'Seattle Is Dying' because Liberalism Is Killing It
If you haven't seen the KOMO News special Seattle Is Dying, you need to. (Watch it here.) The hour-long show does a sound job of depicting the ugly decline of one of the most beautiful places in America. However, the piece misses the forest for the nasty, dirty, twisted trees.
Part of the root of the problem in Seattle is political, but Seattle Is Dying virtually ignores the liberal politics behind Seattle's foul decline. As John Sexton at Hot Air put it, "[t]here's really no escaping the fact that the current situation is the result of political decisions."
And yet, reporter Eric Johnson [the KOMO reporter behind the story] said on Facebook that he though[t] politicizing the story was a mistake. He says he's received many offers to comment on national shows that lean either right or left and he's turned them all down. He really seems to believe that people on all sides of the aisle can see the problems and the solutions regardless of where they are coming from.
Johnson begins his report by describing the "seething anger" of Seattle residents who no longer feel safe in their city. Scenes of filth — that rival what is seen in third-world countries — and "lost souls" litter the hour-long report. Residents and small business–owners are "mad" and "embarrassed" at the fact that, in many places, their city, simply put, "looks like s---." And law enforcement personnel are little to no help at all.
One small business–owner describes the police as "a bunch of twinkle-toes ... [who] don't have enough authority." It's virtually unanimous among those fed up with what Seattle has become that law enforcement are not to blame. Frustrated Seattle residents say the police have had their hands tied — or their toes "twinkled" — by the politicians and the courts. They point especially to Seattle's mayor and city council.
At a town hall meeting, seething residents scream at city council members to "enforce the law" and otherwise get tough on the violent and destructive homeless so rampant in Seattle. Using FBI data from 2017, Johnson shows a graphic that displays the number of property crimes for the 20 largest U.S. cities. Easily outpacing all other U.S. cities are Seattle and San Francisco.
Given that liberal politics and policies have turned San Francisco into a literal toilet — where one must consult "poop maps" in order to navigate the streets safely — citizens of Seattle should not be shocked that the Democrats who run their city government are getting similar results in their liberal efforts against crime and filth.
A 61-page report compiled by Scott Lindsey analyzes the criminal activity of 100 "prolific offenders" who regularly threaten Seattle neighborhoods and streets. Johnson interviewed Lindsey for Seattle Is Dying. Lindsey was asked, "Of the 100 that you looked at, what percentage of them were homeless?" The answer: 100 percent. Lindsey is also asked, "What percent showed signs of addiction?" The answer: 100 percent. Yet Seattle mayor Jenny Durkin (D) says, "It is wrong to conflate homelessness with a rise in crime."
Homelessness and crime are "conflated" like disease and homosexuality. And just as is the case with homosexuality, liberals like Jenny Durkin want to tell us "her truth." After all, if you're a liberal, it's not that important to be factually correct. Seattle is run exclusively by politicians like Durkin, and despite the anger of residents over the issues of homelessness, crime, filth, and the like, it doesn't look as if Seattle is going to elect conservatives, or even Republicans, anytime soon.
In fact, there are some recent reports that Seattle is going to continue its leftward march. In January of this year, a headline in The Seattle Times read, "The Seattle City Council may be up for a big shift all right — further to the left." The article notes:
With a wave of retirements, it's true the council is prepped for a major political realignment. But if anything it's even further left.
"Socialists into City Hall!" is how the Seattle chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America sees the opportunity, according to a meeting notice this month for the group[.] ... Already Democratic Socialist members are running vigorous campaigns for two of those empty seats. Community organizer Tammy Morales is the early favorite in Harrell's South End district, as she nearly defeated him in 2015. And Shaun Scott, a Black Lives Matter activist and local writer, is vying for Johnson's seat.
An upcoming meeting will feature Morales, Scott and Seattle's one current elected socialist, Kshama Sawant, talking about how it's they who are really going to take back the city. "Socialists have a different idea of what Seattle should look like," the announcement says.
For an idea of what socialists think Seattle should "look like," visit the Facebook page "Seattle Looks Like S---." For an idea of what socialists think things should look like on a national scale, examine Venezuela.
As Seattle Is Dying notes, the Puget Sound Business Journal estimates that Seattle and outlying areas spend $1 billion annually — a number that is "almost certainly underestimated" — addressing and responding to the homeless situation. Eric Johnson exasperatedly declares, "The more money we throw at the problem, the worse it gets." Yet, almost certainly, the solution to Seattle's homeless crisis, according to Democratic Socialists of America — along with plain ol' Democrats — involves spending even more money.
With his voice full of frustration, Johnson declares that what's happening in Seattle "isn't about dollars, it's about human lives[.] ... How can watching human beings live and die in filth and degradation and madness be right?" It isn't "right," but when dealing with moral issues, those with a liberal worldview cannot be trusted. Thus, they certainly should not be given political power.
As has always been the case, the moral problems that plague the world defy mere political solutions. However, sound politics is certainly part of the solution, and that part of the answer is really rather simple. If Seattle voters truly want to cure to what is killing their once beautiful city, they must stop electing liberals.
Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America.