In this installment of our weekly Sunday Six conversation, PF Whalen and Parker Beauregard of The Blue State Conservative point out the obvious: When given control, leftist policies rooted in totalitarianism and blind to human nature unleash a torrent of predictable chaos, crime, and poverty.
#6: Portland, Oregon
Parker: It is hard to think of a major metropolitan area more emblematic of destruction wrought by self-inflicted Democrat rule than the failed city of Portland. Like other cities on this list, there should only be upside to developing an area blessed with some of the most beautiful natural landscapes. The Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, the Pacific Ocean, and an array of hotspots could drive a veritable tourism industry without even trying. Throw in the less-appealing-by-the-day artsy, eclectic, and hipster vibe, there is no shortage of things that ought to make Portland a hub for positive activity.
Residents, though, continue electing damaging mayors with utter disregard for track records. There has not been a Republican governor since the 1970s (an “oppressed” woman, as it were, way back then). Most recently, Ted Wheeler has been great at allowing Antifa to run roughshod under his watch and horrible at protecting everyone else. It is hard to even know where to begin with Wheeler. After George Floyd overdosed, riots broke out in most cities across the country. They were bad, but Portland said “hold my small-batch double IPA.”
Under Wheeler’s watch, protests and riots broke out for over 100 consecutive days. When President Trump demanded the city take action, rather than accept the assistance he accused Trump of a federal takeover. (Once Biden was in office, Wheeler disgracefully changed his tune and welcomed the support to corral Biden’s Brown Shirts.) In the midst of the lawlessness, the riots eventually turned to Wheeler’s own $840,000 condominium complex. Boy Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis was booed out of his city’s own BLM protest at one point last summer, but he only left the demonstration. Wheeler left the entire city. There are cowards, and then there are embarrassments like Wheeler. The man that enabled Antifa to shatter storefronts and torch buildings – federal courthouses among them – for months on end was able to leave for greener and more expensive pastures, whereas those under his charge (remember, public officials serve the public) were left to fend for themselves. Wheeler was re-elected in the fall of 2020.
Countless small businesses, many owned by presumably women, blacks, Asians, gays, and transgenders, are destroyed in the name of progress by Antifa degenerates. It’s ok, because in their words, the “use of violence is a tactic of how we keep our communities safe.” Honestly, it’s hard to care anymore. The city that returned Wheeler to the mayor’s office and carried Biden by almost 5:1 deserves everything that happens to it.
#5: New York, New York
PF: There are a lot of cities we could debate regarding which has been most devastated by Democratic Party ineptness, but New York City has to be at the top of the list for most disappointing. Most of the cities on this list have been led by Democrats uninterrupted for decades and haven’t been able to escape the incompetence as a result. But New York is different.
New York had a non-Democrat as mayor for twenty consecutive years. Rudolph Giuliani was in Gracie Mansion from 1994 through 2001, and he totally turned the city around after 24 years of Democrat rule. As a former U.S. Attorney, he was tough on crime and crime rates plummeted. Times Square – and in fact most of midtown Manhattan – had been full of peep shows, drug dealers, and prostitutes, but when Rudy was done it looked more like Disneyland. Real estate values skyrocketed and tourism thrived. Mike Bloomberg succeeded Giuliani – first as a Republican and then as an Independent – and he did a decent job. He essentially kept Rudy’s policies in place, though he eventually went to the left with idiotic policies such as his anti-soft-drink campaign.
Following Bloomberg, however, was Bill de Blasio, who has been the single-worst mayor in the country for several years now. De Blasio, along with an overwhelmingly Democrat city council, has blown-out government spending with handouts to anyone he can think of, including illegal immigrants. He’s demonized the police, and crime is once again on its way to pre-Giuliani levels. And he only seems to care about how woke he can be. I have friends who live in NYC, and the visibility and rate of decay has been stunning. Streets are empty, people are scared, and New Yorkers have been fleeing in record numbers.
