Monday, December 04, 2023

Oregon Paying the Price of "Progressivism"

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Oregon residents voted in 2020 to decriminalize drugs, but just three years later many businesses, citizens, and lawmakers are having second thoughts amid a spike in overdose deaths and drug use.

Oregon and several other states and cities are paying the price for their so-called "progressive" ideology, but Oregon has been the most "progressive" of all regarding drug use.

And now they are facing the consequences.

Much can be learned from the Oregon Experiment.

Be informed, not misled.

"Out of control."

More than 60% of Oregon voters polled think that Measure 110, which decriminalized the possession of small amounts of drugs in November 2020, “has made drug addiction, homelessness, and crime worse,” according to DHM Research, and 56% of Oregon voters polled believe that the measure should be repealed entirely, according to an Emerson College poll. A coalition of cities, police groups, and prosecutors called on the state to recriminalize drug possession, and businesses who spoke to the DCNF (Daily Caller) say they’re struggling with the drug crisis in the state. 

Things are out of control, so much so that Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has decided to not run for reelection---and he loves his job. 

Local media said, "It would seem to mark the end of a political career that did not go as smoothly as Wheeler wanted. In the eight years he’s been the mayor of Portland, he’s faced intense criticism over how he’s handled downtown economic recovery after COVID-19, increasing homelessness, and the racial justice protests of 2020."

“This has really spread across Oregon. It’s not just a Portland problem,” Oregon House Republican Leader Jeff Helfrich, a former Portland police officer, told the DCNF, “It’s just out of control, I’ve never seen it this bad.”

Drug overdoses surged in Oregon between 2020 and 2022, and nearly 3% of Portland residents left the city in the same time frame. Over 600 people died of overdoses in 2019 in Oregon, and that number nearly doubled to 1,200 in 2022.

One Portland police officer of 20 years, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said he’s "never seen it this bad."

He said, "You get calls from businesses constantly, from residents, that there are people, you know, passed out in cars in front of their houses, people blocking the entrance to doors to their stores, people standing on the sidewalks when they’re trying to go shopping or take the kids to school, just using and displaying visible signs of drug use.” 

The owner of Vortex Detailing, who gave the Daily Caller his first name, Brenton, said he avoids Portland at all costs because of the crime and drug use in the city.

Even some homeless residents in Salem, Oregon’s capital city located about 45 miles southwest of Portland, said Measure 110 has made their lives worse.

"Downtown Salem has become unsafe for everyone, homeless or not,”  Sam Evans, former Oregon Department of Transportation executive assistant, told the DCNF.


“The Republicans have a solution offered, but there hasn’t been any talk about it because it doesn’t seem like there’s the will or the votes on the Democratic side," the Republicans say.

House Republicans in Oregon called on the legislature to address the crisis in multiple letters and have called for recriminalization of the possession of drugs. Helfrich authored a letter on Nov. 14 to Democratic Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek and House Speaker Dan Rayfield calling on Democrats to require treatment for drug users and to repeal Measure 110.

“I haven’t heard people from leadership from the other side of the aisle say yes, you have to work together to fix this,” Helfrich said. 

Among voters polled in Oregon, 50% believe that Measure 110 “makes the community much less safe,” according to an Emerson College poll. Of the voters polled, 54% said that Measure 110 has led to increases in homelessness.

It's striking that the Left---so-called "progressives" ---always attempt to solve the problems they create by electing another "progressive'" who will try to solve the problems created by the previous "progressive" with more "progressive" ideas.

It has been said the profile of insanity is doing the same thing over again and again, expecting a better outcome each time.

C.S. Lewis said in his "Case for Christianity," “We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man. There is nothing progressive about being pig-headed and refusing to admit a mistake. And I think if you look at the present state of the world it's pretty plain that humanity has been making some big mistake. We're on the wrong road. And if that is so we must go back. Going back is the quickest way on.”

A quick look at the worldview of our Founding Fathers is a quick look at what works and what doesn't work.

America has risen to become the most prosperous, free, charitable, blessed, and powerful nation in the history of the world.

And "progressives" are now trying to dismantle the framework and foundations of a great nation given to us by prayerful Founding Fathers---remaking it into the image of failed secular, humanistic, Marxist ideas.

Oregon's dilemma is not Oregon's alone. Most every city and state, even including our current national administration led by Leftist so-called "progressives," are facing some degree of Oregon's fate. 


Obviously, Lewis had read the Prophet Jeremiah.

In Chapter 6: 16-20, Jeremiah says:

16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said We will not walk therein.

17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.

18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.

19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.

To repeat Lewis: "And I think if you look at the present state of the world it's pretty plain that humanity has been making some big mistakes. We're on the wrong road. And if that is so we must go back. Going back is the quickest way on."

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Prayerful. Vote.