“Hey, I’m in San Francisco and I’m at the rally right now to protest against Senator Diane Feinstein’s support for all of Trump’s nominees. I hope you’ll join me. Let’s make this thing real, okay?”
That’s how Bay Area businessman and financial visionary Roger McNamee invited his Facebook followers to participate in a peaceful protest outside Senator Diane Feinstein’s Pacific Heights mansion on Sunday afternoon. McNamee, who earned a B.A. from Yale and an M.B.A. from Dartmouth, is well known in the San Francisco area for a number of reasons, not the least of which are his philanthropic endeavors via the Rex Foundation and his musical contributions to a popular local band called Moonalice. Globally, McNamee is better known as the tech-savvy co-founder and managing director of media and entertainment investment firm, Elevation Partners, as well as the author of the insightful and foretelling 2004 tome, The New Normal: Great Opportunities in a Time of Great Risk.
When Roger McNamee sends out an open invitation, people show up
Dozens of peaceable protestors gathered outside the San Francisco mansion of Diane Feinstein to voice their opposition to the senator’s seemingly rubber-stamp approval of all of Donald Trump’s cabinet appointees thus far. The crowd, which appeared to comprise an assemblage of personalities as diverse as The City itself, chanted “Hey hey, ho ho! Jeff Sessions –just say no!” in unison as they peacefully proceeded along stone walkways to the front entrance of the Feinstein estate.
The first speaker was a rally organizer who announced to the Feinstein protesters that the senator has “broken rank” with the Democratic Party and that Californians find this entirely unacceptable. The speaker explained that the demonstration was by necessity held in the senator’s front yard after attempts to meet with her at her office proved fruitless. The senator, he noted, does not respond to faxes or other requests by constituents to communicate. When the organizer, whose name was unavailable in the video stream, added that Senator Feinstein has in recent weeks voted to approve 100 percent of Donald Trump’s appointments, the crowd responded with a chorus of boos and jeers.
One of the first protestors to voice an opinion to the crowd and to Senator Feinstein identified herself as a formerly homeless, currently disabled transgendered woman to whom the personal philosophies and political posturing of Jeff Sessions et al could prove deadly. While shaking her fist at Feinstein’s house, Jordan implored Diane Feinstein to “try to have a conscience” and added that since California resists Trump, the senator should start acting like an actual Californian. Another protestor reminded the crowd that Sessions has voiced interest in dismantling California’s new cannabis laws, effectively going against state’s rights. While pointing at Feinstein’s window, he shouted that she should be defending these rights.
When McNamee spoke to the Sunday afternoon crowd, this is what he said.
“I’m here today because I’m a proud American a lot of the time but right now, I fear our country has been turned upside down. The Constitution created by James Madison has been suspended. What we have right now is a person who is basically a six-year-old in charge of our government, in charge of the weapons, and he is surrounding himself with people that you would not allow to be a crossing guard at a public school, much less a cabinet official. What I ask Senator Feinstein -and every American- is to step back a moment and look at this. Recognize that not only is it not normal, it is incredibly dangerous, and it is harming everyone.”
Further, McNamee implored Feinstein to recognize the fact that he voted for her to be mayor in the wake of the tragic murders of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone in November 1978. McNamee went on to explain that he gave his vote to Feinstein in her Democratic Party bid to be a U.S. Senator. To Feinstein, he added this direct admonition.
“You are wrecking your entire brand, your entire reputation because you fail to recognize that this is a moment in time when we must stand up and be counted or accept the consequences. And the consequences for all of our brothers and sisters are incredibly ugly.”
It may be of interest to readers to note that Senator Feinstein and her husband, investment banker Richard Blum, paid $16.5 million for the house at the corner of Lyon and Vallejo Streets in San Francisco in January 2006, according to The San Francisco Gate. At least one other public protest has happened at the Feinstein-Blum home. Here’s one that occurred in February 2014.
When he isn’t giving inspired TED talks, investing in science projects or participating in worthwhile demonstrations, Roger McNamee can often be found playing with Moonalice in San Francisco’s Union Square along with bandmates Pete Sears on bass, Barry Sless at the pedal steel, and John Molo managing drum duties.
[Feature Image by Ann Heisenfelt /AP Images]