New York should have known better. They had witnessed Democrat destruction firsthand with Abe Beam, Ed Koch and David Dinkins, but they must have forgotten. Watch an old movie about New York such as Taxi Driver or The French Connection, and you can see what the future holds for New York if they keep electing Democrats: Crime, filth, and rot.
#4: San Francisco, California
Parker: Did you know that this major American city is worse than third-world slums? Did you know that the city hands out needles to its drug addicts? Did you know that there are apps to track human feces in tax-payer funded streets? Did you know that the largest wealth gap exists in San Francisco? Did you know that the current mayor, London Breed, dined at the same bourgie, Napa restaurant, in direct violation of her own Covid mandates, just a day after Gavin Newsome? Did you know that San Francisco voted to rename 44 schools, including the elementary school named after long-time Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein? Did you know that 85% of anti-Asian crime in San Francisco was the result of an attack by a black person?
This city just sucks. In all of my writing, I don’t think I have ever stooped to the literary equivalent of a middle school girl describing math class, but there it is. San Francisco is awful. It’s expensive as all hell, it’s crowded, it’s decrepit, it’s filthy, and it doubles down on all of it. The city and its residents accept the fact that mentally ill, substance abusing, and otherwise aimless souls litter the street, urinating, defecating, and injecting hard drugs in whatever thoroughfare or public transit they please.
It seems safe to say that crime, poverty, and other ills of human nature have always been with us and will always be with us. Stories from the Old Testament reveal that the earliest communities were plagued with sin. However, instead of accepting the brutality of human nature and the struggle of existence, career politicians leverage the woes of their voting blocs to remain in perpetual lordship and superiority over the masses. Willie Brown, Diane Feinstein, Gavin Newsome, and now London Breed have taken a turn managing the city with leftist ideals. How has that worked out? None of the problems are solved – indeed, they are worse than ever – but these individuals have all come out wealthier and more powerful. Brown was kingmaker (Kamala Harris is shining example), Feinstein is now a career Senator, Newsom parlayed the role into an equally-dreadful turn at governor, and the sky’s the limit for the black female Breed. In the 2020 presidential election, 86% of the city voted for Biden, who also has not helped the denizens of the plighted city. It’s doubtful he could even point to the city on a map.
#3: Los Angeles, California
PF: An article in Forbes in January detailed a study conducted by a group called Augurisk-Now which assessed the ten most dangerous neighborhoods in America, and three of those ten were in San Francisco. But four of the top ten were in Los Angeles, including the top three. The #1 most dangerous neighborhood in the country is in L.A., and it experiences 347 violent crimes per 1,000 residents. There’s better than a one-in-three chance of being the victim of a violent crime (not just any old crime) in that Los Angeles community. California is falling apart, and Los Angeles and San Francisco are leading the way.
Since 1961, Los Angeles has had only one non-Democrat as a mayor, and that was a liberal Republican named Richard Riordan; and the city council has been dominated by Democrats for decades. L.A. is a mess, and Democrats are to blame, including current mayor Eric Garcetti.
Prior to the COVID pandemic, homelessness across the United States was on the decline across the country, except in California where the problem was spiking; and the issue is now getting worse, particularly in L.A. During the pandemic Garcetti and Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom appeared to be competing for the title of who could apply the most draconian lockdown rules, and we’d have to judge the result of that competition as a draw. Together they destroyed their economy, and unemployment is through the roof.
Los Angeles has some of the most pleasant weather of any city in the country, but despite that advantage, people are fleeing the city in droves. According to a Real Estate professional in Texas, he’s “never seen something like this,” with people lining up to buy real estate near Dallas, and over 70% of them are coming from California. And it’s not just residents who are leaving, it’s businesses as well, including media companies like The Daily Wire. The taxes are out of control, and unsustainable. If you live in L.A., get out while you can. As bad as it is, it’s going to get worse.
