Tucker Carlson: America's Cities Are Collapsing Before Our Eyes | Video | RealClearPolitics

Tucker Carlson: America's Cities Are Collapsing Before Our Eyes


In his opening monologue on Thursday night, FOX News host Tucker Carlson said the nation's leaders don't care about our real problems as America's cities are collapsing before our eyes.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Ever notice how the people who run our country seem so fervently concerned about problems that are utterly irrelevant to your life? If you’re like most Americans, you’re wondering how to pay your credit card bill, or afford your kids’ student loans. You’re trying to keep your family together in a society that’s spinning apart. You’d like to watch college football next month. Those are the problems that most people worry about. But not our leaders. 

In their world, a 16-minute phone call that Donald Trump once had with the Ukrainian president is a national crisis; it deserves five full months of forensic rolling news coverage. To them, a handful of weird Russian Facebook memes qualifies as a dire emergency, more threatening than the Cuban missile crisis. And when someone accidentally mispronounces the name of Willie Brown’s ex-girlfriend, they’re so distraught, they devote entire TV segments to the crime. They have very different priorities from yours. 

Given this, it shouldn’t surprise you that these same people missed one of the most important developments in the past thirty years in America. It had nothing to do with Russia, Iran or Donald Trump, so they barely noticed. But you probably did: America’s cities collapsed. Buildings burned. Law enforcement vanished. Criminal mobs rampaged unchallenged, stealing things and hurting people. Drug-addicted vagrants took over the streets, parks and public transportation. Anyone who could leave urban America, did. This happened around the country. In New York alone, many hundreds of thousands of people — possibly a million people — fled the city. Essentially the entire tax base of America’s largest metro area, disappeared in just a few months. Our political class said barely a word. 

Bizarre doesn’t behind to describe the experience. Imagine you’re watching game three of the World Series, and a spaceship lands on the pitcher’s mound in Yankee stadium. You flip to CNN for live coverage, but CNN has decided not to cover it. They don’t think it’s a story. That’s what it’s like. You start to imagine you’re going crazy. Then you see the numbers and you realize that — no — it’s all entirely real. New York City is now moving toward historic apartment vacancy rates. San Francisco long had a famously overheated real estate market. Now the city is facing a 50 percent increase in residential vacancies. People are running away. Moving companies say they can’t keep up with demand. There’s no mystery why this is happening. Here’s a recent local news story from New York:

WNYW-TV REPORTER: first came the pandemic and hundreds of thousands of new yorkers reportedly left the city temporarily. Now, even more are fleeing… this time permanently. Saying they don’t feel safe here anymore... Hairstylist Jodi Usher says she was harassed twice on her commute so she moved her family to Florida... others are following amid spikes in gun violence. Shootings up 177% this July compared to last July. Then public displays of junkies shooting up in midtown. People who work in the area say they called police but their calls went unanswered.

Calls to the cops go quote, "unanswered." That’s what happens when you slash a billion dollars from the police budget. Crime skyrockets. Many of those crimes go unreported, both because there’s nobody to call, and because suddenly there’s immense social pressure not to get the police involved, no matter how horrible the offense is. We spoke to someone just yesterday whose disabled son was assaulted in a New York City park in the middle of the day. A group of young men came up from behind and knocked him to the ground. They didn’t like the way he looked. The thugs videotaped the whole thing, daring his mother to say something. They wanted to put her on the internet and accuse her of bigotry. When the mother told her college-educated neighbors about what had happened, they made excuses for the criminals: “Oh, they’re poor. No wonder they’re frustrated.” 

This is insane, and totally wrong. Poverty doesn’t cause violence. Being poor doesn’t make you evil. There is never an excuse for assaulting disabled kids. Only a certain sort of professional-class liberal believes otherwise. Unfortunately they’re now in charge. That’s why New York City just converted hotels on Upper West Side of Manhattan into homeless shelters. Suddenly there are junkies and convicted rapists all over the neighborhood. Kids can’t go to the playground. Old ladies are afraid to go outside. No one in charge cares:

REPORTER: It's move in day on the upper west side... Where 300 men are taking up residence at the Lucerne hotel ... After living in shelters downtown... The Lucerne, one of three hotels on the Upper West Side -- contracted with the city, to house New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. The other-- is the Belleclaire…where hundreds will live indefinitely...

One look at the state sex offender registry shows at least 13 offenders are living at the Belleclaire. Six have been labeled sexually violent. At least three have served time for crimes against children. And at least one is a level three offender-- the highest designation possible. The Belleclaire is about a block and a half from a playground and a handful of primary schools.

This is why people are fleeing the city. Retail is leaving too. It’s hard to run a business when vagrants are using your lobby as a toilet. Companies like the Gap and Victoria's Secret are keeping their Manhattan locations shuttered, even as they reopen in other states. An executive who runs some of Manhattan's biggest restaurants, a man called Michael Weinstein, recently summed it up this way: "There’s no reason to do business in New York," he said. Just months ago, Weinstein ran one of the highest-grossing restaurants in the United States. Now, he can't get out fast enough. He’s advising others to do the same. 

