The Role of Basket Case (D) Cities in Presidential Politics

Here’s a delightful historical overview of the role of a few politically corrupt cities are in determining the winner of U.S. Presidential campaigns.

From Manhattan Contrarian:

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The Ascendancy Of The Basket Cases – 2020 Edition

November 05, 2020/ Francis Menton

The very first posts on this blog went up on November 6, 2012. By pure coincidence, that was election day — the day when Barack Obama was re-elected to his second term as President. By late that evening we knew the result. (Doesn’t that seem so quaint now?) It did not appear to be close: Obama had won 332 electoral votes to Romney’s 206.

The next day, November 7, I wrote a post about the result, which I titled “The Ascendancy of the Basket Cases.” That post pointed out that the election was much closer than it may have seemed. In fact, the overall result turned on the outcome in a handful of states; and in each of those states, Obama had run up a huge margin in some major city, which was then sufficient to overcome a substantial Romney majority in the rest of the state. The particular handful of cities in question, which had determined the election result, were not just any cities, but what I called the “basket cases”:

What do I mean by “basket case” cities? They are the poster children for the failure of government spending to improve people’s lives and incomes, cities in decline where decades of government programs have brought only shrinking populations, vast vacant zones, fleeing businesses, high crime and low income. Yet they provide very large electoral majorities for the candidate promising to further expand the failed programs.

Which cities? In 2012 it was Detroit (Michigan), Cleveland (Ohio), Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) and Chicago (Illinois). Obama had won all four of those states. Actually, it would only have taken a flip of any three of the four for the election to have gone to Romney.

Flash forward to today. This time Trump won Ohio by a wide margin, and the final overall election result is still not decided at this writing. Yet once again it is all coming down to a tiny number of “basket case” cities that have supposedly given huge electoral margins to Biden, and thus swung a swing state to the Democrat. This time the main cities in question are Philadelphia (again) and Detroit (again), plus newcomer Milwaukee (in Wisconsin). You could also fairly add Chicago and Minneapolis this year if you wanted, but let’s focus on the first three.

Are these cities really “basket cases”? If you have any doubt about Philadelphia, take an Amtrak train north from the main station to view the vast abandoned zones of North Philly; or read this Manhattan Contrarian post about Philadelphia, from 2016. Philadelphia reached a peak population of 2,071,605 in 1950; the most recent Census estimate for its population is 1,584,064. Its murder rate (2019) is about 22 per 100,000 (compared to a national average of about 5). Detroit has had an even much greater demographic collapse, from a population of 1,849,570 in the 1950 Census, to an estimated 667,272 today. Its murder rate is almost 40 per 100,000. Milwaukee seems almost benign by comparison to those two: its population has only gone down from a peak of 741,324 in 1960 to an estimated 590,157 today; and its murder rate is about 16 per hundred thousand, barely more than triple the national average, compared to more than four times for Philadelphia and eight times for Detroit. Needless to say, all of these cities have been under continuous rule of Democrats since beyond human memory. (Last Republican mayor left office in Philadelphia in 1952, Detroit in 1962, and Milwaukee in 1960.)

A major difference between 2012 and 2020 is the circumstances of the vote count. In 2012, all the votes were counted promptly, and the result was known on election night. This year, it’s not only that the counts are continuing going on three days later, but the circumstances are such as to guarantee a high level of legitimate suspicion. When I went to sleep on Tuesday night, Trump held substantial leads in all of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Sometime in the window of about 4 to 6 AM on Wednesday morning, large numbers of new votes turned up from Detroit and Milwaukee, supposedly almost entirely for Biden, and both Michigan and Wisconsin then flipped. On Wednesday, both states got called for Biden.

Yesterday and today various generally respected conservative web sites are pointing to potential serious irregularities in both Michigan and Wisconsin. For example, John Hinderaker at PowerLine here on November 4 points out that Trump increased his number of votes in Wisconsin from 2016 by over 200,000, from 1,405,284 to 1,610,007; yet somehow Joe Biden is supposed to have increased the Democratic vote by even more, a key part of that being a dump of over 100,000 ballots at about 4:30 AM on Wednesday that went entirely or almost entirely for Biden. The more than 3.2 million ballots counted in Wisconsin constitute close to 90% of Wisconsinites who were registered to vote immediately before the election, which appears to be an implausibly high figure. The Gateway Pundit here also has further information on dubious vote totals in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, the count continues, with Trump’s initial large lead gradually shrinking, and there are widespread reports of Republican observers being improperly excluded from the counting process, even with a court order in hand requiring that they be allowed to participate.

I am in no position to check whether the reported vote totals from the basket case cities are irregular, or whether fraudulent ballots may be getting added to the count in numbers sufficient to affect the result. What I can say is that, compared to a Romney or other Republicans in the past, Trump has the inclination to fight the matter. If there has been substantial vote tampering, Trump is the guy likely to put in the effort and resources to get to the bottom of it.

Also, we should not lose track of the even bigger ongoing political corruption in the basket case cities. That is that these places are filled with large numbers of local non-profit organizations, calling themselves “community service” organizations or “anti-poverty” programs, that function effectively as political organizations on behalf of the Democratic Party. These organizations are funded by some combination of taxpayer dollars, and/or charitable donations claimed to be eligible for tax deductions, based on the idea that they are fighting poverty, but in fact they never raise a single person out of poverty, and their principal function is to be sure that 90% of the vote in these areas comes in for the Democrats. Whether there also may be some additions to vote totals as necessary to overcome Republican vote elsewhere in the state on election night is actually a small part of the problem.

So whoever ends up getting declared the winner of this crazy election, if at least some spotlight gets shone on the political machinery in the basket case cities, some good will have come out of it. The basket case cities are poor and declining precisely because they are controlled by self-serving self-perpetuating political machines that misdirect taxpayer anti-poverty funds into the preservation of their own power, while the poor get trapped in a lifetime of poverty. Are we really dumb enough to let these same people control the presidential elections?

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Turn on the floodlights & watch them scurry!! :smile:

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