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How Woke Lefties Ruined Aspen


On Christmas Eve in 2019, The Aspen Times fired its most popular columnist.

Glenn Beaton had been writing his column for seven years. Called “The Aspen Beat,” it routinely took to task — most often in a humorous way — the woke pieties of the famous mountain town and its privileged left-wing elites. The token conservative writer was gone. The newspaper’s intolerance caused its readers to lose an insightful source of contemporary analysis. But now in his new book, High Attitude: How Woke Liberals Ruined Aspen, Beaton delivers for all with biting sarcasm the full story of the resort town.

That story begins only 150 years ago with, appropriately enough, a somewhat crackpot idea called “free silver.” For the last quarter of the 19th century, the idea kicked around that the government should buy large quantities of silver to create an easy money supply. And for a time, it did just that. Aspen, originally called Ute City, had some of the largest silver deposits on Earth, and it boomed, reaching a population of more than 12,000. Congress repealed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act in 1893, ending the artificial demand for the metal, and Aspen became a quasi-ghost town with a population at the dawn of the 20th century of only a few hundred.

After a long downturn, Aspen boomed…

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