‘Biden Villages’ Underscore How Democrats’ Policies Are Destroying America’s Cities

The clumsy farce during Xi Jinping’s visit to San Francisco should create serious national pressure for Democrats — and put a spotlight on the abject failure of left-wing policies in our great cities.

Kent Nishimura/Getty Images
President Xi's motorcade on November, 14, 2023 at San Francisco. Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

When Chinese Communist Party’s general secretary, Xi Jinping, recently visited San Francisco, Democrats and the Biden administration orchestrated a great charade. The many homeless people who normally live in the city’s most famous districts were rounded up and hidden. 

The garbage, needles, and human feces that usually litter the streets were swept up. The remnants of pervasive vandalism were scrubbed and polished. Police were on patrol, and life in the Golden City seemed normal — even idyllic. The great fraud lasted just long enough for Mr. Xi’s visit.

This farce should be the surrender to reality that finally gets Americans to take seriously the collapse of our big cities. As Governor Newsom and the Biden administration know, their little trick has been played before — in 1787, when a Russian prince, Grigory Potemkin, sought to impress Empress Catherine the Great.

To show how much progress had been made during the Empress’ journey to Crimea, he created entirely false façade villages, and brought in hundreds of peasants to pretend to be busy, prosperous citizens. These so-called Potemkin villages looked good, but they were all fake. 

The villages were masking the failure and decay of the southern Russian Empire. In effect Mr. Newsom and the Biden administration created a “Biden village” so the Chinese dictator would not be able to see that San Francisco is a failing city.

The clumsy con in San Francisco should create serious national pressure for Democrats — and put a spotlight on the abject failure of left-wing policies in our great cities. The Golden City is failing so badly it must be hidden — and San Francisco is not alone. On Thanksgiving Day, Washington had its 900th carjacking this year. 

At New York, Mayor Adams is mismanaging the city’s biggest problems. Support for him has collapsed. Rampant scandals, rising crime, mismanagement of Mr. Biden’s illegal immigration disaster, and a rapidly growing budget crisis are proving Mr. Adams is in over his head. He is clearly unable to lead or heal the city.

A Marist College Poll this month reported that only 37 percent of New Yorkers approve of the job Mr. Adams is doing. Fifty-seven percent disapprove. Given the probable pattern of his future budget cuts — and his efforts to cater to illegal immigrants at the expense of New Yorkers — these numbers are likely to get much worse.

Consider Mr. Adams’ proposed phase one budget cuts — he has already said there will have to be more phases of cutting regular budgets to take care of Mr. Biden’s illegal immigrants. Mr. Adams has announced a $32 million cut in the sanitation department, including a significant cut in street garbage cans in outer boroughs. 

This is leading some New Yorkers to speculate the city will be overrun with rats. He wants to cut the fire department by $74 million and the already failing department of education by $1 billion over two years. Some of the greatest museums in the world will take budget cuts — including the Met and the Museum of Natural History.

The cuts will force the greatest city library system in the world to close on Sunday. So, working New Yorkers and their children who used to spend their weekends learning will now be penalized to pay for Mr. Biden’s illegal immigrants.

You would think that a huge influx of dependent residents would require more police, not fewer. Instead, Mr. Adams has canceled the next five police academy classes. This is at a time when more than 2,500 New York police officers have turned in their badges this year alone. 

The NYPD is on track to have only 29,000 officers by 2025 — the lowest manpower in 30 years (before Mayor Giuliani). The decline in law enforcement and first responders is a threat to the safety of every New Yorker. And the scale of the threat will get worse. Mr. Adams estimates that Mr. Biden’s illegal immigrants will cost New York City $12 billion over the next three years. 

Apply that across the nation, and you begin to get a sense of the tidal wave of costs that Mr. Biden is forcing upon the United States through his insane open border policy. Across the nation, destructive left-wing policies undermine public safety, cripple schools, decay communities, and place incompetent bureaucracies over the citizens they are meant to serve. 

The left’s passion for allowing Americans to sleep in the streets and poison themselves to death in public — while paying room and board for people in the country illegally – is weakening the fabric of our civilization. We know this can all be fixed. 

We know sound policing systems and honest, effectively managed bureaucracies can return civility and safety to the city. With civility and safety, prosperity will follow. It has been done before. It can be done again. But, until left-wing Democrat leaders wake up — or get voted out — our great cities will continue to decay.

The New York Sun

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