Portland, Oregon, has a reputation as being deep “blue,” a liberal bastion where Republicans get no traction. And it’s true. Hillary got 3/4 of the vote in Multnomah County, which is dominated by the Portland metro. But it has been breeding its own forms of intolerance that, though they are being produced by people ostensibly in opposition to Trump, are part and parcel of the same race to the bottom.
I lived in Portland full-time from 2001-2010, on-and-off through 2013, and was a regular visitor up ’til the present. I watched it change over that time. It started as a place George H.W. Bush’s advisors nicknamed “Little Beirut” because of the raucous protests that greeted Poppy but became “Portlandia,” an amusement park for moneyed hipsters. Gentrification ran rampant, driving rents up 15% in a single year recently. Most of the “weird” there got priced out. The spirit that originally drew me to “Stumptown” seems almost entirely extinguished at this point.
This sobering truth was made starkly clear to me yesterday at a natural food co-op in Southeast.