Baghdad by the Bay

Category: Americas
Author: Herb Caen


by throwaway21310   2020-06-29
People get a sense of moral superiority for having one political view or another _after choosing among alternative political views by comparing their relative morality_. What do you do? Treat it like being a sports fan? Flip a coin?

Labelling an entire city as "left-leaning" is a perfectly reasonable and quotidian practice. For instance, if over a period of time, City A generally voted for left-leaning politicians and passed left-leaning referenda, while City B generally voted for right-leaning politicians and passed right-leaning referenda, most people would think it was fair to characterize City A as "left-leaning" and City B as "right-leaning".

I'm guessing by the including of "entire" you are confused about the meaning of "leaning"? It means that on average, compared to some larger (e.g. national) mean, the population of a city has views that are to the left of that mean. It doesn't mean every single person has left views on every single issue.

It's a very widely shared perception that San Francisco was left-leaning for the latter half of the 20th century into the beginning of the current. Early San Francisco was dominated by a relatively conservative patrician elite but over time it earned its "Baghdad-By-The-Bay" ( reputation from things like electing the first openly-gay man to political office in America ( to being the epicenter of the sociocultural phenomenon known as "The Summer of Love" (