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Portland is Getting What It Deserves

Portland is Getting What It Deserves

Posted by Erick Erickson on Tuesday, July 21, 2020

There is no police power in the federal constitution. The police power is left to the states. To the extent the President can send federal officers into Portland, OR, it must be to protect federal buildings and laws.

The President cannot save Portland from itself and he should not.

I want a mask mandate, but there is no federal police power for the President to impose it. It must come from governors, who have way more expansive police powers than your average libertarian-leaning person would have you believe.

The President does not have that power.

But, beyond that, the people of Portland have a history of outlandish displays of protest and behavior, including nudity. The place is so bizarre there’s been an entire television show parodying Portland.

By sending federal troops to Portland, OR, the President and federal government are allowing Portland not just escape from their own democratic choices, but also allowing them a scapegoat to take the blame.

Portland can blame President Trump instead of the residents of the city. They can blame Washington instead of their mayor.

At some point, we must allow people to live with their choices and make it easy for those who want to escape to actually move. If we allow Portland to fester as it wants, it will either figure out it must change, or live with its consequences.

When people move out, the tax base collapses, and crime goes up, the people will either change their behavior or be democratically marginalized in their voting power. If life goes on as normal or more people move in to embrace what is happening, then they’ve chosen it or the problems have been exaggerated by conservatives, as they claim.

Let the market decision by letting the actions of a free people control their fate.

The President should withdraw from Portland immediately and let the city burn, if it will, or thrive if it will, but it is the choice of the people there.

A President sending in a police force to a city is a dangerous precedent that will be expanded upon even though the United States Constitution lacks a general police power. A city allowed to chose its own fate is a positive precedent from which we can all draw lessons.

Let Portland burn or not, but let it decide without intervention from Washington.

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