11 thoughts on “Leaving Portland”

  1. Portland residents are disgruntled too, and they’ve registered their discontent at the ballot box. Ted Wheeler should have lost his bid for reelection in 2020. His approval rating was in the dismal mid-20s, but his opponent

    Was a nutjob.

    The riots were not spontaneous. They were scheduled in advance. No arrested person could plausibly claim, as they could in the spring, that they had no idea things would get out of hand. [Multnomah County District Attorney] Mike Schmidt nevertheless kept dropping charges, and the same individuals showed up night after night in their battle gear.

    Wikipedia: On May 19th [2020], Schmidt beat challenger Ethan Knight, an assistant U.S. Attorney, in the nonpartisan race with 76.6% of the vote.
    But you’ve “registered your discontent at the ballot box.”

    Suburban moderates and rural conservatives take note: Portlanders aren’t as different from you as you think they are.

    Well I think you’re absolute batsh!t crazy, but by all means carry on.

    1. Of course the politicians in charge knew what was going to happen, they helped plan these events. Arrest records show the staff and children of elected officials took part.

      It is all theater. Democrats organize “protests” that turn out Democrats into the streets where they larp battle against a police force controlled by Democrats and anyone arrested gets charges dropped by the Democrat AG.

      People getting arrested is a political act too. It is a badge of honor but it also creates propaganda moments that Democrats use to tighten their grip, recruit, and further their agenda.

      The media doesn’t break the 4th wall because they are participants.

    2. On May 19th [2020]

      The Floyd riots started a week later. Voters can’t be expected to predict the future.

  2. Ted Wheeler, the best Mayor Portland has had in decades.

    In 2008 the city elected Sam Adams, who, shortly after he was elected, admitted to having been romantically involved with an underage boy. Not only did Mr. Adams survive the scandal; criticism of his behavior was routinely branded homophobic and he survived two recall attempts.

    Mr. Adams’s agenda was so environmentally progressive that he approved a city budget that did no major road paving for five years.

    Then there was Mayor Goldschmidt. In 2004 Portland newspapers reported that the state’s integrated land use and transportation planning regulations were being manipulated to award Mr. Goldschmidt’s lobbying clients hundreds of millions of dollars of state contracts.

    Soon after, the Willamette Week newspaper reported that when Mr. Goldschmidt was mayor, he raped his children’s babysitter over the course of three years starting when she was 14. His surprising exit from public life in 1990 was part of a private settlement he’d negotiated with the victim.

  3. “This doesn’t entirely explain Portland’s riots, of course. While impossible to prove, it seems unlikely that the city would have veered as out of control as it did were 2020 not a plague year, with rising angst, surging unemployment, the flourishing of extremist movements that always accompanies pandemics, and the abandonment of the professional class that once commuted downtown every day.”

    A lot has changed since the migrations of the 1800’s and the mish mash of settlers’ cultures hardly explains where Portland is now ideologically and doesn’t account for the influx of people over the last 100 years. The Marxist influence which dominates the city arose over the last forty years and isn’t a form of radical libertarianism nor are skinheads right wing.

    The riots of 2020 weren’t due to the pandemic or professionals not being there to moderate the activists. Many of the people arrested were professionals with well paying prestige jobs. Totten got it right in the opening paragraphs where he noted that Portland turned violent in during the 2016 election.

    These violent Democrat activist groups have a history before Trump though. There is a direct line from the Democrat violence in the 60s and 70s to their eco-fascist violence in the 80s and 90s to the anti-American and anti-Capitalist violence in the late 90s to the election of Obama, where their violent acts morphed yet again.

    Democrats idolize the violence of the past, especially the recent past of the Battle of Seattle. They can’t get into Democrat Valhalla without engaging in political violence, err “direct action”.

    As Marxism in the form of Progressive Fascism has gained more power in the Democrat party the number of groups and the popular support they have from the party has increased. What we are seeing isn’t pandemic cabin fever but the result of decades of militarization of the Democrat party. Wheeler isn’t some kind of moderate, he shares the same ideology as the rioters and so do most of the Democrats who live in Portland. And yes, this means you will have weird things like some hunters advocating for Jim Crow gun laws and restricting the use of public lands.

    TLDR: The reason Portland is the way it is in 2021 is because of the history of the Democrat party and the ideology that controls their party today.

  4. When I read that article a month ago I lost much of the respect I previously had for Mr. Totten. Like him I grew up in Salem and moved to Portland after college. So in this case he is reporting on a place I know well. I lived and worked in downtown and from the office I could see the three blocks of parks in front of the Justice Center where so much of last summer’s riots took place.

    What he seriously gets wrong in this essay are both his timelines and the glory levels of “Portland’s golden age”. His vision of the golden age leaves out all mention of the eco-terrorists of the late 1990’s. Their anarchist dress and actions were a little less bold than the current generation due to a real threat of prosecution if caught. He mentions that “Portland has become the most politically violent city in the United States”, but implies that this is something new. Lefty political violence is nothing new in Portland. The only new parts are the scale and that it is being directed at democrats who aren’t lefty enough. That the homeless crisis was going strong in the early 2000’s under Mayor Vera Katz is another of the timeline misses which plague his narrative.

    His most shocking omission though was any mention of Portland’s population change over the last 20 years. Portland has exploded in size over the last two decades, and most of those people are not from Oregon. Any community can only absorb only so many new folks before it’s culture is overwhelmed. That makes the six paragraphs he spends talking about the history of the pacific northwest fascinating, but completely irrelevant.

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