I don't know Temple professor Jillian Bauer-Reese, who teaches a course called Solutions Journalism: Covering Addiction, but I admire that she demonstrated in a recent Inquirer column where progressives in Philadelphia are taking the city.
She cited a debate I was involved in on Good Day Philadelphia on Fox 29 in which I attacked the logic of the Kenney administration going forward with safe injection sites for heroin users by saying "Why don't we provide the heroin, then?"
She then endorsed the idea of giving addicts prescription heroin.
I admire the professor's candor and logic. She is not that much of an outlier in the progressive utopia that those on the left are creating in Philadelphia. I thought about all this in which moderate Democratic Rep. Bob Brady announce he would not seek reelection after becoming the target of the new radical wing of Philadelphia Democrats. This group has become a dominant force, and reasonable guys such as Brady never would push hard enough for extreme policies.
I thought about it when I saw former Mayor Michael Nutter making the rounds promoting his new book and I compared his policies to the radicalism of the Kenney administration.
I have a number of reasons why Philadelphia checks every box of the left and is arguably the most progressive city in America. Philadelphia clearly gets progressive cred for obsessing over bike lanes and banning cars from Center City and beyond for certain dates so that people can play Frisbee and soccer in the streets.
They've started to check a big box recently by attacking monuments such as the Rizzo statue. Of course, this assault on a former law and order mayor figures continues today with the election of new Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, who made a career of suing the police and who received extensive financial backing from radical billionaire George Soros. His election signals a clear turning point for extremism.
A progressive utopia is not a utopia without public officials ignoring the laws of the United States. Philadelphia has been a so-called sanctuary city that shields illegal immigrants from federal law enforcement groups such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but the Nutter administration's policies in this area have been placed on steroids by the Kenney administration. Even officials from the Obama administration rejected these policies as lax enough to allow terrorists to escape law enforcement.
These progressive benchmarks have been done by other cities. However, Philadelphia has broken new ground in three big areas.
First, our sugary-beverage tax is the only functioning one of any major city, and I predict it survives its Pennsylvania Supreme Cour challenge because of a Democratic majority eager to rubber-stamp it. The tax has severely damaged businesses and lost middle-class jobs, and did not come close to generating the revenue it was supposed to bring in.
However, it still survives as the biggest accomplishment of the mayor.
Another area of real distinction for our progressive architects is their foray into the Asian deli business and their steps taken to ban bulletproof glass in these establishments, which many business owners say puts them in danger. This one should take your breath away. It is a true progressive outside-the-box scheme.
Of course, Philadelphia is poised to become the first American city to create so called safe injection sites for heroin addicts. They will be in violation of of federal laws, but that may be part of their appeal. You don't get to be a utopia by falling in line with conventional morals and wisdom.
Finally, a utopia needs a leader who genuinely feels and believes in the ideas that fuel the fantasies that drive this city. Mayor Kenney is no ordinary politician. He is a true believer in this stuff. He crawls with schemes to make Philadelphia the progressive capital.
So, I maintain that Bauer-Reese is not far off when she says Philadelphia should give heroin addicts prescription heroin. Why have medical personnel on hand to save addicts who overdose due to unstable drugs? The medical personnel should be employed to provide heroin that will cut down on overdoses.
If you can't see the logic of the professor's point, then maybe you are not someone who should have voting power in this city.