Wealthy Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tom Perkins thinks that people who criticise the rich are acting like the Nazis did toward the Jews in World World II:
Writing from the epicentre of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its “one per cent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one per cent, namely the “rich.”
He uses three bits of evidence to support his argument: protests over buses that large technology companies have hired to transport workers from their homes in San Francisco to their offices an hour south in the Bay Area; outrage over rising Bay Area real estate prices; and what he calls “libelous and cruel attacks” on Danielle Steel in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Steel is Perkins’ ex-wife.
He is referring to a series of articles in which the Chronicle teased Steel over an enormous hedge that flanks her home, known as Spreckels Mansion.
Chronicle Columnist C.W. Nevius explained the articles like this:
I may have made a little fun of the hedge that conceals Steel’s San Francisco house. Actually, as I wrote, it isn’t really a hedge. It’s more like a huge, botanical freak of nature. Chronicle architectural critic John King, who started all this (you’re welcome John, enjoy the view from the underside of the bus) called it “comically off-putting.”
Steel responded at first by explaining that she wanted to trim the hedge, but her security people advised against it. She also told the Chronicle:
Sometimes, I think San Francisco hates successful people. No matter what I do, people say nasty stuff. I mean the world is falling apart and people complain about my hedge. It’s a mystery.
Nevius then pointed out that this particular home is a 55-room French chateau with a Louis XVI ballroom situated smack dab in the middle of a very public part of the city, across the street from Lafayette Park.
… that’s when we solve the mystery. It isn’t that San Francisco hates successful people. It’s snobs we don’t like.
Steel fired back in a letter to the editor that explained how these articles about her hedge, and the accusation that she’s a “snob,” have “reduced a life reasonably lived life to rubble.”
And her ex-husband, Perkins, jumped to her defence by telling the world that we’re witnessing “a very dangerous drift in our American thinking” that to him looks like how the Nazis treated the Jews.
Let’s reasonably point out that 6 million Jews were snatched from their homes, including 1.5 million children, and killed by Nazis.
But to Perkins’ way of thinking, protests about buses, housing prices and articles that joke about a mansion’s hedge is a similar slippery slope.
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