Once-beautiful Denver succumbed to vagrant enablement a few years ago. It was a pathetic attempt not to be outdone by Seattle and Portland – which have long sought not to be outdone by San Francisco. To be a great city, the thinking apparently goes, you have to be a filthy one.
And so filthy vagrants overran downtown Denver and hip “LoDo” where they now camp on the sidewalks, poop in the gutters, shoot-up in the streets and assault passersby.
The city is finally sweeping them, a little, in anticipation of its hosting of the baseball All-Star Game next month. Aware that the town will be on national TV, so far this year Denver has conducted as many vagrant camp sweeps as all of last year. The tent city is finally gone from the downtown jewel across from the state capitol building, Civic Center Park. The chain link fencing surrounding the capitol itself has finally been taken down, and vagrants are prohibited from camping there.
But they still befoul the residential/retail neighborhood that is trying to emerge just east of downtown. And they’re still stinking up the sidewalks just two blocks from Coors Field where the All-Star Game will be played. Maybe by the time of the game, the vagrants will be swept from there as well. We can only hope.
Give Denver a little credit for its belated cleanup. In doing so, they’re risking their growing reputation as a big city every bit as incompetent and incontinent as the others. A little more of this, and people might start calling Denver a cowtown again. (They do still parade livestock down the main downtown business street when the Stock Show comes to town. We like to imagine it’s a little like Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls. It’s Denver’s running of the cows.)
It’s reasonable to ask where the vagrants go when Denver cops order them to leave. The lefty enablers who control City Council suggest that the vagrants have nowhere to go other than their camps, and that to eliminate their camps is to eliminate their lives.
But in truth, the sweeps have not cost any lives. Not one.
That’s because the vagrants actually have plenty of places to go. The obvious place is the shelters, which are typically unfilled in the summer and much of the winter as well. They also go to the less-conspicuous places that they used to go before the lefties enticed them onto the streets and sidewalks for the purpose of illustrating the lefties’ virtue and America’s wickedness.
The reason the vagrants don’t use the shelters and inconspicuous places all the time is that inconspicuousness is exactly what they don’t want. These people have nothing to live for. No job, no friends, no ambitions, no religion, no cares. But like the rest of humanity, they have needs. Apart from the need for food, their most basic need is for a little lovin’.
Most can’t get any lovin’. So, like any other immature and irresponsible non-adults and pseudo-adults, they seek the next best thing: attention. For their daily attention fix, they camp on the sidewalk, poop in the gutters, shoot-up in the streets and accost passersby.
That’s why they’re there, and that’s where they’ll stay for as long as we allow them to. The reason they’re in your face making a filthy spectacle of themselves is not despite the fact that it’s annoying. It’s because of it.
Let’s hope the city/town learns from its All-Star Game sweeps. This place can be beautiful again.
Postscript: The last time Denver had a Republican mayor was 43 years ago.