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Rantz: As France burns from riots, is Washington next?

A demonstrator at a burning barricade while protesting with others against the rising of the fuel taxes on the famed Champs Elysees avenue, in Paris Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. French police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse demonstrators as thousands gathered in the capital. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

Progressive policies purported to fight climate change has pushed French residents over the edge. Could something like that happen in Washington?

To present a complex issue a little bit easier to understand, here’s what’s happening in France: a countrywide movement of angry citizens are rioting over an obscenely high tax on diesel and a belief that politicians care more about city-dwellers, instead of rural farmers.

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Could that ever happen here? I don’t think Washingtonians, by our very nature, are violent. We tend to lean toward passive aggressiveness than anything. But there’s clearly bubbling dissatisfaction with the direction of the state when it comes to transportation issues.

Washington has overwhelmingly voted for Progressive initiatives to demonize cops and restrict gun rights. But when it came to Governor Jay Inslee’s carbon tax, they gave a resounding no. That should kill the idea of the carbon tax, but it’s an idea that won’t die thanks to Progressive politicians who want to cripple big oil and hurt the car culture that, like the carbon tax, also won’t die. They see the likely rise of autonomous cars, and they’re panicked. Now’s the time to exploit the topic of climate change, to go after evil oil.

But the people don’t want that. I don’t know how many more times the people have to reject the idea for politicians to figure it out. They keep pushing it and, at some point, the people are going to break.

Then look at how Seattleites are hyperserved to the detriments of suburban Washingtonians. The accountant who commutes from Puyallup to Downtown Seattle for work or the plumber from Snohomish trying to get around Seattle to meet clients, is met with crippling traffic that makes their lives miserable. They could, potentially, be served by Sound Transit projects, but the heavy Seattle influence means they’ll never come first. Policy is crafted to make Seattle activists happy, not the couple from Graham, the single mom from Kenmore, or the family from Mukilteo.

At some point, they too will break.

What might that look like? Riots? Maybe not. But they will mobilize and I think it will catch people here off guard as much as politicians appear to be surprised by what’s happening in France.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday mornings from 6-9 a.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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