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The once-idyllic streets of our nation's most beautiful cities have been transformed into scenes straight out of a dystopian novel, where tents crowd sidewalks and the stench of decay (and human waste) hangs thick in the air. You can blame this grim reality on radical left politicians and activists, who seized the chaos and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic to push through their disastrous policies on homelessness.  

Thankfully, there's a glimmer of hope on the horizon, sparked by former President Donald Trump and an Oregon town that most of you have never heard of. 

The catastrophic failures fueling a drug-addicted homeless crisis stem from progressives’ blind allegiance to two deceptively named and profoundly damaging strategies: "harm reduction" and "housing first."  

CALIFORNIA GOP LEADERS CALL FOR ACCOUNTABILITY AFTER STATE CAN’T ACCOUNT FOR $24B SPENT ON HOMELESS CRISIS

In San Francisco, these policies have created conditions so dire that even its criminally liberal citizens revolted, voting to impose drug testing for welfare recipients — a clear repudiation of the city's "progressive" label, which earned a scolding by the left-wing San Francisco Chronicle declaring the city probably can’t use the label any longer. But that’s a good thing: progressive policies should be synonymous with failure. 

Homeless encampments line the streets in Oakland, California

Homeless encampments line the streets in Oakland, California on Friday, March 15, 2024. The city remains plagued by homelessness as nearby businesses close their doors due to safety concerns. (DWS for Fox News Digital)

What did "progressivism" really bring to San Francisco? A staggering and tragic record of fatal drug overdoses — 752 in 2023 alone, an all-time record. The streets became a permanent gallery of human misery and waste (unless Chinese diplomats are visiting, of course). The city's commercial heart, Union Square, began 2024 with the highest rate of office vacancies in the nation. In just the last month, two more large retailers announced closures -- North Face and Zara. 

The situation is no better in downtown Seattle, another supposedly progressive "utopia" (where I live) that’s still reeling under the grip of homeless drug addicts who have claimed the streets as their own. The exodus of major retailers, most recently Lululemon, fleeing what was once a bustling, high-end mall, speaks volumes.  

A 2023 poll by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce found that 68% of voters now avoid downtown more than before the explosion of homelessness and crime. If there are no visitors, there are no customers. The crisis even scared away Amazon, announcing last week it’s resuming construction in nearby business-friendly Bellevue -- all while the Seattle tech giant’s footprint shrinks. 

Recently, a man was randomly stabbed in the head while walking his dog in a notoriously dangerous downtown Seattle corner — a place where the air is so saturated with the smell of urine that it clings to the back of your throat. Yet, progressive leaders and the radical activists they enable pretend the city is thriving, shaming anyone who says otherwise. 

The radical left disguises harm reduction as an "evidence-based" solution to substance abuse. Yet, in practice, it does little more than enable addicts, providing them with clean drug paraphernalia like fentanyl pipes, clean needles and "booty-bumping" kits for taking drugs under the guise of "reducing harm." 

Housing first, meanwhile, offers "permanent supportive housing" to the homeless, followed by a claim to address their underlying issues through on-site, wraparound services. In reality, these places often turn into drug dens with virtually no conditions on use. If you're homeless because of drug addiction, you continue to use — and likely die — in what inevitably become taxpayer-funded drug havens. 

I dissect these flawed approaches in my book, "What’s Killing America: Inside the Radical Left’s Tragic Destruction of Our Cities," a critique the left-wing media won't give you. Their refusal to challenge these feelgood yet destructive policies only serves to push a partisan agenda under the radar. My book can help you save your community from the progressive policy creep. 

With these strategies in mind, the radical left opposes sweeping homeless encampments, calling that cruel and inhumane, while cruelly using the homeless as pawns in their demands for free housing. They even fight to keep squatters and delinquent renters in properties they have no right to, driven by an ideology that rejects private property rights and repeats a lazy bumper sticker talking point: "housing is a human right." 

The new Jason Rantz book, "What’s Killing America: Inside the Radical Left’s Tragic Destruction of Our Cities," underscores how progressive plans for our cities have failed.

In the Seattle area, homelessness has worsened following drug decriminalization, yet instead of admitting failures, activist-politicians have poured tens of millions into converting hotels into permanent supportive housing.  

In one recent move, the city council in nearby Redmond colluded with county officials to secretly transfer property without public notice. Their message to residents fed up with the encampments? Shut up and let officials spend millions more for subsidized housing and only then will tents be cleared. 

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While the homeless remain outdoors waiting for "free" housing, diseases spread. Recently in downtown Portland, a Shigella outbreak — a highly contagious bacteria spread through fecal matter — was traced to the homeless. Seattle faced a Hepatitis A scare from homeless in January. And last August, in Los Angeles, homeless encampments contributed to a significant rise in flea-borne typhus. 

But the progressive reign of despair may soon come to an end if conservative United States Supreme Court justices come to the rescue after hearing arguments for The City of Grants Pass Oregon v. Johnson on April 22. It might return a tool that can be part of a broader strategy to address homelessness more effectively.  

The radical left disguises harm reduction as an "evidence-based" solution to substance abuse. Yet, in practice, it does little more than enable addicts, providing them with clean drug paraphernalia like fentanyl pipes, clean needles and "booty-bumping" kits for taking drugs under the guise of "reducing harm."?

This legal battle about whether cities can enforce public camping bans may be a defining moment for homelessness policy. A decision in favor of Grants Pass could empower cities across the nation to reclaim their public spaces, reducing crime and disease spread, while providing a truly meaningful pathway out of homelessness. 

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More importantly, it could signal the beginning of the end for the unchecked spread of radical left policies that have been long shielded behind claims of good intentions.  

If the Supreme Court, fortified by Trump-appointed conservatives, sides with pragmatic policies, we might just see cities finally be released from the grip of progressive overreach, returning to an approach where compassion and regulation can actually coexist and assist the homeless. This isn’t just about cleaning up the streets — it's about wrestling control back from the radical left. 

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM JASON RANTZ

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