A pair of New York Times journalists who recently set out to explore what happens when Democrats control all the levels of power in state and local governments across the country were shocked to discover that "blue states" — not red ones — "are the problem."
"What do Democrats actually do when they have all the power?" Times video journalist Johnny Harris asked at the outset of an opinion video posted by the paper last week.
Harris teamed up with Times editorial board writer Binyamin Appelbaum to examine why famously liberal states — such as New York, California, and Washington — struggle to advance the progressive policies despite little to no Republican opposition.
They focused on three core initiatives of the Democratic Party platform: affordable housing, economic equality, and educational opportunity. And in the end, they discovered that "liberal hypocrisy," not Republican opposition, "is fueling American inequality" and that things are actually much worse in blue states than they are in red.
Liberal Hypocrisy is Fueling American Inequality. Here's How. | NYT Opinion www.youtube.com
"In key respects, many blue states are actually doing worse than red states," the journalists noted in a written report accompanying the video. "It is in the blue states where affordable housing is often hardest to find, there are some of the most acute disparities in education funding and economic inequality is increasing most quickly."
"Blue states are the problem," Applebaum, who covers economics and business for the Times, exclaimed.
"Blue states are where the housing crisis is located. Blue states are where the disparities in education funding are the most dramatic. Blue states are the places where tens of thousands of homeless people are living on the streets. Blue states are the places where economic inequality is increasing most quickly in this country. This is not a problem of not doing well enough; it is a situation where blue states are the problem," he added.
At one point, Harris noted that "affluent liberals tend to be really good at showing up at the marches and talking about how they love equality, [and] at putting signs in their lawns saying, 'All are welcome here.'"
"But by their actions," he continued, "What they are actually saying is, 'Yes, we believe in these ideals, just not in my backyard.'"
The New York Times may just be waking up to this notion, but the American people have been keen to it for some time — and have been showing their dissatisfaction by leaving blue states and moving to red ones at record levels.