when you get out "you’re going to the shelter," says Councilman Cameron Runyan, the plan's primary author, "unless you have provisions to have someone get you."
We gotta admit: even with all we know about how they like to do things in Red States, the boldness of this measure leaves us pretty stunned. Too many homeless in your burgeoning downtown? Just send 'em packing! In the outskirts of Columbia, SC, no one can hear you scream.
We shudder thinking what's going to happen when conservatives on a national scale start paying attention to this. These are just the kinds of solutions Republicans can get behind. Which gets us wondering: Just how would those South Carolina pols tackle national problems? What genius solutions would they come up with? What do YOU think?