I’ve had two memorable trips to San Francisco and it’s one of my favorite cities.

When I was in college, a few of us got to fly out there for some journalism conferences not long after a massive earthquake halted the 1988 World Series. About a quarter-century later, I got back to San Fran with the family as part of three weeks spent driving across the country.


Amazing place. The hills, the trolleys, the architecture. Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge. Seafood, sourdough bread and local wine. WHat a great place to visit, although the insane housing prices make it impossible for anyone who isn’t making serious bank in the tech sector to live there. I left my heart, as well as my wallet, there.

Looking at a map of the United States, it’s as far left as you can go before you’re in the Pacific Ocean. Politically, it’s also as far Left as you can go. Some of the things going on in San Francisco are a big part of the why so many of the flyover states — and places like Carroll County — are unlikely to pull levers for any candidate with a "D" next to their name. Some of the news that comes out of the city by the bay just makes you shake your head.

Last month, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors’ adopted new “person first” language guidelines meant to “change the public’s perception of criminals.” According to the Los Angeles Times, examples include changing “felon” and “offender” to “returning resident” or “formerly incarcerated person.” A “parolee” could be described as a “person under supervision.” “Convict” could be referred to as a “currently incarcerated person,” while a “juvenile offender” or “delinquent” would be described as a “young person impacted by the justice system.”

Just another example of the politicization of language, sort of like the way illegal immigrants are now undocumented workers. They’re euphemisms, almost Orwellian. (Nearby Berkeley, the previous month, passed an ordinance to replace 20 or say everyday words with gender-neutral words, which is how “manhole” became “maintenance hole.”)

More recently, on Sept. 3, that same San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to designate the National Rifle Association a “domestic terrorist organization.” I’m not a fan of the NRA and I can’t stand the influence the organization has with too many politicians, but equating it to the Ku Klux Klan or the Aryan Nations? Lumping them in with the terrorists responsible for the Oklahoma City or Boston Marathon bombings or any of the politically motivated mass shootings?

The resolution calls on San Francisco to “take every reasonable step to assess the financial and contractual relationships our vendors and contractors have with this domestic terrorist organization.” Blacklisting those who have dealings with the NRA?

The San Francisco school board was in the news throughout the summer for voting unanimously to paint over a mural of George Washington in a city high school because it depicts slaves and implies the conquest over Native Americans. The pricetag for painting over it, including the necessary environmental impact assessment? More than $600,000.

They have since reached a compromise and will cover up the 1936 work by a famous artist, rather than destoy it. Still, it will no longer be on display. It’s one thing to take down monuments to Confederate generals in a park or next to a roadway. It’s another to get rid of a work of art that was actually designed to spark conversation inside the exact venue — a high school — where such discussions should be taking place.

Examples like these are oft-cited by Fox News or conservative talk radio hosts to paint all Democrats with the broadest and deepest blue brush possible, trying to characterize the entire party as a scary bunch Republicans should want nothing to do with. It works in reverse, too, of course, meaning there are plenty of Democrats all to happy to label Republicans as gun-toting, Bible-thumping racists.

In reality, in Carroll County, as in most of America, Democrats and Republicans live side-by-side and co-exist just fie, chatting about sports and movies and school and yardwork and favorite restaurants and local politics without hating each other, knowing they are far more alike than different.

I"m not sure that’s the case in San Francisco. Still, I’d love to take another vacation there to check out the sea lions at the wharf, enjoy the drive across the Golden Gate and explore Alcatraz, which once housed some of the country’s most dangerous convicts. Oops, I mean incarcerated persons.