Thursday, Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson discussed the collapse of American cities and why the local government and media responses to that deterioration have been ineffective or as if nothing was happening at all.
Carlson argued part of the reason for that was a response to the outcome of the 2016 presidential election that gave us President Donald Trump.
Transcript as follows:
CARLSON: Ever notice how the people who run our country seem so fervently concerned about problems that are totally irrelevant to your life? If you are like most Americans, you are wondering how to pay your credit card bill, how to afford your kid’s student loans. You’re trying to keep your family together in a society that seems to be spinning apart. You’d like to watch college football next month.
Those of the problems 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 that 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 are so distraught, they devote entire TV segments to the crime. In other words, they have very different priorities from yours.
And given that, it shouldn’t surprise you that these same people missed maybe the most important development in America in the last 30 years. It had nothing to do with the Russia or Iran or Donald Trump, so they barely noticed it, but you probably did notice it.
American cities collapsed, buildings burned, law enforcement vanished. Criminal mobs rampaged unchallenged, stealing things and hurting people.
Drug addicted vagrants took over the streets, the parks, the public transportation. Anyone who could leave urban America did, and 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.
But here’s the remarkable thing, our political class said barely a word as it happened. Bizarre doesn’t begin to describe the experience of that.
Imagine you’re watching Game 3 of the World Series and a spaceship lands on the pitcher’s mound in Yankee Stadium, so you flip to CNN for live coverage of it, but CNN has decided not to cover it. They don’t think it’s a story. That’s what it is like.
You start to imagine you must be going crazy and then you see the numbers and you realize that no, you are not crazy. It is all entirely real. New York City is now moving towards historic apartment vacancy rates.
San Francisco, a long, famously overheated real estate market is facing a 50 percent increase in residential vacancies. People are running away.
Moving companies say they can’t keep up with the demand. There’s no mystery about why this is happening. Here’s a recent local news story from New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): First came the pandemic and hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers reportedly fled the city temporarily. Now, even more are leaving, this time permanently, saying they don’t feel safe in the city anymore.
Hairstylist, Jody 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 percent 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.
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CARLSON: Calls to the police went unanswered, that’s what happens when you slash a billion dollars from the police budget. Crimes skyrockets, many of those crimes go unreported both because there’s nobody to call and because suddenly, there is immense social pressure not to get the police involved no matter how horrible the offense is.
Just yesterday, we spoke to someone whose disabled son was assaulted in a New York City Park in the middle of the day. a group of young men came out from behind and knocked him to the ground, they didn’t like the way he looked.
The thugs videotaped the whole thing, daring essentially his mother to say something. They want to put her on the internet and accuse her of being immoral.
When the mother told her college-educated neighbors about what had happened, they made excuses for the criminals. Oh, they are poor, no wonder they are frustrated.
That is insane and is totally wrong. Poverty does not cause violence. Being poor does not make you evil. There is never an excuse for assaulting a disabled kid.
Only a certain sort of professional class liberal believes otherwise, but unfortunately, they are now in charge and that’s why New York City just converted hotels in the upper west side of Manhattan into homeless shelters.
Suddenly, there are junkies and convicted rapists all over the neighborhood, and the weakest suffer most. Kids can’t go to the playground, old ladies are afraid to go outside and no one in charge cares.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): It is moving day on the upper west side where 300 men are taking up residence at the Lucerne Hotel after living in shelters downtown.
Lucerne, one of three hotels in the upper west side contracting with the city to house New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. The other is the Belleclaire, where hundreds will live indefinitely.
One look at the state’s sex offender registry shows at least 13 offenders are living at the Belleclaire. Six have been labeled “sexually violent” and at least three have served time for crimes against kids 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.
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CARLSON: Just in case you’re wondering 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, and they are.
Companies like the GAP and Victoria’s Secret are keeping their Manhattan locations shuttered closed even as they reopen in other states.
The executive who runs one of Manhattan’s biggest restaurants, man called Michael Weinstein recently summed it up this way, quote, “There’s no reason to do business in New York.”
Just months ago, Weinstein ran one of the highest grossing restaurants in the United States, now, he can’t get out fast enough. He is advising others to do the same.
Bill de Blasio is hired to care about this. He is 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. De Blasio doesn’t even listen to the man finish his sentence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: We’ve been taking a hit since January. We lost our Chinese New Year, our busiest day of our community.
We need more confidence. Our merchants need more confidence.
