From Summer of Love to Winter of Fascism

When I mustered out of the army at Oakland after returning from Vietnam in 1970, the counterculture scene was San Francisco, which leaped into the hippie imagination and the conservative nightmares after the so-called 1967 Summer of Love: Haight Ashbury neighborhood, dope-in, Scott MacKenzie-Flowers in your hair, Mamas and Papas, California Dreamin, rock impresario Bill Graham and the Fillmore Ballroom, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane. Yeah, acid rock, marijuana wasn’t legal but that’s what made it counterculture. Except for AIDS, that counterculture scene was almost benign compared to the same place today. The flower children grew up, got into the educational and political establishments, gained power, became officially Democrats, and were finally in position to implement their ideas for a utopian society, a beacon of kindness, tolerance, compassion, piles of discarded needles and drug paraphernalia, of human shit and unrestrained garbage everywhere that’s walkable. Where high tech reigns, by making apps for your phone to navigate shit and needles. The Winter of Fascism is regulating everything that shouldn’t be and nothing that should be.

High tax rates, profitable business leaving the state, tech billionaires making sure to keep their own enclaves white, outlawing plastic bags, clove cigarettes, Coke and bottled-water machines, people playing stickball in the street, people playing chess in the street, pet stores, goldfish, masked balls, and the practice of letting your dog stick his head halfway out the window while you’re driving. Long ago they banned toys being given away with Happy Meals at McDonald’s. There are several states that have been under sanction by San Francisco at various times, with city employees forbidden from traveling on official business to Arizona, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota, and Texas.

It’s illegal to ride a Segway in San Francisco, to package food with Styrofoam, to declaw a cat, or to serve chocolate milk in schools. No one in government is allowed to make any contract with any company that uses tropical hardwood and no school is allowed to offer Junior ROTC. Don’t give your 5-year-old a slingshot for his birthday, because that’s an illegal weapon. In the City Council chambers, they sit around debating the effects of Juul electronic cigarettes. Juul is a San Francisco company, so once again the city is eating its young, trying to legislate out of existence a $2 billion local firm that employs 1,500 people. The argument is that young people shouldn’t be vaping, and the little bastards get away with it because Juul products so closely resemble flash drives that they can hide them from clueless teachers. Leave it to San Francisco to deal with an enforcement challenge with a blanket ban—but, of course, life is always more complicated than that, so these are the same faux cigarettes that millions of people use to stop smoking real cigarettes. Public scolds keep busy telling the rest of the world how to behave. Scolding is the new fascism! Achtung and Seig Heil!

Because S. F. is such a rousing success, the former mayor, Gavin “Stalin” Newsome, or is it Noisome, got elected governor. Chief Nazi/commie Newsom’s June 22 Facebook and Twitter address to the people of California should have been a big story. Pay attention to California as a cautionary tale. The speech is only a minute twenty-five. David Cole of Takimag.com did a little transcribing of it.

“In California, I want folks to know you have rights. Know your rights, learn more about your rights, your legal protection. Know that you should continue to send your kids to camp, summer school, know that you should feel confident going to work. We have your back. I just want to say to folks that are anxious about a knock on the door, when we talk about knowing your rights, no abras la puerta [don’t open the door]. Without a warrant, you don’t have to open the door. Without a warrant, you do not have to open the door. You have the right to due process, you have the right to legal representation. We’re going to make sure you know more about that. We’re going to make sure that our judicial system sends that message out, our educational system, our health-care system will send out the same message. We’re Californians; it’s a special place. The spirit of this state is a spirit of reconciling all our interesting differences…

Ah, he’s talking to illegals.

You know, we’ve been through this before, we lived through this same political theater in the 1990s. Prop. 187…we had people talking down to people, talking past people…three strikes you’re out, the fear of the other…We’re better than that. We’re resilient. We came out stronger than ever on the other side. That’s the spirit of our state, and spirit defines this moment. …uniting, as we like to say, around our common humanity. We’re better than this moment in the United States of America, and know we’re gonna get through it stronger than ever.

“According to the governor of California, what the people of California voted for in overwhelming numbers in the 1990s was merely ‘political theater.’ Nineteen ninety-four’s Proposition 187, also known as the Save Our State (SOS) initiative, was a ballot measure that established ‘a state-run citizenship screening system and prohibited illegal immigrants from using non-emergency health care, public education, and other services in the State of California.” Prop. 187 passed 59 percent to 41 percent. Sixty-five percent of white voters supported it. A majority of black and Asian voters supported it. Sixty-two percent of independents supported it. But apparently it was only “political theater.”

“Cali voters passed the ‘three strikes’ law in 1994 by a whopping 72 percent to 28 percent margin. All they were asking of our criminals was that they not commit three felonies, yet Newsom thinks we were being very unreasonable indeed. To him, three strikes represents ‘fear of the other’, the ‘other’ being murderers, thieves, and rapists. And who could possibly fear them? And by the way, it’s a well-known fact that in ’94, policies like three strikes had the widespread support of black leaders looking to reduce crime in their communities. So who exactly were the ‘others’ they feared? Is he saying we were ‘talking down’ to three-time felons by telling them, ‘ You should have stopped after your second one’?”

Who’s the royal “wein his rant? We passed Prop. 187. We passed three strikes. We voted to end affirmative action in universities. We voted to end bilingual education. We voted to ban gay marriage (2008!). Not all Californians who were here in the ’90s have fled. Many remain. But we’ve been neutered by demographic change and partisan redistricting, to the extent that “we” no longer matter…to the extent that Newsom spends the rest of his speech addressing those who are not “we”:…unless those differences include being right-of-center…

Cole continues: “There’s something unique about Newsom’s speech. He’s not only badmouthing the people of his own state, he’s celebrating population replacement. ‘The Californians who used to live here were evil. Thankfully, we’ve silenced them or driven them out.’ In some ways San Francisco’s descent into madness is self-correcting, because eventually so many groups will be pointing fingers at so many other groups, demanding lifestyle alterations designed to create healthy specimens of Correct Living, that the whole peninsula will devolve into something resembling the Soviet Union in 1965, if they’re lucky, and Venezuela in 2019 if they’re not. Social engineers are an arrogant lot, and they’ll keep talking and legislating until the last iconoclast has been castrated and jailed. They can’t actually kill him because they outlawed cemeteries.

Make no mistake. This is what you get when Democrats have unchecked power. Summer of Love to Winter of Fascism. The only thing worse than anarchy is totalitarianism. San Francisco represents the worst kind of progression. Hate Trump? Fine, then love Newsome. I used the term Fascism even though I called Newsome Stalin. Communism and Fascism differ only in who owns the “means of production”, though what matters is who gives the orders. In both systems, dictators and their bureaucrats give the orders. The rest of the United States is still a Constitutional republic. Hopefully, it will remain so.