Over at Townhall, columnist Debra Saunders gives us her take on the ongoing disintegration of San Francisco. Excerpt:
It’s a dystopian pit. It stinks. It feels dangerous. It isn’t clean. It is an expensive temple to a left-wing ideology that has turned a shining city into an obstacle course of broken needles, human waste and broken men and women who harm themselves and those around them.
You’d expect to see the kind of rot you see in San Francisco in a city that is hemorrhaging wealth and jobs. To the contrary, the City by the Bay is swimming in tech and tourism money — for now.
San Francisco is poor mainly when it comes to making the city work for the residents and workers who keep it running rather than enabling those who piss all over it.
I know a little bit about this because I wrote a column for the San Francisco Chronicle for 24 years, ending in 2016.
I’ve been to the tent cities and the full-service center that was supposed to navigate the homeless off the streets.
I’ve listened to police who talk like social workers even as they lament a system that will not allow them to do what needs to be done to make the city safer. And I’ve heard the tug in their voices at their inability to do something to take on the criminal elements of homelessness.
Having spent the year of 2017 in the Bay Area, I can confirm all of the above, and it’s probably grown worse in the two years since. And here’s the onion:
San Franciscans tell themselves that their city has so many street people because they are so compassionate. But really, this brand of compassion doesn’t work for anyone. It is cruelty for all.
And, yes, part of the problem is San Franciscans themselves – not the ones who are sleeping in parks and shitting on the streets, but the ones who are enabling this behavior.
See, there’s a funny attitude I noticed in San Francisco residents in the year I lived and worked in the Bay Area. Many (although not all) residents of that city carry a weird self-reinforcing conceit, that they live in San Francisco because they are “better people,” and that San Francisco is likewise better because they live there. It’s an odd feedback loop so wonderfully lampooned by South Park in an episode showing San Francisco liberals as being in love with the smell of their own flatulence.
Presumably they’re in love with the smell of human shit on their sidewalks, too. And with discarded needles on their streets. And bums sleeping in the parks. If they weren’t, would they keep voting to install local politicians who make this possible?
Side note: Twenty years or so ago, I had the opportunity to exchange a few emails with Debra Saunders. I had written (politely) to comment on one of her articles that I disagreed with, but she responded graciously and, while neither of us converted the other on the subject disagreed on, I enjoyed the brief discussion and came away impressed with her class and her intelligence. I can’t even remember the subject now, but I do remember that.