Dead wrong Ned. When you flip-flop between "liberal elite bubble" and "liberal bubble," you confuse the issue. There most certainly is an ELITE LIBERAL BUBBLE. Those are the clowns "leading" the cause of middle class americans on down. The middle class on down are the folks that make up the vast majority of Americans. Unfortunately, a lot them are too ignorant to understand they actually hold liberal values.

The fact that Hillary, and the elite liberals running her campaign couldn't win this election, shows just how out of touch those folks are with average Americans. Yeah, there was questionable activity during the election. I.E. Fake news, Trump's blatant play on ignorance and hate, & obvious FBI interference.

However... Running against an ignorant orangutan/tangerine hybrid with zero moral compass, AND LOSING, says a helluva lot about how unappealing Hillary was as a candidate. The left advanced their own establishment candidate, all the while ignoring the will of their base.

They got what they deserved and we true liberals, and a lot of unknowing faux-republicans (entitlement receiving rednecks), are the ones who will suffer from the elevation results.

Now don't get me wrong, the elite righties are certainly out of touch with ALL reality, but let's not pretend that the liberal establishment is closing in on them fast.
As someone who grew up in a rural area that once had a thriving mill economy, but now lives in a city for the sole purpose of obtaining employment I know the liberal bubble to be a real thing. Not all cities are liberal bubbles, however. Some cities host a variety of political ideas. But Portland certainly is.
Go home Portland Mercury You're drunk.
Oh, dear. You've completely missed the mark. The bubbles we live in are not geographical. They are formed by our self-curation of information, made possible by the internet in 2016. Come on, use that big brain.
Spoken like someone from deep within the bubble....
I like the perspective and think it merits some further thought. The "liberal bubble" gets bandied about as though we've done something to ignore reality, I agree that those ignoring the reality may be those stuck in the conservative hell holes.
Defending oneself from the accusation of being in a bubble by blowing a bigger bubble around the perceived blowers of the first bubble is a pretty sad affirmation of said bubble. I don't dispute that the "bubble" attack is lazy and contrived; and I don't dispute that the particular ethno-nationalism of the rest of America constitutes its own form of delusion; but their delusion does not diminish your own.

Case in point: the author's implication that Portland's economic superiority has anything to do with its moral superiority. Mind-numbingly coarse. Portland is economically successful because of its Asia facing port. Everything else is circumstance. Such smug self-righteousness - particularly when the racial history of Portland is as abhorrent as any city in the country - is no different than the deluded nationalism that might lead a rural Ohioan to the belief that America's economic success derives from some original superiority, some preternatural capacity for freedom and democracy. And it's exactly the attitude that has led me - a longtime, now former Portlander (and previously an inhabitant of the bubble called San Francisco) - to the concrete belief that Portland is the archetype of THE liberal bubble.

It is true that the confines of a city enable a unique kind of diversity, diversity of industry, of ethnicity, of languages and cultural expressions, and all of that is fantastic. Living in rural Virginia, I miss it. But the claim that the city isn't just as ideologically enclosed is betrayed the moment the author fails to empathize with the plight of a former coal or auto worker. It is betrayed when my friends in San Francisco dispute the claim that West Virginians voted in their self-interest with a citation of coal's outsize carbon footprint. You can't claim empathy-stemming-from-diversity as your calling card when such empathy doesn't extend past the urban center.
Bradzuk writes: "Case in point: the author's implication that Portland's economic superiority has anything to do with its moral superiority."

This comes from an otherwise smart comment, but this particular sentence seems an unfortunate misreading of what I wrote. I ordinarily wouldn't comment on my own article (I've already stated my case, hopefully) but I guess if this is what someone took away from it, I need to clarify. I don't believe there's anything morally superior about a city having a functioning economy. (I don’t mention morality anywhere in the article.) I do believe, however, that a functioning economy is proof in itself of a willingness to adapt to the world as it is—i.e., to exist outside of a bubble, or at the very least to have the ability to see beyond its curved walls.

To address some other comments: The article is only tangentially about Portland (I mentioned it once in terms of population growth); rather, it was meant to address American cities as a whole. If I failed to make that clear, that's my fault, and I apologize. I still contend that the very idea of a population center—particularly one that features diversity, inclusivity, and not merely economic opportunity but economic ADAPTABILITY—is antithetical to the concept of a bubble. If you beg to differ, that's one thing, and we won't agree on that particular point. But to not look past the fact that Portland, specifically, is lagging behind other major US cities in terms of diversity seems like a convenient way to ignore the bigger point here.

Another thing: It's possible to have empathy for an out-of-work coal or auto worker while still asserting that the empty promise of bringing back their old jobs will do nothing to better anyone's situation. It’s one thing to be empathetic; it’s another to accept, without challenge, all the bad information that has been spread throughout certain communities. I’ll do the former, but not the latter. Our marketplace has changed. Our economy has changed. Our world has changed. And to not change along with it, one could argue, is like being in some sort of bubble.

