Of all the cities that have seen a sharp decline over the last several years, perhaps none has experienced a more visible downfall than Portland, OR. The once safe and thriving city has been reduced to high murder rates, Antifa controlling the streets, and a public living in fear. And in the midst of it of all, one man bears the lion’s share of the blame: Mayor Ted Wheeler.
The Democrat has purposely let his city decay by heeding calls to defund the police. Meanwhile, far-left activists of all stripes rule the streets and terrorize residents. That has resulted in high costs for business owners, with one recent rampage by anarchists causing half a million dollars in damage. And for what, exactly?
…a violent mob of about 100 “anarchists” began running wild through the city, vandalizing walls, smashing windows, and setting fires at around 10 pm last Tuesday night. This resulted in $500,000 worth of damage. Despite the overwhelming chaos, police report that they could only stand by and watch as their city fell to rioters as new laws tied their hands and prevented them from acting.
That happened largely because Portland’s city government, chock full of brilliant strategists, passed a law that limited the ability of the police to disperse people participating in riotous behavior.
But perhaps the aftermath of this latest attack has produced some semblance of sanity? Wheeler has announced that he wants to re-fund the police, hiring 300 more officers. That program would include rehiring officers who have left the force over the last year, an admission that previous policies have failed.
This will start with a proposal to City Council for a retire-rehire program so that we can get officers on the street that are trained and ready to fill shifts immediately.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) October 30, 2021
That’s quite the turnaround for Wheeler. You may recall that this is the same guy who voted to disband the city’s gun violence reduction team last year in the wake of the George Floyd riots. You know, because what a city really needs is less policing of murderers and attempted murderers. Since then, Portland has paid the price, with a murder rate increase of over 80% last year alone.
Still, the move to hire more police can only be seen as a good thing. Given the makeup of the city council, though, I wish Wheeler all the luck in the world because he’s going to need it. I see no evidence the loony members that sit on the council will green-light an initiative to spend millions of dollars on more officers. Given that, until voters in Portland actually wake up enough to enact change at the ballot box, they will continue to be run by radicals who do not care about the well-being of the city’s residents.
Antifa and the other far-left groups terrorizing the city are not going to back down without a fight. You can’t reason with these people. Only a zero-tolerance policy against rioting and violence will produce the necessary deterrent. Hiring more police may be a good start, but things won’t get better until those police are actually allowed to enforce the law.