This conclusion became clear to me in a rather roundabout manner. In 2004, I traveled to Portland, Oregon. It was my first visit to this lovely city, and I spent three wonderful weeks there. But coming from Los Angeles, I was surprised by the relative absence of minorities: you see very few Asians and hardly any Blacks or Hispanics. If you go to the ‘Burbs, forget it – they’re as white as white can be. Here I was in hyper-liberal Portland, the city that almost single-handedly elects Democrats in statewide elections, and it did not appear to be particularly minority-friendly. I thought: How easy it is for these liberals to pass judgment on other Americans when they don’t have to face the issues that the rest of us deal with every day.
This notion hibernated in the back of my mind until I read Thomas Sowell’s recent column, “Blacks and Republicans.” Dr. Sowell described how Blacks had been driven out of San Francisco because of housing prices, and how Blacks are nowhere to be found in the 40 miles of suburbs that stretch from San Francisco down to Silicon Valley. These are some of the richest and most liberal areas in the country.
Portland and San Francisco, two hyper-liberal areas, elect politicians who preach about equality and regularly vote for programs that are aimed at “helping” the poor, but it appears as though they just want to keep the problems and pathologies of poverty away from themselves and their constituents. People are far more likely to responsibly address and resolve challenges when they are actually confronted by them.