I remember the day in 2004 I observed on my radio show that Philadelphia was succeeding in exporting some of its crazy progressivism to its suburbs. It involved members of the Narberth Borough Council who tried to put Angus Love on its Civil Service Commission. Love was seen as someone who supported anti-cop policies, and he was also seen as someone who supported at some level Mumia Abu Jamal. Mumia, of course, had become celebrated in some quarters even though he had murdered Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.
The suburbs won this one because no official in Montgomery County would swear in Love or recognize him. Montgomery County and the other three collar counties have changed a lot since then. Jack Stollsteimer, the new Delaware County District Attorney, according to news reports received $100,000 in campaign contributions from George Soros. All four collar counties are controlled by Democrats. In the 2020 presidential race, Biden topped Trump by more than 287,740 votes.
Trump sensed that particularly Republican voters in places like Philadelphia’s collar counties were leaning heavily to Biden. He tried to scare them by talking about crime waves engulfing the burbs and low-income housing overwhelming their beautiful suburban enclaves. This was a misguided and poorly executed approach.
Many suburbanites were rejecting Trump because of their own virtue signaling. They wanted to proclaim to the world that they were voting for Biden because of decency. Their yard signs proclaimed that “Hate Has No Home Here.” Trump’s attempts seemed to reinforce their virtue signaling. They embraced the idea that the burbs now embrace anti-racism, the Green New Deal, and yes, overall decency.
My narrative is that they embrace misguided progressive ideas because they are insulated from the consequences. They embrace the Black Lives Matter narrative but are well policed and don’t have to face the crime and chaos in many Philadelphia neighborhoods.
However, the results of the progressive policies and players may be coming home to roost in the suburbs. First, the collar counties are in an uproar because there still thousands of people who are eligible for the COVID vaccine and yet despite efforts that resemble a massive scavenger hunt, they are unvaccinated. The reason for this is Gov. Tom Wolf, like many progressive governors, has seized emergency powers and refused to allow the locals enough vaccine and has not allowed them to decide how to efficiently vaccinate the public.
The collar counties are also in an uproar because many schools are still not open for in-person learning. The teacher’s unions in many districts even though they’ve been given priority to be vaccinated are still keeping schools closed. There has been progress in Delaware, Chester, and Bucks Counties because public health officials have said the science supports having students distanced three feet apart rather than six feet and this has opened up more schools.
However, Montco lags in this because Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, the burbs’ version of Dr. Fauci, says the three-foot distance rule is too risky. She famously shut down schools before Thanksgiving because she believed Thanksgiving dinners would be spreader events.
The good news is many suburbanites are doing things like organizing to run for school boards to push back against teachers’ unions. Democrats and Republicans are trying to pass a law to override Wolf on the vaccines.
The best news is that on the May 18 primary election ballot are laws that would force Wolf to consult with the legislature after a three-week period during emergencies. This is a must “yes” vote to restore sanity in Pennsylvania.
As far as the insulated suburbs, wait until you see those summer gas prices!