The political establishment in California has become self-admittedly secessionist in recent months, rebelling specifically against federal immigration policy and more broadly by raising the possibility of leaving a backward and reactionary country that does not share its culture and its politics. The secessionist spirit is spreading on the left and in leftist portions of the country; most recently in Portland, Oregon, where the Democratic mayor, Ted Wheeler, who serves also as police commissioner, refused to use his authority to protect the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency in the southwestern part of his city after it was surrounded and laid siege to by 200 protesters who occupied the site for 38 days after barricading the exits, blocking the driveway, sending guards to watch the doors, and trapping the workers inside. When federal officers asked for help from the city police, they were informed by the Portland Police Bureau’s deputy chief that he was “[a]t this time denying your request for additional resources.” Mayor Wheeler explained why: “I do not want the [Portland Police] to be engaged or sucked into a conflict, particularly from [sic] a federal agency that I believe is on the wrong track. If [ICE] is looking for a bailout from this mayor, they are looking in the wrong place.”
Unlike the procedure at the border by which illegal immigrants were received into the country, questioned by the Border Patrol, and placed in secure holding facilities until their cases could be disposed of, the “demonstration” at ICE and the weeks-long occupation of the site by the “protestors” were not “peaceful” but extremely violent. Absent representatives of local or federal law enforcement to visit its hatred upon, the mob wrote the names of staff members on a wall so that they could be persecuted further, followed one federal worker to the summer camp where his daughter was waiting for him, harassed journalists and photographers, and attacked the landlord’s car when he arrived to inspect his property. When a detachment of federal police that had been brought in from out of state arrived, the “protesters” called a black officer a “traitor” and a “house nigger,” and posted his and other officers’ addresses online. The mayor responded by elaborating his position: “I join those outraged by ICE actions separating parents from their children, and support peaceful protest to give voice to our collective moral conscience.” When a 21-year-old girl sold burritos to the officers, the besiegers threatened her and called her a child deporter. They physically attacked a local amateur photographer, threatened another man with a needle they claimed was infected with the HIV virus, and hoisted aloft a crippled woman in a wheelchair who had complained of the drumming that provided a musical background for the festivities and who afterward called the police. They showed up, but refused to arrest anyone. (This account is drawn from an evocative description of these events by Andy Ngo, writing for the Wall Street Journal, August 4-5.) Mayor Wheeler, whose heart had been so badly bruised by the separation of alien families guilty of having defied a legally recognized international border, evinced no sympathy for the abusive treatment of the American citizens resident within his own jurisdiction, and thus legally entitled to his protection, by 200 violent criminals whose offenses included trespass, bodily assault, and creating a public nuisance in the form of the shithole encampment they left behind them. As for Mayor Ted, his refusal to send his police to the aid of embattled federal workers can plausibly be defined as active resistance to the federal government that, in the context of current events happening on the West Coast, implies his abetment of secesh sympathies.
The Democrats have become the party of the neurotics, the misfits, the maladjusted, the perverted, the freaks, and the aggrieved who despise whatever—and whoever—is healthy, sane, and normal in this country. It was said of Southern California in the 1960’s that the state comprised everything across the rest of the country that, not being tied or nailed down, had slid into it as on a tilted board game. No surprise then that California and the Democratic Party have become interchangeable with each other.Originally Published by Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture – August 9, 2018