Pin It
Favorite

The Great Urban Divide 

Publisher's Note

"America's cities are becoming laboratories for progressive policies." So states the recent Spokane County Republican Party video, "The Tyranny of Good Intentions," and as you might have guessed, that's not viewed as a good thing. "We," the folksy narrator continues, "need to turn our attention to the city of Spokane."

click to enlarge mcgregor.jpg

That's right, City of Spokane: Despite requiring officeholders to be nonpartisan, the GOP is coming.

The video has a pleasant vibe — it stays away from sticky social issues and endorses a business-first, freedom-loving platform. Heck, the national party would do well to take a look. And I'm not bothered by them wanting to take on incumbents; our leaders should have to defend their ideas.

But I thought I'd point out a few things about cities "becoming laboratories for progressive policies." For starters, it's nothing new. Cities are places where the talking points that power the D.C. GOP don't cut it. City-dwellers want their problems solved, and, voters seem to be saying, progressive ideas are working better.

Consider Salt Lake City, the biggest city in the nation's most conservative state. Mayor Ralph Becker, a Democrat, won by 50 points even though he champions both non-discrimination laws and gay marriage. Boise Mayor David Bieter? A progressive and early supporter of Barack Obama. How about the 2012 presidential election? Texas is pretty conservative, but Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio all voted for Obama. The only four major cities to vote for Mitt Romney were Phoenix (barely), Oklahoma City, Fort Worth and Salt Lake City.

Here's a little secret: The split in America is not so much between red states and blue states. The real split is between urban and rural America. In rural places, those feel-good, anti-government talking points rally the troops, but in a city, leaders have to deliver actual quality-of-life results. Urban Americans are often willing to spend a little public money or change policy if it looks like it will bring progress.

Which leads to the STA's request for additional funding to meet our region's needs. (For the record, I'm voting for it.) In its recent recommendation against, the same Spokane GOP said, essentially, that it's all for public transportation, but not, you know, if it costs anything more. Maybe a Bus Fairy could fly in and pay for our public transit?

So, Spokane County Republican Party, it's great that you want to get more involved in city politics. But don't buy the vision of Spokane as a laboratory filled with dark experiments in big government. As in most urban places, it's just a bunch of citizens doing their best to make their city a happy home. ♦

  • Pin It

Speaking of Comment, Publisher's Note

  • Not Backing Down
  • Not Backing Down

    The Trump administration's regressive policies won't outweigh the progressive values embodied by our city and state
    • Jan 5, 2017
  • The Road to 2027
  • The Road to 2027

    A closer look at Spokane's entrepreneurial needs
    • Jan 5, 2017
  • Thanks, Obama
  • Thanks, Obama

    The legacy of the 44th President goes far beyond the election of the 45th
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • More »

Latest in Comment

  • The Landed and the White
  • The Landed and the White

    How Americans followed tradition when they voted for Trump
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • Do Something!
  • Do Something!

    Writers Resist, MLK Day activities and more ways to engage with your community
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • On the Street
  • On the Street

    Will you tip differently because of the minimum wage increase?
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More »

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Illusio: Tour of Illusion

Illusio: Tour of Illusion @ Bing Crosby Theater

Fri., Jan. 20, 7-8:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Ted S. McGregor Jr.

  • Fake-News Nightmare
  • Fake-News Nightmare

    The social media dream of the 2000s is fading, but we can reset the system by sticking up for the truth
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • BOOKS
  • BOOKS

    From Twin Peaks to the darkest reaches of our galaxy, there's a new book for everyone on your list
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Trump wins: America's great state of disconnect
  • Trump wins: America's great state of disconnect

    • Nov 9, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • One Free Shave

    Donald Trump might have merited a honeymoon with voters had he managed his transition better
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • Thanks, Obama

    The legacy of the 44th President goes far beyond the election of the 45th
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

scandal


scandals


Comment


Briefs


green zone


Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • Do The Right Thing
  • Do The Right Thing

    Washington state needs to ban the damaging, destructive pseudoscience of gay conversion therapy
    • Jun 3, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation