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July 10, 2008

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Any constituency for real social democracy would have to tiptoe through the minefield of race and ethnicity. In a country where living patterns are like battlelines, this is nearly impossible. Chalk it up to the Right's successful political strategy of making sure Joe Sixpack sees issues through an epidermal prism.

Phoenix looks forlorn today and the future is in no way promising. There was a bit of optimism a few years ago that some phantom brigades of yuppies would swoop on downtown and make a dead heart beat. That dream is over. And what we're looking at today is the despair that comes from realizing that there's no realistic strategy for imposing civic values on a place where so few exist at any level.

The real-estate depression may last 10 years here and if global warming really kicks in, it's over anyway. Phoenix has a comatose newspaper, precious few headbangers in the CEO class, and plenty of disgruntled citizens waiting for a Sean Hannity to explain the pain.

This day's coming was inevitable. True, the villains will be named and blamed, but the truth is in our vanity mirrors. We believed you could expand forever in a place that defeated hard-core survivalists like the Hohokams. I doubt we'll be missed.

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