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CARLSON: Now, in fairness to de Blasio, he may have been more stoned than usual. It is possible he didn’t hear a single word the man said. Typically, de Blasio 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 are able to control events in a city that has no Republican officeholders. Pretty amazing. Watch de Blasio explain it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D-NY), NEW YORK CITY: 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 had presidential leadership, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in right now.
So yes, New York City is dealing with some tough times and guess what? A former New Yorker helped bring it to us by failing to address the crisis staring us in the face.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: De Blasio isn’t even trying to tell compelling lies anymore, he is just reading slogans off of a cue card and thinking about dinner. But we don’t need to single him out, suddenly there are little Bill de Blasio’s across the country.
In Chicago for example, Mayor Lori Lightfoot just got a letter from a property management company that represents more than 22,000 homeowners and 38,000 residents in her city.
The letter informed Lightfoot 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 President of that company, Steven Levy, quote, “They are avoiding neighborhood walks after 6:00 p.m. 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 are considering leaving Chicago.” End quote.
Sad. But none of those observations are political. You have no idea who Levy voted for my hearing that. They are obvious. This is called observed reality. It’s true.
Lightfoot doesn’t care. Like de Blasio, she blames faraway Republicans for the disaster she created. Keep in mind, Chicago has not had a Republican Mayor since 1931, but in a way that’s why Lightfoot is doing it, there are no Republicans in Chicago to complain when she accuses them of causing gang murders.
It’s also crazy and stupid and counterproductive, but it’s everywhere. In Minneapolis leaders seem to be trying to figure out new ways to wreck their city, staying up late doing it.
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. They have no businesses left. That means their burned out properties will remain standing. Husks, monuments to the protests that were actually riots.
This is the kind of idea that would never in a million years occur to your average immigrant store owner from say, Pakistan, no way.
Instead, you would have to be a deeply entitled postmodern feminist poetry major from Oberlin to think of something like this and that is exactly who runs Minneapolis.
So now, downtown Minneapolis looks like Kosovo.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have, as you see, the debris and the insurance always have a cap to what they contribute to it. And the city came in and put this fence as you see in here and they sent us a bill for $3,700.00. And we asked them, we could not be able to — they say they don’t have any resources.
So the city that you are paying taxes, the city that you support in the big community building sends you a bill that you’re getting punished again. Enough is enough, guys.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: You can assume from that man’s accent that he didn’t grow up in this country. He probably came here assuming this kind of thing would never happen. You can hear the shock and disappointment in his voice and you feel for him.
But you should know it’s not just Minneapolis. This kind of insanity is happening everywhere even in small, we will call it beautiful cities like Bend, Oregon.
In Bend, the local officials allowed hundreds of protesters to trap ICE officers who were transporting violent criminals. A standoff resulted. It stretched on for hours until Federal reinforcements arrived. Watch.
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CARLSON: This kind of playacting turns some people on. The Walter Mitty’s running left. But it’s so destructive.
Bend, Oregon is a great place, actually, but if this continues, it will not be a great place. Normal people will leave.
So who is doing this to our cities? Strictly speaking, you know the answer. It is BLM and Antifa, crazed ideologues, grifters, criminals, anti-social thugs with no stake in society with nothing better to do than hurt people and destroy things. Those are the ones you see on TV.
Every country has people like that, it’s part of the human condition. America always has had people like that.
What’s changed is that the destroyers now have the full support of our professional class. That’s what’s different. The Democratic Party coddles the mob you see on TV. Our elites fund the Democratic Party. That’s how it works.
Consider the disclosure numbers from the last election cycle. A political donation by Netflix employees, virtually all of them, more than 99 percent of them went to Democrats and leftwing candidates.
The social media company, Twitter, 98 percent of donations went to the left. That is a higher rate of partisanship than you would find among Harvard University professors, which tells you everything and by the way, that’s also true at Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft — pick one.
So American cities didn’t collapse by accident. Sociopathic children may have burned Wendy’s and looted the Gucci store, but rich adults made it possible. They paid for at all.
Find a prosecutor who refuses to keep violent criminals in jail and the chances are George Soros put them there.
But why? Why are they doing this? It’s becoming clearer. The middle class voted for Donald Trump. Our leaders have decided to punish the middle class for doing that.
Never in our history have our elite has been this reckless and this angry. The entire subscriber base of “The New York Times” has been seized by a frenzy of destructive rage. They are throwing plates around the kitchen, beating the dogs, smashing the windows.
At some point, they are going to wake up from this bender and realize they’ve destroyed their own home, and their first instinct, as it always is will be to leave, to split for Saint Barth’s. But we should not let them. We should seize their passports now. They did this, they should have to live with the consequences in Midtown.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor