Back when I was a young Boeing engineer Seattle was a modest place with (apologies to Winston Churchill) much to be modest about. They were always comparing themselves with the real city to the south, San Francisco. Seattleites knew they were more wet than cool.
So in a classic case of psychosexual compensation, Seattleites did the equivalent of buying the city a Porsche. They built a big phallus called the “Space Needle.”
Ever since, everything Seattle does is designed to show San Francisco and the world that Seattle is big.
I’d like to say this is a tale of two cities, but it’s a tale of many. To the progressives who run big cities (and bigly towns too, like my town of Aspen) the word “big” is synonymous with progressive. Many American cities are headed down the same decivilizing progressive dead end as Seattle.
I can hear you. You’re thinking that Seattle now has Amazon, which will sell you anything so long as you don’t care how it smells or tastes.
And they have Starbucks, which will sell you any flavor of coffee except coffee-flavored so long as you don’t care how that smells or tastes either. That’s after you wait in line for a woman behind the counter with a tattoo to make foo-foo coffee for six people in front of you with nose rings and strange hair.
But Seattle’s insecurity is still there nonetheless ans so is their compensating progressivism. To wit:
Many homeless people over time made their home in San Francisco. I hope it’s not yet politically incorrect to observe that homeless people don’t have houses. They defecate and sleep where they can.
Naturally, Seattleites were envious. So they recruited homeless people. A lot.
They spent a billion dollars over 10 years to attract them. They put up 6,000 units of taxpayer-subsidized housing and homeless shelters — instant slums. They’re opening a “heroin park” for addicts to shoot up legally with illegal drugs.
They recently passed a law prohibiting landlords from running background or even credit checks on prospective tenants. They think this law will result in more tenants, though any economist will tell you it will result in fewer landlords — with fewer tenants.
Word spread that Seattle is a big easy. Homeless people came from everywhere and made Seattle their home away from homelessness. Over 3,000 are wandering the streets, shooting up and using people’s yards as toilets. Travel guides warn visitors not to go out alone at night because the panhandlers can be not only progressive but aggressive.
San Francisco now has nothing on Seattle in the homeless department. Seattleites must be bursting with civic pride, along with heroin overdoses, syphilis and crime.
They had to use hoses to disperse the human feces from the sidewalks and into Puget Sound, but they stopped doing that when a city councilman objected that dispersing feces with hoses in 2017 was reminiscent of dispersing civil rights protestors with hoses in the ’60s. (Doesn’t his analogy equate civil rights protestors with feces?)
The president will soon, allegedly, call this place that entices people to come and defecate on the sidewalks and then refuses to wash it off “a s___walk city.” For that, and for not being a progressive, the progressives will call him a racist.
Then there are the immigrants. Seattle has long been a destination for immigrants. They typically were legal ones.
In progressivism, however, legal immigrants don’t count as immigrants because they usually learn English and often embrace capitalism — two things that progs hate.
To the progs, only illegal immigrants count. The paucity of proper illegal immigrants was embarrassing to Seattleites.
But what to do? The northwest corner of the country is not exactly the first stop for most illegal immigrants. Seattle found itself unfairly disadvantaged in attracting illegality.
Seattleites came together to solve this problem. They made their town a “sanctuary city” where illegal immigrants can enjoy their illegality — nay, where they can be celebrated for it.
If you build a sanctuary city, those in need of it will come. And they have.
Seattle’s progressive politicians are predictable. Of course, they signaled their virtue by changing Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day. And they slapped a big tax on soda and Gatorade which increased prices 65 to 75 percent. Much of the proceeds of the tax are slated for administering it.
The city council includes diverse political beliefs ranging all the way from eight lefty Democrats to one avowed socialist. The Democrat mayor dropped his re-election bid last summer after multiple allegations that he had sexually abused his foster son and other boys in his care.
Since background checks on tenants are now illegal, at least he can be confident of finding a place to rent. Probably one subsidized by taxpayers. Maybe one near an orphanage.
Meanwhile, Boeing has moved its headquarters and many of its manufacturing plants out-of-state. Amazon is planning a “second” headquarters out-of-state, which will of course quickly become its only headquarters.
People with a brain soon won’t be sleepless in cities like Seattle. They’ll get woke, and they’ll be gone. Will your city be next?
(Published Jan. 21, 2018 in the Aspen Times at https://www.aspentimes.com/opinion/glenn-k-beaton-good-reasons-to-be-sleepless-in-seattle/)