I'm starting to repeat points I already made in the article, so it'd probably be wise to stop here. I appreciate all the comments. Even Jake's.
What I read in your piece Ned are different types of bubbles. You seem to be talking about something that has inflated and is going to pop, like a housing bubble. So people in the Rust Belt who swung this election might think of themselves as powerful now, but they are clearly grasping to a past that will not return and their views will ultimately become marginalized through time.

The SNL skit is using bubble to describe what we in Portland call silos, or elsewhere can be described as echo chambers or safe spaces.

I think you and SNL are both right.
The unemployment rate refers to people who are receiving unemployment benefits, which does NOT reflect what the true unemployment figure is. To think that it does means you are in a bubble.

To say that manufacturing in this country will never come back means you are in a bubble. Germany is the strongest economy in Europe and one of the leading economies in the world. It is also the leading manufacturing nations in Europe. The government works with the manufacturing industries to keep it healthy. It also supports labor unions, who work WITH their companies (as opposed to being an adversary).

Note also that our economy is a debt-driven economy. Germany's economy is not. They were one of the few countries in the West that was unaffected by the last recession.

A country that has no manufacturing and bases its exports on raw materials is called a "third world nation." We sell enormous logs from trees to Japan and they work with that wood in manufacturing facilities. Too bad there's no way our brilliant leaders in government and industry can figure out how to work with that wood here at home to produce something more than a raw material.
Ned: I don't mean to run too wild with my criticism, particularly because it is not necessary, but it doesn't take much between the lines reading to defend my claim that you "imply that Portland's economic superiority has anything to do with its moral superiority." Perhaps you didn't use the word "moral" but then, I used the word "imply".

You wrote: "Our so-called liberal bubbles—our cities, in other words—are thriving, economically." AND "cities are emphasizing the forward-looking ideals of environmentalism ... and rejecting the restrictive, anti-humanitarian rules that conservatism has historically placed on the peoples it wishes to oppress." in the same paragraph. We can pretend our ideals aren't also moral tenets, but why should we? I think environmentalism is a moral cause, as is humanitarianism.

But you are probably right to believe I was overlaying some of my own experience onto your words. Im sorry for that. It is a counter-point unto itself, regardless of your support for it, that Portland - among many liberal cities (SF, NY and Chicago have been experienced firsthand, but I'm sure there are others) - absolutely reeks of a righteousness deriving from this false narrative. I hear it all the time, "why can't they get with the times?", "if it's so bad why don't they move?". And I am merely pointing out that cities are "thriving economically" through no fault of our own. They are the centers of economic activity because trade has displaced manufacturing, and because of the economies of scale that they enable as a result. Environmental and humanitarian policy is a recent addition to this success, not a cause. And you said it yourself, much of this is "by necessity": traffic motivates the use of bikes or public transit; riots motivate the pursuit of more humanitarian police and housing policy. But none of this policy pops the self-righteous bubble we confine ourselves to. My sister and her friends, residents of the North-Side Chicago bubble Lincoln Park, recently marveled to me about how amazing it is that everyone in their neighborhood is just like them! It's like a big party, they said, aggressively ignoring the suffering just 30 minutes to their south. And when trump was elected, their marveling was redirected out, at the rest of the country, at how the rest of the world could be so stupid. These are Michigan grads; smart, liberal, mostly empathic young people working in non-profits and government and occasionally finance. I don't hate them for their insularity, I love my sister, but I can't read your post and not hear their righteousness.

The reality that SNL brings to the fore is that we are all, literally all of us, guarding ourselves from truths that we don't have empathic room for. You say "It's possible to have empathy for an out-of-work coal or auto worker while still asserting that the empty promise of bringing back their old jobs will do nothing to better anyone's situation." But you display no such empathy, and worse, you further the lie that these are all empty promises. Manufacturing could exist here if wages were allowed to drop, but that's incompatible with the liberal push for a higher minimum wage. Coal could be lucrative(ish), but it's incompatible with environmental concern. And that's fine. Argue your side. I too push for a higher minimum wage and more stringent environmental regulations; but I do not kid myself that it wont hurt some people. And I do everything in my power to see the logic through their eyes, to avoid resorting to the lazy counter of "delusion" or "bubble", because to do so merely reveals your own delusion.
The author, Ned L is so thin-skinned being that from within his insulated world-view he can't even get the humor of "the Bubble" skit.
Instead, he attributes the failure of others to agree with his left-wing orthodoxies to stupidity and "fake news."
I'm sure he'd fit right in. (If he can afford 1.9 million for a one-bedroom apartment. Remember, "It's Brooklyn, with a bubble on it!")
Look at the education (endoctrination) going on in our public schools and our universities. It takes a special kind of 'smart' to beleive hillary is the candidate of the people. It takes a special kind od 'smart' to believe war with russis is good.
When 'war is peace' and 'peace is war' you know you are in a bubble. Now trun NPR back on to be safe in your bubble. Biaaatch!
You are hilarious Ned. The satire is amazing. You really had everyone believing you were a clueless, untraveled, pompous ass.

You really had these guys going. As if anyone's parents would let them grow up completely ignorant of the people outside their little social circle. A bubble some might call it. The notion is absurd.

Please wait...

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