Culture

In Portland, Doing the Polar Opposite of Anything Conservative Is More Important Than Safety and Prosperity

AP Photo/Paula Bronstein

Once upon a time, I thought of Oregon as a potential vacation destination. I like the ocean, and Oregon has more than its share of stunning coastline. And there is something intriguing about the Pacific Northwest, an air of mystery and a “last frontier” kind of feeling (with apologies to Alaska). And I heard that Portland was quirky, artistic and fun, and I am drawn to places where people like to live life differently. I even investigated radio stations in Oregon thinking it might be nice to start a career there.

But at this point in the space-time continuum, I’m thankful that God chose not to answer that particular prayer for a variety of reasons—Portland, chief among them.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has announced that the city will no longer do business with the state of Texas and will ban city employees from traveling there. You know, the usual. The source of Wheeler’s high dudgeon? Texas’ abortion law, of course. A statement from the Portland City Council read in part:

The Portland City Council stands unified in its belief that all people should have the right to choose if and when they carry a pregnancy and that the decisions they make are complex, difficult, and unique to their circumstances… This law rewards private individuals for exercising surveillance and control over others’ bodies. It violates the separation of church and state. And, it will force people to carry pregnancies against their will…Portland City Council stands with the people who may one day face difficult decisions about pregnancy, and we respect their right to make the best decision for themselves.

Virtue signal noted. Thank you for playing. Moving on.

For my part, I was unaware that the Republic of Texas did much business with Portland, or that it even cares about a ban, for that matter. If someone in the Lonestar State is shedding tears and losing sleep at night over the cutting of diplomatic ties, maybe they should move to some other place. Like Portland.

But take heart, Portlanders (Portlandites? Portlandeers? Portlandians?)! There is plenty of good news to go around! Specifically the new name of Portland’s car-free bridge! Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty recently stated that the bridge, which opened in June, shall henceforth be known as “Ned Flanders Crossing.” Yes, that Ned Flanders. Good diddley-grief.

To be fair, Matt Groening, who created “The Simpsons,” came of age in Rose City, and the bridge is apparently connected to Flanders street, named for a tycoon who lived in the area in the 1800s. Given the fact that the street is named for a dead white capitalist, and that Ned Flanders is not exactly a symbol of diversity, I’m amazed the street, and the bridge for that matter, has not been hastily renamed. Moreover, in light of  what happened there over the past year, one must wonder if there were any higher priorities for the city fathers/mothers/whatevers.

I know of one. Portland, as you may know by now, is not the safest of cities. And yes, I am aware that statement puts me in the running for the PJ Media Obvious Statement of the Year award. As soon as I make it up. Between the riots and the efforts to defund/demoralize and eventually remove the police, many Portland residents calling 911 are finding themselves being placed on hold from two to five minutes. People call 911 for car crashes, medical emergencies, and crimes in progress. Like murders. And between January and July of this year there were 52 homicides, double the number from the same period for the previous year. Callers in a shootout in a local restaurant earlier this month waited on hold with 911 for just over seven minutes. That’s a lot of bullets. Portland’s director of the Bureau of Emergency Communications called the situation “unmanageable” and “broken.’” Chaos, it seems, will remain the order of the day for Portland for the time being. Portland officials may feel pride in their ability to go and remain woke, but the city’s businesses and residents are paying a hefty price.

Unless you have ever been a Leftist, the disconnect may be hard to understand. But I was a Leftist once so you didn’t have to be, and I can break it down for you.

When I was single, a woman I was dating told me she thought Sean Hannity was “dumb.” I was working in talk radio at the time and we aired Hannity. I was no fan but wasn’t rabid about it, so I asked her why she thought Hannity was dumb. The answer? “Because he is stupid.” So I asked, “Why is Hannity stupid?” The answer? “Because he is dumb.” And that, dear reader is pretty much a transcript of the entire conversation. How does this exchange relate to the topic at hand? Glad you asked.  If you are on the rabid Left, optics and feelings matter. What is important is that you maintain positions that are the polar opposite of anything that could remotely considered conservative. No matter how absurd, wasteful, or even deadly those positions may be. Results don’t matter. And if those results are negative, they are someone else’s fault or the unfortunate costs of change

The residents of Portland may be screw-didley-ewed. But at least they won’t be conservative. So there’s that.