Singapore has a stunningly beautiful public airport. A video recently circulating online shows a sleek train gliding above the structure. The tracks are surrounded by lush green trees. Off to the side, a massive waterfall connects curved openings at the bottom and top of the building. It looks like how we used to imagine America’s future in the sunnily optimistic sci-fi of an earlier age. It’s also a testament to the power of developmentalist economics to uplift a nation.

For the American right, however, the video is Exhibit A for why we need to … use more corporal punishment.

Instead of focusing on the public-infrastructure achievements of Singapore, some of America’s most prominent conservatives are choosing to celebrate the city-state’s preference for judicial caning. For the likes of Matt Walsh of The Daily Wire and Jack Posobiec of Turning Points USA, the Singaporean airport is a reason to ditch America’s constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

If only we handled our criminal element the way Singapore does, these commentators seem to think, we could have a country that looks like that. Singapore, Matt Walsh says, has “nice things” like its beautiful airport “in part because they execute drug dealers by hanging and arrest even petty vandals and thieves and beat them with a cane until they bleed.” We in the United States, by contrast, “don’t have nice things, because we aren’t willing to do what is required to maintain them.”

Get the best of Compact right in your inbox.

Sign up for our free newsletter today.

Great! Check your inbox and click the link.
Sorry, something went wrong. Please try again.