The political climates of most major metropolitan areas in the South have never been pretty, but 2017 has seen a worrying trend of far-left militant progressives associated with Bernie Sanders rising to positions of power in the past few months.
Jackson and Birmingham have already elected wildly unqualified socialists to the mayorship, and Atlanta could be just around the corner.
When you look at how these campaigns played out, you can only blame Bernie Sanders. Not only has Our Revolution, Sanders’ political outfit that campaigned for him last year, aggressively worked to elect leftist radicals, but Bernie himself has been on the ground giving endorsements and even doing recordings for grassroots phone calls.
In other words, he’s legitimized candidates and helped to elect activists that have no idea how to govern, and these cities are going to pay for it in the coming years.
The clarion call was sounded with Chokwe Lumumba Jr. in Jackson earlier this year, who was endorsed by Our Revolution. Since his election, national and international leftist publications have eaten up Lumumba’s ascendency. Not only does he have Hollywood looks, but there was the tragic backstory of his father.
Chokwe Lumumba Sr. died in 2011 while serving as Jackson mayor, and Chokwe Jr. used his father’s name for his own ascendance. If you don’t remember Chokwe Sr., he was the guy who wanted to ban Christopher Columbus from history books.
So what has Lumumba Junior been doing in his first 100 days? Apart from appointing the former deputy director of the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board as the city’s public works director and a professional trombonist as chief administrative officer (who also has the biggest salary in the history of Jackson public works directors), Lumumba has tried to stop a state takeover of the city’s terrible school system, constantly complained about the state flag and already raised taxes.
For a guy who described himself as a revolutionary who will fix potholes, there’s been more incompetence than revolution so far – much less fewer potholes.
Earlier this month, Bernie struck again with the election of Randall Woodfin, another political novice who was fiercely peddled by Our Revolution. Despite the fact that incumbent William Bell had been working in Alabama politics longer than Woodfin’s been alive, he was absolutely crushed with 58 percent going to Woodfin.
So what’s his story? Woodfin’s platform has been to create a municipal tuition program for college students, a spectacularly bad idea for a city government that couldn’t even pass a budget this year. He’s also talked about minimum wage increases, which is impossible since Alabama already outlawed municipalities from trying such a scheme. But liberals in Montgomery still ate it up.
Last but not least, there’s Atlanta. Bernie gave another endorsement for Vincent Fort, a longtime state senator who’s described himself as a “soulmate” to Bernie. Fort has also made marijuana legalization part of his platform, earning him endorsements from the likes of rapper Killer Mike.
But it looks like those endorsements won’t be enough to win this one. The latest poll had Fort dragging at close to last place with 7 percent. That’s not to say there haven’t been some far-left victories. A socialist and co-founder of the Georgia Black Lives Matter named khalid kamau (yes, lowercase) won a city council seat in South Fulton in April. He was endorsed by, you guessed it, Bernie Sanders.
It ain’t a good outlook. Of course these cities have always been more or less exclusively Democrat, but the crucial difference is that the bourgeois bohemian liberalism of guys like William Bell and former Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber is being replaced by the hyperventilating class warfare of Bernie Sanders-style true-believer socialists who will use these cities as utopian fiefdoms to combat conservative state governments.
These cities are supposed to be the main attractions for these Southern states. Instead of driving in tourism and commerce like they should, we’re going to see the familiar trend of high tax, anti-business rhetoric thrive even more. Instead of driving off a cliff at 50 mph, these cities are now going a full 100 – which is about the speed of the U-Hauls carrying the middle class out of these Southern cities and into the suburbs.