If you listen to the mayors of cities in chaos like Seattle and Portland, the Mostly Peaceful Protestors™ were singing kumbayah until federal officers arrived. Anyone paying attention knows this is a ridiculous narrative. Apparently, local residents have been paying attention because they are fleeing in large numbers.
If you recall, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan allowed a group of insurrectionists to take over a portion of downtown Seattle, which included unwilling participants who lived, worked, or owned businesses in the area. Huddled in their homes, they listened to chaos and gunfire every evening. During the day, a motley selection of partygoers descended on the six-block radius to engage in some kind of riot tourism.
The autonomous zone, also known as CHAZ/CHOP, was eventually broken up. But the Mostly Peaceful Protests™ didn’t end. Just this weekend, a construction site was set ablaze along with a Starbucks adjacent to an apartment complex. Residents have taken note and are leaving. One way you can tell is that it costs a lot more to rent a U-Haul to leave a city than to travel to the same town—basic supply and demand.
U-Haul makes money by ensuring they are paid between destinations. When rentals leaving a particular location are up, but dropoffs in the same place are low, the price for leaving the destination rises. This is because they have to retrieve trucks without getting a rental fee.
There is a stunning differential in the route between Seattle, Wash., and Boise, Idaho. It costs almost eight times as much to leave Seattle as it does to leave Boise.
Business owners reported that downtown was beginning to suffer before the pandemic and the riots. The local Fox affiliate reported a rise in violent crime that was only made worse by the riots. One business owner compared downtown to a ghost town.
Rodolfo said downtown tourism has struggled for a while. He said he believes people are afraid because of the long list of violent crimes in the area, including a January shootout near 3rd Avenue and Pine Street that killed one person and injured several others in January 2020.
“Just a real bad taste for people to come down here—deal with panhandlers, deal with everything that’s going on. And so, for us as retailers down here, we’ve been hanging on. And then COVID hits, and so we shut down,” said Rodolfo.
This uptick in crime began long before any federal officers were in the mix. It is the result of progressive policies that don’t deal with petty crime and homelessness effectively. And it is only going to get worse. There are plans to close the largest county jail and eliminate juvenile detention by 2025. The Seattle City Council has majority support to reduce the police force by 50%. The devastation of the city is about to go on steroids.
Mayor Ted Wheeler in Portland is not in much better shape. The ongoing riots in his city from the Mostly Peaceful Protestors™ escalated to a full assault on federal property. The Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse has been the site of nightly confrontations for weeks. Additional DHS officers were sent to secure the facility, and protestors continued to try and burn the building down.
This is after three years of sporadic violence from antifa that Wheeler has never addressed. It has resulted in the harassment and assault of citizens and journalists. Journalist Andy Ngo identified the attackers who gave him a severe head injury, and no arrests were ever made. Wheeler is the mayor and chief of police, so law enforcement is powerless to act.
It looks like residents have had it there as well. The cost to leave Portland is approximately eight times as much as the price for leaving Boise.
Now, I do not wish the nightmare of a progressive influx to the great state of Idaho. However, with people expecting to work remotely as technology companies and others realize cost savings from remote work, people are looking for wide-open spaces. According to Relator.com, social distancing and lockdown are driving the acceptance of a longer commute, a desire for more space, and larger living quarters.
You can make a level bet that unrest, violence, and increasing violent crime rates will have many Americans looking toward greener pastures as well. Truth is, most Americans just want to be left alone and are not interested in the community-wide struggle-sessions these big-city mayors are running. There are similar trends in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
However, those fleeing to smaller cities, the suburbs and the exurbs may be in for a rude awakening. As Michael Tracey pointed out, one of the underreported stories of the last few months was the number of riots that occurred in these types of towns:
While the most extreme riots in cities like New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and particularly Minneapolis did receive considerable attention — however fleeting, incomplete, and unnecessarily inflected with knee-jerk partisanship — there were also smaller-scale riots in surprisingly far-flung places that you hardly would’ve known about unless you lived in the area, happened to visit, or intentionally sought out what remains of the bare-bones local media coverage. To take just a small sampling: Atlantic City, NJ, Fort Wayne, IN, Green Bay, WI, and Olympia, WA all underwent significant riots, at least per the normal expectations of life in these relatively low-key cities. Did you hear anything about them? Because I hadn’t, and I’m abnormally attuned to daily media coverage. Only because I personally visited did I learn of the damage.
If you expect a Biden presidency to tamp down these Mostly Peaceful Protests™, I wouldn’t count on it. Progressive mayors will continue apace at galling police reforms. The move to the suburbs by the rioters was also intentional. Also, the rioters are far-left anarcho-communists. Their demands are not going to stop because Biden is elected.
Additionally, Biden is intent on bringing the city to suburban and exurban areas. He has vowed to implement to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule. This regulation will require smaller towns to eliminate minimum lot sizes and to build high-density low-income housing. Under the rule, communities can be ordered by bureaucrats in Washington to change school districting, incorporate low-income housing into existing neighborhoods, and come under an authority that includes the metro area rather than local government.
You can run, but you can’t hide from the progressive agenda. If you are moving out of rotting cities to get away from the insanity, do not vote for the candidate that will bring it to your new front door.