#2: Baltimore, Maryland
Parker: You mentioned people fleeing in droves from Los Angeles. Here is a fascinating look at migration out of Democrat-produced hellscapes. In 1950, the population of Baltimore stood at 950,000. Today, it is below 600,000.
According to Wikipedia, 1977 murder data shows that the U.S. murder rate per 100,000 people was 8.8. At the same time, the city of Baltimore was reporting over double that with a rate of 20.7 per 100,000. Fast forward to 2015, when the zapped-out Freddie Gray was spazzing so hard he broke his body and Black Lives Matter went nuclear on the responding officers that were black, a police chief that was black, a city council that was majority black, a mayor that was black, and an entire city that was represented by blacks in Congress for allowing a racist system to let the sweet and innocent Gray die in police custody. So much racism.
Anyways, since 2015 the city of Baltimore has recorded the five highest murder rates in its history. Beginning with that year and ending with 2020, the murder rate has been 55.4, 51.4, 57.8, 50.5, and 58.6. Not coincidentally, in the year that George Floyd’s drug overdose inspired so much awareness of supposed racism, more blacks than ever before were being killed by other blacks in the third-world country of Baltimore. Come to think of it, that’s an insult to third-world countries. Just as a comparison, the U.S. murder rate declined and hjeld study at just over 5 per 100,000. So, the ratio of murder rates for the city and country went from 2:1 to 11:1. Great job, everyone.
The entire existence of Baltimore can be summarized by President Trump’s description of it as a “disgusting” and “rat and rodent infested” in 2019. There was the usual hullabaloo about racism, and in a live news story meant to rebut the assertions, an actual rat scurried across the video feed. You can’t make this stuff up.
When Baltimore finally had a chance to do something about their abysmal situation, they retained their worthless NAACP representative instead of up-and-coming Kim Klacik. Readers will recall that Klacik exposed more destitution in her breakout campaign ad. Despite pointing out the obvious, particularly how voting Democrat year after year produced nothing but death and decay, the district fell 70% for more of the same black victim narrative to 30% for black prosperity.
#1: Chicago, Illinois
PF: The City of Chicago is essentially a living, breathing Political Science laboratory. It’s been over ninety years now since the last non-Democrat mayor of Chicago (a woefully corrupt Republican by the name of “Big Bill” Thompson) left office in 1931. Since that time, virtually every Democratic mayor has also enjoyed a Democrat-majority city council. Democrats have been running the City of Chicago for almost a century now, and they are wholly responsible for its condition. Anyone seeking to understand the long-term impact of Democratic governance need not look any further than the Windy City.
Virtually every weekend we hear about a horrific number of murders in Chicago, with innocent children such as Dajore Wilson being killed. As clownish Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot demonizes police, Chicagoans are paying the price. Police arrests in Chicago are down 53%, and not surprisingly homicides are up 65%. This additional carnage comes on top of an already out-of-control murder rate, with 774 murders in the city in 2020. How many will die this year? These aren’t just statistics, these are human beings, and Democrats are responsible.
The city’s financial situation is the worst in the country for large cities. Each Chicagoan is on the hook for $126,600 in city debt, another $52,000 in Illinois state debt (a very blue state), and these numbers don’t even include the debt from the Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago School Districts, and Chicago Park District. Financially, Chicago is a disaster.
A quick drive around the city makes one wonder where the money is being spent, with crumbling infrastructure virtually everywhere – rusting bridges, potholes, abandoned buildings – with only a few exceptions. Which brings up another issue: the disparities in standards of living.
Democrats like to preach about the evils of inequity, but I can think of no city which better illustrates it. A stroll around Old Town, the West Loop, and River North sections of Chicago would make one think it’s a thriving, wealthy city. But if you’re brave enough, or stupid enough, to walk around Pullman, Riverdale, or Englewood, you’ll come to a much different conclusion. One would think that a party which has been in control for so long and claims to be the ‘party of the people’ should have solved these gaps. But they haven’t. Because redistribution of wealth doesn’t work. Leftism doesn’t work. Democratic Party policies don’t work.