Republican Market Opportunity: The Cities

 

The best way to revive a sagging company is to look for new market opportunities and seize them. Which is why the Republican party needs to take on the cities.   We’ve all enjoyed daydreaming about John Yoo, Mayor of Oakland — I wish he’d get the hint and really run for the office — but the larger point is: cities are where the people are; cities are where our people (Asian and Hispanic business types) are; cities are where liberalism has not only failed, but failed specularly and with tragic human cost.  

What would revitalize Detroit?  Only one thing: conservative philosophy.

And the market is there.  For one thing, in the cage-match-to-the-death between public sector unions and Democratic mayors, someone is going to go down.  From Reason:

The [Chicago teacher’s] strike’s lasting damage was to the party that since at least the early 20th century has been labor’s best friend. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not just some schmuck in the donkey party: He is President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, the congressional leader behind the Democrats’ 2006 House takeover, a Clinton administration arm twister so feared that he is still known by his ’90s nickname, Rahmbo. 

But the strike made Chicago’s tough-guy mayor look like Chuck “Bayonne Bleeder” Wepner. Striking teachers dubbed him “Empermanuel,” accused him of having “no respect for us as people,” and even claimed (falsely, it turned out) that Emanuel was a fan of the Canadian alt-rock quartet Nickelback. When the teachers returned to work after more than a week on the picket line, they had scored a big pay increase and crippled the teacher-evaluation testing at the heart of the strike, a resolution Emanuel unconvincingly called an “honest compromise.”

And it’s happening in Los Angeles, too, under the hapless public union court eunuch Antonio Villaraigosa:

After years of dire and deteriorating finances (L.A.’s budget hasn’t been balanced for four years), the mayor allows government employee unions to carry out their tactic of ensuring that any slowdown in the rate of spending increases is immediately visible to Angelenos in the form of cuts to services. Villaraigosa, whose city manager calls for taxes on real estate sales, entertainment, petroleum extraction, and parking lot revenues, seems to believe voters will respond to office-hour reductions and crossing guard–free intersections by demanding tax hikes. 

Never interrupt an enemy in the process of destroying itself:

Rather than offering concessions to Emanuel, Villaraigosa, and other cash-strapped executives, unions have decided to go down swinging. They may be right to see compromise as death. But make no mistake: Laborgeddon is upon us, and it will have long-term consequences for the Democrats.

As Godzilla and Mothra attack each other, there’s going to be a lot of extra energy out there for a second look at conservative policies.

We should be ready to fight.  We’ve given up the cities for too long.

Published in General
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 41 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Profile Photo Member
    @JoALT
    Matthew K. Tabor: Hate admitting it, but the environmentalist movement — in 2012, there’s not a close second. 

    First I agree with Rob (while being completely astounded by his positive energy), strike while the iron is hot. This is the time Team Obama is gloating and resting. Move in as quickly as possible, at least with the top set of objectives first. Secondly, Matthew is absolutely right, the inner cities embrace environmentalism. Simply because it improves their surrounding. Quite understandable. Having worked very closely with a few environmentalists and a  liberal outdoor classroom teacher at my children’s school, I find there are common grounds to maneuver if the partner on the other side is sincere. They know I don’t believe in recycling, that does not mean I don’t believe in keeping the environment clean, they know I love mini farming and creating play things out of nature. We work together. There are shades of environmentalists, we can work with the pragmatic ones. And in the course of working together, educate them basic economics. 

    • #31
  2. Profile Photo Member
    @JoALT

    I also would like to propose the model of the providence house. It is our favorite local charity located in the inner city. They laser focus on breaking the cycle of homelessness by helping families gain the resources necessary to move permanently to independent living. It is an amazing set up. Honestly, whenever I visit and make our donation, even I feel like living there. It is a place of true support and friendship. It is heartwarming to read the success stories of those eventually broke free from their poverty cycle. If the republican party is really about goodwill and compassion, let’s show it. 

    • #32
  3. Profile Photo Inactive
    @SchrodingersCat

    Before one can revive a city in decline, it has to hit bottom and the residents have to realize they have hit bottom.

    I live near Detroit and while the city is near the bottom, the residents still haven’t been willing to accept that they cannot revive the city without outside help. The city council just voted down a requirement to obtain funding from the state, even though the city will run out of cash by year end.

    Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.

