Virtue Signaling Denver Mayor Unhappy that He’s Getting What He Asked for

Virtue signaling is a current pastime of Democrats and the left. The Cambridge Dictionary defines it,

Virtue signaling is the popular modern habit of indicating that one has virtue merely by expressing disgust or favor for certain political ideas or cultural happenings.

Climate warriors signal their virtue about global warming. For example, those screeching loudest over rising sea levels, including Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and John Kerry, own waterfront homes that will be underwater should their predictions materialize, but which they seem to know won’t happen.

Others like King Charles and Al Gore jet across the globe to attend climate conferences, oblivious to their own carbon footprints.

Immigration is another topic of virtue signaling. Many Democrat chief executives declare their city or state jurisdictions as sanctuaries, theoretically rolling out the red carpet to illegal immigrants. At least until the immigrants show up on their doorstep, at which time the Democrats quickly change their tunes, closing their doors to migrants or quickly sending them to someone else’s back yard.

Governor Ron DeSantis gave Martha’s Vineyard a chance to live up its self-proclaimed sanctuary status by sending 48 migrants their way, only to have residents and officials immediately turn into MAGA racists by shipping the migrants far from their self-proclaimed virtuous sanctuary island.

Closer to my home in Denver, similar hypocrisy was on display when the city got exactly what it asked for, and like the dog chasing and catching the car, discovered that they didn’t know what to do once they got what they wanted.

Denver recently received in influx of migrants, much to the consternation of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. As reported by the Denver Post, “The migrants and asylum seekers were coming either on their own or at the encouragement of nonprofit organizations at the border that have provided recommendations for places they can go without advanced notice.”

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As an aside, these migrants not too long ago were called “illegal aliens”. Bill Clinton was not a racist or xenophobe when common sense was still in fashion in America, and he used that term as an accurate descriptor. Now they are described as “undocumented migrants”, and they are arriving in Denver by the hundreds. It’s so bad in Denver that Mayor Hancock issued an emergency declaration since these recent arrivals have placed, “Immense strain on city recourses to the level where they’re on the verge of reaching a breaking point at this time.”

Of course, they are a strain, just as a bunch of permanent houseguests would be to most homeowners. But that pesky reality was irrelevant to the virtue signaling mayor and other local elected officials when they only had to talk the talk but not walk the walk.

With the recent bitter cold weather it has gotten so bad that the Denver Post headlined, “Denver stretched to ‘breaking point’ amid migrant crisis and brutal cold snap, mayor warns.” This is undoubtedly true but is this not what the mayor once asked for?

Denver is a proud sanctuary city, “In 2017, the Denver City Council codified Denver’s status as a sanctuary city with an ordinance that prohibits city employees from collecting information on immigration or citizenship status, or prohibits the sharing of any other information about individuals for purposes of immigration enforcement.”

Mayor Hancock didn’t like the “sanctuary city” term but supported the concept, “If being a sanctuary city means that we value taking care of one another, and welcoming refugees and immigrants, then I welcome the title.” Why isn’t he welcoming these migrants now in the spirit of Christmas?

Colorado Governor Jared Polis also rolled out the welcome mat. Last year, “In a letter to the President Joe Biden, Gov. Jared Polis says Colorado is ready to help refugees and immigrants from Afghanistan resettle.” If Colorado welcomes Afghanis, then why not migrants from Central America and elsewhere?

Former Denver Mayor and Colorado Governor, now Senator John Hickenlooper concurs, “Denver will welcome these migrants with open arms and help any way they can. We will be empathetic to people put in a difficult situation.” Given that he spends much of his time in Washington, DC, a thousand migrants in Denver are not his problem. He probably won’t be inviting any to stay in his home.

Neither will another pro open borders virtue signaler, “Busloads of migrants were dropped over Christmas weekend near Vice President Kamala Harris' residence in Washington amid freezing temperatures, having traveled from the southwest border in Texas.”

Texas is being overwhelmed with migrants, and is sharing the burden with Washington, DC, Denver, and other sanctuary cities. As CBS News acknowledges, “Even El Paso has been tested by the unprecedented situation along the U.S. southern border, where migrants have been arriving in greater numbers and from more countries than ever recorded.”

The Denver Post agrees, “A refugee crisis has arrived in Denver.” And recommends, “They should be dispersed across America to cities that are ready and willing to provide the resources needed for them to get on their feet.” But in the NIMBY spirit embraced by most liberals, they screech “not in my back yard”.

Remember when a few other open borders virtue signalers killed the Cape Cod wind farm project because, “It would also have spoiled the view from the Kennedy family’s estate and that of the Democratic family's billionaire neighbor, William Koch, owner of a nearby 26-acre estate.” Classic virtue signaling NIMBY.

Denver can barely accommodate its homeless population, a related issue, and now they have a thousand more people to feed and shelter. The homeless are now euphemistically referred to as “urban campers” by the Denver Post, much as illegal aliens are now “undocumented migrants”. Perhaps Democrat voters in Boulder or Cherry Creek can open their homes to migrants and urban campers in the spirit of “open arms” as Hickenlooper suggests.

How ironic that Denver is getting exactly what it wanted and voted for but is now complaining and wanting American taxpayers to pay the bill for their  cost-free virtue signaling. Be careful what you ask for as you might get it.

Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a physician and writer.

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