That is, according to Bill O'Reilly. I don't normally watch the guy's show (it's better for my blood pressure not to), but I came across this clip today, which purports to find a link between San Francisco's "secular progressive" city government and what they spin to be it's overly permissive, dirty, drugged up streets.
Because apparently no other city in the country has a homeless population. And because apparently, at least to O'Reilly and his ilk, marijuana is still the stuff of nightmares, hyper piano playing, and death.
This is propaganda of the most blatant and ridiculous stripe, but it's not surprising. Many ultra-conservative talk show hosts and even politicians have long since used the phrase "San Francisco values" as a none-too subtle way of saying "evil homosexual and liberal values." So to see O'Reilly and his crew putting together a sort of modern day cross between Birth of a Nation and Cruising does not come as much of a shock. It is still, however, deeply disappointing to know that there are people in this country who hold such antiquated, uninformed views of their fellow citizens--and that some of them are given widely disseminated public platforms.
Yes, San Francisco has major problems--just like every other city. But not only does the segment insinuate that SF is somehow unique in this (and that this is a result of a more liberal government), it also makes out legalized marijuana, homelessness itself, and homosexuality to be part of those problems. I'm amazed garbage like this ever makes it to the air, but more saddened that this is the chosen tactic of those on the far right who still feel so threatened by things they don't understand.
In this day and age, though, they have less and less excuse to continue in their ignorance. Marijuana is not the "demon weed" it was made out to be by a government and industries interested in eliminating all competition for the cotton industry. Homelessness is a problem we as a society must work to eradicate, but the people themselves are not inherently bad and are deserving of the same rights as the rest of us. Homosexuality...well, hot-button as it still (amazingly) is, medical science, history, and the attitudes of younger generations are all on the side of acceptance and respect. The tide has already well and thoroughly turned.
O'Reilly and his ilk? They should perhaps be readying themselves to walk with those dinosaurs they claim their ancestors once rode.