    • #33
  4. Profile Photo Inactive
    @BlueAnt

    EconTalk recently did a podcast on the geography of voting.  The short version is that mere residential density is enough to create conditions that leftists and Democrats (but I repeat myself!) thrive in politically.

    There is fascinating possibility implied, that the solution may be to physically break up the footprint of cities.  When urban renewal comes around, the tendency is to re-build buildings along the exact outlines of the old, which perpetuates the voting patterns of the residents.  If conservatives want a “sneaky” way to change the way cities vote, they could start by changing the physical structure of the cities over time through a series of development projects.

    The benefit is that it completely side-steps the distortion that mainstream media would apply to any city-friendly outreach message. The downside is that it involves billions of dollars in development projects decentralized across many companies, which the Republicans can not claim direct credit for once the residents start feeling its benefits.

    • #34
  5. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Layla
    Matthew K. Tabor: They’ve taken a scientific issue and made it into a moral issue with outrageous success — you’re a good person if you recycle everything or oppose fracking, you’re a bad, selfish, uncaring person if you don’t.

    36 minutes ago

    You’re absolutely right about the wildly successful environmental movement, although I’d say that this is a subset of the broader accepted narrative: Even when they’re wrong, liberals mean well, whereas even when they’re right, conservatives are mean. Until we can deconstruct that broader “truth,” we’re fighting a losing battle.

    On cities: I think that there’s something about city life that sort of feeds the big-government, collectivist mindset. Look at *every* electoral map: It isn’t just low-income folks and/or minorities who vote deep blue. I think that for a variety of reasons, city dwellers tend to be collectivists.

    (I’m a suburban girl born and raised, hypothesizing from almost total ignorance of city life. I could be completely wrong on this point.)

    • #35
  6. Profile Photo Inactive
    @markalesse

    The cities will always be difficult for Republicans because they house masses of people who can’t rise above dependency, near-dependency, wage-slavery, wage-slavery with great benefits and automatic pay hikes (i.e. government jobs), and newspapers who feed these masses a steady diet of intellectual pap. 

    The other day I picked up the Boston Globe and read it with my coffee. It didn’t take longer than that. Here it is the leading newspaper in the leading city in New England (home to more colleges than any other city) and the paper offers only simplistic coverage of the news and outrageous Leftist propaganda on the editorial page. They cover sports with much more effort and comprehensiveness. 

    To the people of Boston, what the Globe says is what they should think. And so it is in one of America’s most educated cities. 

    • #36
  7. Profile Photo Member
    @SwanningintheBeltway

    I like what Rob has to say, enough of this self-flagellation lets be aggressive and start to attack the Democrats where they live.  We have so much to offer the inner cities namely an alternative to the welfare trap that progressivism has those people in.  Encouraging marriage, bringing economic growth back those areas and above all SAVING!  If we can offer a model that has a lower cost of living and encourages saving we can start lifting people out of poverty rather than just continuing the cycle of dependency.

    • #37
  8. Profile Photo Member
    @PaulDeRocco
    Chris Campion: Which gets me back to my typical point:  Liberals/Progressives have zero concept of the economy, and live in a fantasy land where everything would just be great if we agreed with them and gave them more money.  It is infantilism writ very, very large.

    Gee, I was told they’re the “reality based community”.

    • #38
  9. Profile Photo Member
    @SwanningintheBeltway

    I like what Rob has to say, enough of this self-flagellation lets be aggressive and start to attack the Democrats where they live.  We have so much to offer the inner cities namely an alternative to the welfare trap that progressivism has those people in.  Encouraging marriage, bringing economic growth back those areas and above all SAVING!  If we can offer a model that has a lower cost of living and encourages saving we can start lifting people out of poverty rather than just continuing the cycle of dependency.

    • #39
  10. Profile Photo Inactive
    @RobertPromm

    Cities have a “crab bucket” mentality.  Any crab that tries to get out of the bucket is pulled down by the crabs below him in the bucket.  Perfect analogy.

    • #40
  11. Profile Photo Member
    @JoALT
    Robert Promm: Cities have a “crab bucket” mentality.  Any crab that tries to get out of the bucket is pulled down by the crabs below him in the bucket.  Perfect analogy. · 17 minutes ago

    We keep telling ourselves this kind of things i.e.giving up and we will keep losing election. 

    • #41
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.