So, now that the election is over, what are we to think of prominent Republicans who routinely use phrases like "San Francisco values", "San Francisco liberal", or "San Francisco agenda" as not only a slur against Nancy Pelosi, but against a large amount of fellow Americans?
Some of those most recently using these phrases include:
Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, soon-to-be-former House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert, soon-to-be-former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, soon-to-be-former Congressman Jim Leach, soon-to-be-former Congressman John Hostettler, soon-to-be-former Congressman Gil Gutknecht, and soon-to-be-former Congressman Charles Taylor.
Obviously, using these kind of implied slurs doesn't seem to have helped them much.
Never mind that Nancy Pelosi is:
- originally from Baltimore.
- married to her husband, Paul ...for the last 43 years.
- strongly religious -- Roman Catholic.
- a woman who chose to stay at home and raise her five children through their youngest years.
- a grandmother.
- a member of the House Intelligence Committee ...for 14 years.
Republican strategist Ed Rollins recently called San Francisco "one of the bastions of lawlessness" in America, despite the fact that San Francisco's per-capita crime rate is lower than that of Minneapolis, Kansas City, Omaha, Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Memphis, Columbus, Indianapolis, Tulsa, Wichita, Oklahoma City, Nashville, etc.? Or that San Francisco is outpaced by such cities in almost every category of violent crime, including murder, armed robbery, rape, and sexual molestation?
Or, while we're talking about San Francisco values, why don't we mention how the people of San Francisco strongly support the (formerly) Conservative / Libertarian values of "I don't want a bunch of big government bureaucrats poking their head into my business..."? San Francisco's values on things like making marajuana-related crimes a low priority, "care, not cash" welfare reform, or keeping the government out of what goes on in people's bedrooms reflect a strong Conservative ( and arguably, a strong Libertarian) streak in San Francisco's values system. That's why those radicals in Montana just passed similar legislation regarding their drug enforcement policies, presumably. Why aren't the Republicans attacking Montana's values too?
In 2005, Nancy Pelosi helped to bring $17 million in federal funds back to the people of her district, in order to help house, feed, heal, educate and care for the children of people who were homeless and those on the verge of homelessness. More than $2 million of that money went to Christian-run charities. More San Francisco values for ya...
When people attack San Francisco values, they should also consider what else they're really attacking. They're attacking its numerous influences on the rest of the country, such as the eight-hour workday, workplaces where people are allowed to wear business casual clothes that are comfortable for them, rather than suits & ties, or long dresses with heels. They're attacking the right of women to have short hair, and of men to have hair that isn't short, combed, and Brylcreemed. They're attacking the right of you to do your job every day without your co-workers blowing carcenogenic smoke in your face. They're attacking your ability to purchase cars that are more efficient and less polluting. They're attacking America's first cable cars, it's first electric trolleys, and public transit systems that, by and large, actually work. They're attacking the openness and creativity that gave birth to much of the high-tech revolution and to many of the most important developers of the World Wide Web. They're attacking the heartland of the modern, venture capital driven world where bold investors take big risks to create big, new, innovative, never-before-seen companies that revolutionize the way we live. They're attacking the favorite American city for travelers and tourists from around the world. They're attacking a city so open and so metropolitan that it gave birth to this country's first Italian restaurant, its first Chinese restaurant, its first Japanese restaurant, and, it appears, the first Vietnamese restaurant and Thai restaurant too. In addition, The City also launched fusion cuisine and California cuisine to the rest of the nation... and created sourdough bread, too. They're attacking the largest U.S. city to ever be destroyed by a natural disaster, only to rebuild, bigger, stronger, and greater. All of these are San Francisco values too.
The rest of America wants, envies, and sometimes, fears the kind of success, innovation, and change that San Francisco has consistantly given birth to... and yet, they fail to see how San Francisco's values have led inexorably to its admirable successes.
Now, maybe it's just me, but it seems a bit ignorant / racist / xenophobic / unamerican for supposedly patriotic Americans to define each other in ways that denegrate and pigeonhole other Americans, and encourage hatred, distrust, and division between Americans. What do the people spouting such calculated slurs want Americans to do... fight the Civil War again? Didn't enough good people die the first time? Accusing someone of suffering from "San Francisco values" is about as fair as accusing people of "repressed Floridian deviancy", "Billings born-on-the-farm ignorance", "Dallas drill-and-spill environmentalism", "Tennessee trailer trash politics", the "Mississippi Good 'ol Boy network", or any other implied slur you can come up with.
Really, it makes about as much sense as, say, implying that people who don't study hard will get stuck in Iraq... even if you never intended your remarks to potentially insult hundreds of thousands of people. The difference, of course, is that slurs like "San Francisco values" *ARE* intentional.
So please, for the love of America, can we all just try to get over all this crap like "San Francisco values", "New England elitists", and other divisive descriptives that slur many, but say little? it's not particularly effective thing to say to anyone who isn't already prone to xenophobic, reactionary beliefs, but it does make you sound ignorant, arrogant, and unamerican to everyone else in the room.
And who knows, they just might want to indicate their displeasure at such dirty, divisive insults the next time they vote.