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Campaign Hotspot: Why urban violence is more than just democratic anarchy

Why urban violence is more than just democratic anarchy

The first mayor of New York I remember was John Lindsay, who hails from what used to be called the Silk District of Manhattan.

He was also a Republican.

As was, of course, Rudy Giuliani. And Mike Bloomberg was a Republican when he succeeded Rudi.

Richard Riordan was a Republican mayor of Los Angeles. George Voinovich was Republican mayor of Cleveland. Pete Wilson and Roger Hedgecock were Republican mayor of San Diego. Jim McConn was a Republican mayor of Houston.

Biden Banks on the Family Photo in the Battle Over Urban Violence

Nowadays, it’s not so much. With a few exceptions, like Miami, the Democratic Party largely has a lock on the halls of the major city. (And even some Republicans – including Bloomberg and Lindsay – would later become Democrats.)

This phenomenon, driven in part by demographics, is now front and center as President Trump and Joe Biden accuse who bears responsibility for the continuing wave of urban riots.

Trump, who has just visited Kenosha, routinely refers to cities run by Democrats, blaming the ravages of violence on Democratic mayors like Ted Wheeler in Portland, Jenny Durkan in Seattle, and Jacob Fry in Minneapolis. Biden, who goes to Kenosha today, is avoiding talking about these mayors while accusing Trump of using violence for political gain.

Cities bear the brunt of America’s major problems: poverty, substandard schools, guerrilla warfare, drug trafficking, dilapidated infrastructure, and apartheid. Many people have fled to the suburbs in recent decades, leaving behind poor, blacker urban centers that are easy to ignore politically.

This is especially true because many cities automatically vote Democrats in the presidential election, which has pushed Republicans primarily to focus on suburbs and rural areas.

The New York Times has an interesting point of view. “Republicans have pretty much surrendered” about cities, and in Trump’s view, “the rural and suburban problems in America today are national problems – but urban problems are democratic problems.”

The article argues that Democratic mayors are not taking credit for a quarter-century drop in the crime rate (before the recent spike), while Republican county executives are unaffected by a higher death rate from opioids. (Reality check: Bill DiLasio, Eric Garcetti, Laurie Lightfoot, and the rest are patriotic figures who rule the largest populations, while suburban and small-town officials are much less well known.)

The paper cites studies that found that Democratic mayors tend to spend a little more than their Republican counterparts, but there is no significant difference in outcome.

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The Times has a valid point that those who run cities are often trapped: “Mayors are restricted in their ability to implement ideological agendas. Cities cannot suffer from deficits. States limit their power to raise taxes and enact laws on many issues. Cities to the federal government’s power to shape labor laws or immigration policies that could affect their population growth.

Pointing the finger of accusation between mayors and mayors is nothing new in American politics. After Hurricane Katrina, liberals blamed George W. Bush for the disaster, and conservatives praised the New Orleans Democratic Mayor and Louisiana Democratic governor. Trump last year described Baltimore as a “disgusting mess full of mice and rodents” when he was feuding with a congressman from the city.

The reality today is that mayors, regardless of their limited powers, bear primary responsibility for keeping their streets safe. If their police departments are crowded, they can seek help from the National Guard or other federal assistance – although that is increasingly intertwined with politics.

When New York and Washington were struck on September 11, no one said this was a problem for those cities. It was an attack on the United States. Urban problems are really American problems, and once the elections are over, Republicans and Democrats have a responsibility to help those who live there.

As was, of course, Rudy Giuliani. And Mike Bloomberg was a Republican when he succeeded Rudi.

Richard Riordan was a Republican mayor of Los Angeles. George Voinovich was Republican mayor of Cleveland. Pete Wilson and Roger Hedgecock were Republican mayor of San Diego. Jim McConn was a Republican mayor of Houston.

Biden Banks on the Family Photo in the Battle Over Urban Violence

Nowadays, it’s not so much. With a few exceptions, like Miami, the Democratic Party largely has a lock on the halls of the major city. (And even some Republicans – including Bloomberg and Lindsay – would later become Democrats.)

This phenomenon, driven in part by demographics, is now front and center as President Trump and Joe Biden accuse who bears responsibility for the continuing wave of urban riots.

Trump, who has just visited Kenosha, routinely refers to cities run by Democrats, blaming the ravages of violence on Democratic mayors like Ted Wheeler in Portland, Jenny Durkan in Seattle, and Jacob Fry in Minneapolis. Biden, who goes to Kenosha today, is avoiding talking about these mayors while accusing Trump of using violence for political gain.

Cities bear the brunt of America’s major problems: poverty, substandard schools, guerrilla warfare, drug trafficking, dilapidated infrastructure, and apartheid. Many people have fled to the suburbs in recent decades, leaving behind poor, blacker urban centers that are easy to ignore politically.

This is especially true because many cities automatically vote Democrats in the presidential election, which has pushed Republicans primarily to focus on suburbs and rural areas.

The New York Times has an interesting point of view. “Republicans have pretty much surrendered” about cities, and in Trump’s view, “the rural and suburban problems in America today are national problems – but urban problems are democratic problems.”

The article argues that Democratic mayors are not taking credit for a quarter-century drop in the crime rate (before the recent spike), while Republican county executives are unaffected by a higher death rate from opioids. (Reality check: Bill DiLasio, Eric Garcetti, Laurie Lightfoot, and the rest are patriotic figures who rule the largest populations, while suburban and small-town officials are much less well known.)

The paper cites studies that found that Democratic mayors tend to spend a little more than their Republican counterparts, but there is no significant difference in outcome.

SUBSCRIBE TO HOWIE’s MEDIA BUZZMETER PODCAST, RIFF OF THE DAY’S STORE STORIES

https://omny.fm/shows/media-buzzmeter/kenosha-fallout-trump-dems-duking-it-out-over-urba

The Times has a valid point that those who run cities are often trapped: “Mayors are restricted in their ability to implement ideological agendas. Cities cannot suffer from deficits. States limit their power to raise taxes and enact laws on many issues. Cities to the federal government’s power to shape labor laws or immigration policies that could affect their population growth.

Pointing the finger of accusation between mayors and mayors is nothing new in American politics. After Hurricane Katrina, liberals blamed George W. Bush for the disaster, and conservatives praised the New Orleans Democratic Mayor and Louisiana Democratic governor. Trump last year described Baltimore as a “disgusting mess full of mice and rodents” when he was feuding with a congressman from the city.

The reality today is that mayors, regardless of their limited powers, bear primary responsibility for keeping their streets safe. If their police departments are crowded, they can seek help from the National Guard or other federal assistance – although that is increasingly intertwined with politics.

When New York and Washington were struck on September 11, no one said this was a problem for those cities. It was an attack on the United States. Urban problems are really American problems, and once the elections are over, Republicans and Democrats have a responsibility to help those who live there.

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