If current trends continue, the place Tony Bennett affectionately called “the city by the bay” will soon be no more. San Francisco, which a massive earthquake could not destroy in 1906 is being brought to its knees by decades of liberal policies that destroyed it from within.
It’s been a long, slow, painful death most people have watched from afar. Mostly because in the last few years it hasn’t been a safe place to go — if one could afford to make the trip.
Over time, the needs of what used to be called “the underprivileged” were allowed to supersede those of the people who pay the bills. City leaders allowed crime to get out of control. The infrastructure was allowed to crumble. The homeless were permitted to defecate on the streets. Addicts got clean needles. San Francisco was allowed to go to the dogs-but the dogs wouldn’t take it.
This was not a natural process. It resulted from policy choices made by elected officials trying to appease voters who believed they’d been victimized, to resurrect a counter-culture term, “by the man.”
They brought wrack and ruin to its residents, who don’t realize they’ve been pawns in a long, drawn-out campaign to replace the nation’s founding values with those embraced by the generation that gave us “free love.” In a sense, San Francisco is the test case for what they’d like to do to America.
They can, or at least they believe they can, because San Francisco has a hold on the Democratic Party that Chicago, New York and Boston can only envy. Many of its most significant funders are there — or nearby anyway, close enough to wield power but far enough that they don’t have to deal with the filth and the muck and mire with which its residents must contend daily.
The most important politicians are San Franciscans too. Vice President Kamala Harris. Nancy Pelosi, who’s still in charge of the Democrats in the House of Representatives no matter who has the title of party leader. Even California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who many people believe is already in the bullpen warming up in case the party elders have to pull Joe Biden from the game before the next national convention, was its mayor.
For all that, you’d think it would be a showplace. Instead, the city is divided into enclaves for the rich and ghettos for the poor, the effects of decades-long permissive liberalism are starting to be felt throughout its environs. It was recently announced that, after 35 years, the Nordstrom chain would be closing its San Francisco stores because of “the deteriorating situation” in the downtown areas.
That means because of the crime and general unpleasantness one now routinely encounters. To put it another way, the general environment keeps shoppers out but is a boon to shoplifters who, it seems, take what they want with abandon because they now have little to fear in the way of consequences.
The local ABC affiliate reported that the Market Street Nordstrom Rack would close on July 1 and the Nordstrom inside Westfield Mall would close in August. This after how many drugstores and groceries and small businesses had already shut their doors for the same reasons. No one, it seems, is counting but the cumulative effect is clear.
The lockdowns, which Gov. Newsom enforced so enthusiastically while dining out at pricy restaurants like The French Laundry, were probably the tipping point that pushed the city over the edge.
The recovery in California has been slower than in most of the so-called red states in no small part because of the situation in San Francisco. Policies that subsidize sloth and foster lawlessness lead to more of it.
Be warned America, no matter who is in charge — what’s happening in the lace that used to be called “The Paris for the West” is what they have planned for your state, your town and your community.
A former UPI senior political writer and U.S. News and World Report columnist, Peter Roff is a senior fellow at several public policy organizations including the Trans-Atlantic Leadership Network. Contact him at RoffColumns AT gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter and TruthSocial @TheRoffDraft.
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