Bill De Blasio is supposed to care about this. He’s the mayor of New York. But he doesn’t care. Not even a little bit. Watch him physically turn his back on a small business owner who complains that he can't feed his family. DeBlasio doesn't even listen to the man finish his sentence:

MOCK: We've been taking a hit since January. We lost our Chinese New Year, our busiest day of our community... We need help. We need more confidence. Our merchants need more confidence.

In fairness, De Blasio may have been more stoned than usual. It’s possible he didn’t hear a word the man said. Typically, DeBlasio responds to complaints about his mismanagement by blaming unseen saboteurs. It turns out that Republicans are so powerful — so sneaky, so diabolical, so tricky and relentless — that they’re able to control events in a city that has no Republican office holders. Pretty amazing. Watch him explain:

De Blasio: “The sad reality is no one has done more to set back New York City than Donald Trump because he failed New York City and he failed America with his handling of the coronavirus. If we had presidential leadership we wouldn't be in the mess we are in right now.  So yeah New York City is dealing with some tough times, but guess what a former New Yorker helped bring it to us by failing to address the crisis staring us in the face.

DeBlasio isn’t even trying to tell compelling lies any more. He’s just reading slogans off of cue cards, and thinking about dinner. But we don't mean to single him out. There are suddenly little Bill De Blasios across the country. In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot just got a letter from a property management company that represents more than 22,000 homeowners and 38,000 residents in the city. The letter informed her of what you already knew: people don’t feel safe in Chicago anymore. There’s too much looting, too much violence. “Residents across the city are adjusting their daily routines out of fear,” wrote the company’s president, Steven Levy. Quote: “They’re avoiding neighborhood walks after 6:00 pm at night. They don’t stand too close to their windows or dare to enjoy their outdoor balconies or terraces. This is not a way to live, and I can’t fault homeowners when they tell me they’re considering leaving Chicago.” End quote. 

None of those observations are political. They’re obvious. This is called observed reality. Lightfoot doesn’t care. Like DeBlasio, she blames faraway Republicans for the disaster she created. Keep in mind, Chicago hasn't had a Republican mayor since 1931. But in a way, that’s why she’s doing it: there are no Republicans in Chicago to complain when Lightfoot accuses them of causing gang murders. 

It’s all so crazy and stupid. But it’s everywhere. In Minneapolis, leaders seem to be staying up late trying to figure out new ways to wreck their city. Their latest plan is to make it harder for business owners to clean up downtown in the wake of the riots that destroyed it. In order to obtain a quote, "demolition permit," the city is making businesses prepay the second half of their 2020 property taxes. Many can’t afford this. So their burned-out properties will remain standing husks, monuments to BLM. It’s the kind of idea that would never occur to your average immigrant store owner from, say, Pakistan. You’d have to be a deeply entitled postmodern feminist poetry major from Oberlin to think of something like that. But that’s exactly who runs Minneapolis. So now downtown looks like Kosovo:


ABRAHAM: We have, as you see, debris but the insurance company has a cap as to how much they’ll contribute to it. So the city came in and put a fence around the business and they’ve sent us a bill for $3,700. They tell us they don’t have any resources. So the city that you’re paying taxes to, the city you’re supporting, the community you’re helping, is sending you a bill? You’re being punished? Enough is enough guys.

This kind of insanity is happening everywhere, even in small, pretty cities, like Bend, Oregon. In Bend, local officials allowed hundreds of protesters to trap ICE officers who were transporting violent criminals. The standoff that resulted stretched on for hours, until federal reinforcements arrived. Watch:


Bend, Oregon is a great place. If this continues, it won’t be. Normal people will leave. So who’s dong this to our cities? Strictly speaking, you know the answer: it’s BLM and Antifa -- crazed ideologues, grifters, criminals, antisocial thugs with no stake in society and nothing better to do than hurt people and destroy things. Every country has people like that. America always has. What's different is that the destroyers now have the full support of our professional class. The Democratic Party coddles the mob. Our elites fund the Democratic Party. That’s how it works. Consider the campaign finance numbers from the most recent election cycle:  Of political donations by Netflix employees, virtually all — more than 99 percent — went to Democrats and left-wing candidates. At the social media company Twitter, ninety-eight percent of donations went to Democrats. That’s a higher rate of partisanship than you’d find among Harvard professors. By the way, that’s true at Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, too. 

America’s cities didn’t collapse by accident. Sociopathic children may have burned Wendy’s and looted the Gucci store. But rich adults paid for it all. Find a prosecutor who refuses to keep violent criminals in jail, and the chances are that George Soros put him there. 

But why? What are they doing this? It’s becoming obvious. The middle class voted for Donald Trump. Our leaders have decided to punish them for it. Never in history have our  elites been this reckless and angry. The entire subscriber base of the New York Times has been seized by a frenzy of destructive rage. They’re throwing plates around America’s kitchen, beating the dog and smashing the windows. At some point, they’re going to wake up from this bender, and realize that they’ve destroyed their own home. Their first instinct will to leave, to split for St. Barth’s. We shouldn’t let them. We ought to seize their passports now. They did this. They should have to live with the consequences.   
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