You may be one of the many Americans who’s been avoiding major cities over the last two years. For most people, fears of crime and sickness are at the heart of their desire to keep some distance between themselves and the urban wastelands of America. A long-time reader/friend sent this piece to me from The Washington Free Beacon. He’s seen the problems. Andrew Stiles recounts a trip he recently took to San Francisco, and his efforts to avoid the drug-addled “zombies” walking the streets. He writes:
To paraphrase a line inaccurately attributed to Mark Twain: The most unsafe I ever felt in Iran was seven years later on the streets of San Francisco.
Like many of the city’s tourists, I’m staying in the Tenderloin district. A local shares some advice: “Watch your back. And your front.” My hotel is next to a pot dispensary and across the street from a luxury apartment building where the monthly rent for a 387 sq. ft. studio starts at $3,300. These are among the only going concerns on the entire block, which is teeming with trash and drug-addled vagrants.
As disconcerting as the daylight hours are, the Tenderloin is a dystopian nightmare after dark. The 200-yard walk to Chico’s Pizza feels like two miles. The three-minute timeframe suggested by Google Maps does not take into account improvised detours to evade the hordes of frenetic zombies roaming the streets and shouting at no one in particular. Before drifting off to sleep I am jolted awake by an automated voice—the voice of God?—blaring outside my window: “You are trespassing. This area is under video surveillance and you have been recorded.” I start to wonder if I’d merely dreamed that U.S. Army recruiting commercial about how the military is a fun club where you get to drink beers and shoot pool with your buddies. (I had not.)
It doesn’t feel very safe. Some liberals argue it’s morally abhorrent to feel this way, that it is simply an expression of “discomfort with poverty being more visible.” In the words of one local columnist, the city’s Democratic leaders should stop “pandering” to “affluent city dwellers who freak out any time they see a f—ing homeless person.” Even in San Francisco, these attitudes are starting to chafe. Days from now, a diverse coalition of city residents will vote to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin, the Yale-educated son of domestic terrorists and former Hugo Chavez intern whose “arrogant” demeanor and radical approach to criminal justice reform managed to piss off a majority of the city’s solidly progressive voters. Asian Americans in particular were eager to fire Boudin given his refusal to crack down on violent offenders as anti-Asian hate crimes surged in 2021.
The writing was on the wall. Boudin had struggled to feign enthusiasm during a last ditch get-out-the-vote rally at an “unapologetically punk” dive bar in the Mission district. I managed to avoid becoming (I assume) the only Trump-Boudin donor in America by pretending to pay the recommended entry fee on my phone, and arrived just in time for the emotional reunion of a recently paroled domestic terrorist (Boudin’s father David Gilbert) and Angela Davis, a former Communist Party vice-presidential candidate and winner of the Lenin Peace Prize. The embattled district attorney blamed his plight on “Republican billionaires.” Days before the recall vote, he appeared in one of the saddest photos ever taken.
Action Line: When Americans fear the heart of the nation’s great cities, you know there’s a problem. Urban centers used to be the symbol of America’s success and greatness, now they are the best measurement of its decay. Now more than ever you need to focus on your family’s wellbeing. I can help you. Click here to subscribe to my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter, and I’ll help you get your family prepared to meet the challenges America faces head-on.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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