This was the most frequently asked question I encountered in Phoenix recently. Admittedly, the Resistance was demoralized by the results of the election. But the query-cum-statement came from more than activists — indeed, they are more likely to be too invested in the fight to allow a crack of doubt to enter.
Those asking are natives or have lived in the state for many years or decades. They are not nostalgiacs. They are intelligent and pragmatic. Some are considering leaving, adding to the brain drain of urbanites who come to Phoenix starry eyed at a "blank slate" only to discover the many barriers to progress and depart for Portland, Denver and Vancouver, B.C.
In raising this issue, I don't want to provoke the usual denial, sunny codependency or angry defensiveness. I was surprised that so many people, unprompted, asked the question.
Is Arizona hopeless?
It certainly doesn't seem that way to the Republicans and "conservative"-leaning independents who vote. They continue to get the place they want, with the exception of such socialist outbreaks as light rail (WBIYB). Some are people with whom I went to school but remained there. They are decent, smart individuals and, against all odds of the Cold Civil War, we remain friends. Anyway, the cons have no reason to complain — but that won't stop it from manufacturing its lifeline of perpetual grievance and victimhood. They tend to be sore winners.
So the question applies to others. How many are there? It's difficult to say with precision. People keep moving to Arizona, albeit at a slower pace. A Morrison Institute poll of more than a decade ago found that a strong plurality of residents would leave the state if they could.
Who would ask such a question? Anyone to the left of today's "conservative" dogma (which would include Barry Goldwater, were he alive); liberals and progressives; people with urban values; those concerned about the destruction of the environment; those disheartened by the struggle to build and maintain civic, economic and cultural assets as befits a big city, and the ones beaten down by the struggle as Arizona has become a one-party, one-ideology state.
Is Arizona hopeless?
You know this is the wrong place to look for booster lies ("Talton hates Arizona"). And as much as I would love to write a stirring column channelling Henry V or Churchill, it is a little late for in the game for that.
So the answer partly depends partly on how one defines Arizona and how one defines hopeless.