Kristof Calls Out His Fellow Liberals

They've made a mess of things on the West Coast, he writes in op-ed
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2024 3:20 PM CDT
Kristof Calls Out His Fellow Liberals
A homeless man sits in his tent in Portland, Ore., in this 2021 photo.   (AP Photo/Paula Bronstein, File)

That a political columnist has a bone to pick with liberals isn't so unusual. That the columnist is a self-described liberal himself—and a prominent one at that—a little more so. In the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof calls out his political brethren with a complaint "that some of the bluest parts of the country—cities on the West Coast—are a mess." Cities such as Seattle, San Diego, and Portland are plagued by high rates of homelessness and crime, he writes. And yes, he's singling out the West Coast because he says East Coast cities run with a progressive bent are doing better by comparison. The "problem isn't with liberalism," writes Kristof, an Oregon native. "It's with West Coast liberalism."

In his view, "the West Coast's central problem is not so much that it's unserious as that it's infected with an ideological purity that is focused more on intentions than on oversight and outcomes." People there say things like "housing is a human right," but they often fail at actually getting people into houses. "Less purity and more pragmatism would go a long way," concludes Kristof. "But perhaps the first step must be the humility to acknowledge our failures." Read the full column. (Kristof tried to run for governor in Oregon, but he didn't meet residency requirements.)

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