We are reposting a piece from June 1st as we were very concerned about the stability of the American Street and where the country was headed. We were worried about a future full of “peril,” and after the events of last Wednesday, some of which illustrated below, the times are now pretty damn perilous.
The mob came to hang the Vice President.
The Conversation: When I Knew America Was In Deep Shit
In early February, I drove to San Diego to attend a trade show. I stayed overnight in the beautiful beach town of San Clemente, the home of President Richard Nixon’s Western White House.
I awoke on Super Bowl Sunday and headed down to the ocean to grab some breakfast before driving down to San Diego to pick up my good friend and colleague at the airport and to prepare to watch my 49ers give an ass-kicking to the Chiefs. Wrong!
Bear Coast Coffee
I had been pretty bearish on the market at the time and thought how appropriate it was to eat at the Bear Coast Coffee. I do believe in omens, by the way. This was about two weeks before the market peaked on February 19th [and experienced the sharpest and quickest drop in history, falling 35.4 percent over the next 24 trading days before a multi-trillion-dollar bailout].
I snapped this picture and even thought about posting it while I was eating breakfast.
San Clemente, February 2, 2020
Clean & Pristine San Clemente
San Clemente wreaks of wealth (ranked 11th wealthiest city in the country), multi-million dollar ocean view homes, and I was very impressed by the clean and pristine character of the city. I thought what a great summer vacation spot for my daughter and me. Sat next to and had a great convo with a nice couple, who said their son commuted on the Amtrak to high school into Santa Ana. Great morning.
San Clemente, February 2, 2020
San Diego Convention Center
After nursing the wounds of the 49ers fourth-quarter collapse, we were about two days into the trade show when an elderly gentleman stopped in our booth and began to chat with my colleague.
Let’s call him Joe and my colleague Jim. After exchanging niceties, the conversation went something like this.
Joe: Can you believe what is happening to the world? The homeless are overrunning the country. Shitting in public. You can’t even walk in San Francisco now without stepping in human feces! Those god damn liberals can’t run anything. The homeless have even overrun my town of San Clemente. God damn it!
Jim (from back east): No, haven’t really thought about or noticed it.
[I found out later Joe’s net worth puts him in the Top 1 percent and couldn’t really confirm if he was a college graduate. I almost jumped in and told Joe he was full of shit and had been sniffing too much Faux News. I was primed for such a debate as I’ve had many similar Twitter debates with people making the same argument about San Francisco but have, you guessed it, never set foot in the town. Their perception was all painted by hard alt-right pundits.
In fact, I was in San Francisco just the prior week and snapped the following picture to use in my Twitter debates. If anyone can find a human turd in the photo, I will send you $1000. The same goes for the pictures of San Clemente. No photoshopping.
San Francisco, January 2020
Of course, every city has a homeless problem and San Francisco’s is more acute than most. But the problem is not as ubiquitous as Faux News portrays.
I also wanted to wrap Joe on the knuckles with the fact that the People’s Republic Of SF sports the most billionaires per capita by a factor 8x the second-highest, NYC, and the city has the highest rents in the nation, which might help explain, in part, its homeless problem. See our post here. I bit my tongue and kept quiet.]
Then the convo turned very ugly.
Joe: My wife told me the other day she wanted to buy a gun. I said, “honey, why do you need a gun? I have several and we have a very good and expensive alarm system for the house. What’s up.” She told me, “I don’t want a gun for protection, I want one to shoot the liberals!”
I thought WTF is wrong with this guy? I am almost certain he was 100 percent serious. The dude is not a poor uneducated cracker from some “‘Podunk’ Town In The Middle Of Nowhere” He’s a one-percenter and lives in the 11th wealthiest city in the nation.
How could this be? Didn’t he realize he could just have been easily born a crack baby in Harlem if not for being born into the Lucky Sperm Club?
Whatever happened to the noblesse oblige practiced by the likes of the Kennedy clan and George H.W. Bush, the unwritten obligation of people of means to act honorably and generously to others of lesser means?
Right then and there, I realized the country was near a very ominous tipping point.
If you think the instability in the American Street is going away anytime soon, think again.
There may be an ebb and flow of calm and violence but unless the underlying issues discussed above are addressed and mitigated the country has crossed the Rubicon into failed state territory.
Trump can continue to talk tough and even send the M1 tanks into the streets but it won’t make a damn bit of difference but to make matters worse.
It’s time to get to work and begin to really address the issues at their very core, America.
All of us united, even if the goal is to save what’s left of our own personal and selfish interests. The alternative is peril.
Great essay. Thanks for posting it. In my view, people have to start shouting it from the rooftops. Enough is enough. I myself have been running around with my hair on fire posting on FB the alarm about Trump and right wing extremists since before he was elected. I know a few others who’ve been doing so too, and for several years. Elizabeth George, the NY Times Best Selling fiction writer, every election year writes a collection of political essays that are always spot on. But since 2016 she opened a twitter account as well and writes against Trump every day, several times a day, for the last four years straight.
But I believe most people of good faith meaning well, just tuned out, could not take the stress of it all. The ReTrumpers though, they have only been emboldened. He has screwed up everthing he’s touched since taking office. But the one thing, the one messed up thing to be sure, but the one thing he’s been somehow able to do, is to unite this god forsaken amalgamation of misfits, white nationalists, conservative Christians, racists, knuckle draggers, motor cycle gang bankers, and the right wing billionaire class; Sheldon Adelsohn, the Mercers, Black Water mercenary DeVoss, et all with the Fox Fixed News, Rush Limbaugh’s and wannabe’s, the Sinclair Broadcasting local media take over, NewsMax and the phalanx of online right wing extremists…..As Chris Hedges predicted a decade or more ago, our beloved country is slowly but surely turning a Christian-Fascist mob-state reminiscent of Hitler’s Germany in the 1930’s or worse.
People have to Wake Up, its happening again.
So how to turn all this around at this late date? In my view, the one biggest thing is the right’s extremists lies, their spin their dishonoring the truth. We have to have a society with one set of facts based on objective truth. Thats the problem. We have let those on the right get away with the lying far too long and that has got to stop. Enough is enough.
Hey Gregor. I hope you & yours are well.
I left twitter a while back as me, it and a full lockdown were not getting along. I am continuing to follow you out here from the interweb though!
You should have my email via this blog I am subscribed. It is similar to my ex-twitter handle. Please feel free to drop me a line if you ever travel back to the Emerald Isle for a look or for any other reason.
Yeah, but back to your article: it is shocking stuff to hear. Polarisation seems to be everywhere though in this age of social media and self-centered news consumption. I suppose the USA has a relatively high murder rate (for its prosperity) and lax gun laws to add to the mix, so it must significantly up the fear level there.
I will leave it there on that. Best wishes to Carol K. Bye for now.
Zé, – your ‘Irish brother-from-another-mother’.