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San Francisco Hippies Prepare To Make Canada Great Again If Donald Trump Wins

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 1/03/2016 Jennifer Bendery

SAN FRANCISCO -- Katelyn Allen has one of the most quintessential San Francisco jobs imaginable: She sells tie-dyed shirts and Grateful Dead paraphernalia at Jammin On Haight, a shop in the heart of the city's Haight-Ashbury district.

Allen is a Bay Area native. At 23, she's not particularly interested in cultural norms, between her face piercings and a psychedelic scarf draped around her neck over a mismatched shirt that exposes her belly button (and then some). She's also not scared of Republican candidate Donald Trump becoming president.

"I think everybody else is a little more afraid than I'll ever imagine to be, because honestly, I don't think the world is going to come to a complete end if he is president," said Allen, her face decorated with glitter. "But he does have to do something with that hair before he becomes president, if he does."

Allen said she has a free place to live in New Zealand if she wants. Her ex-boyfriend's mother lives there and is urging her to move in the event of a Trump presidency. Allen says she's overreacting.

To be clear, though, this millennial is no fan of Trump: "I think he's an idiot and he's a drama-stirring, reality show asshole."

If there's anywhere in America where Trump isn't winning, it's San Francisco. This is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's turf, where the crosswalks are painted like LGBT-friendly rainbows and people break apart their disposable Starbucks coffee cups before tossing them into three different color-coded trash bins -- for compost, recycling or landfill. Residents here actually celebrate diversity instead of demanding deportations and walls. It's as progressive as it gets.

"The only Republican we have in town is Dianne Feinstein," said Connor Ryan, 60, making a crack about the state's semi-moderate Democratic senator.

The Huffington Post spent Sunday afternoon in Haight-Ashbury, asking people like Allen and Ryan what they make of the racist, sexist, Islamophobic wave sweeping the nation -- otherwise known as the Trump campaign.

It's a mood that runs counter to everything that this district, the birthplace of hippie subculture and free love, has traditionally represented. People's level of freak-out was as diverse as the city's residents, and their blunt assessments of Trump appear here uncensored.

To Ryan, who has lived in San Francisco for 40 years and is now retired, Trump doesn't stand a chance of winning.

"I'm fairly confident at this point that he won't get it because it's pretty much Hillary Clinton's or Bernie Sanders' race to lose," he said. "Trump is obviously right out of a book in terms of a demagogue. It's scary … But I think he's stoppable, unless Hillary Clinton totally screws up or Bernie Sanders screws up."

Others aren't so sure Democrats will prevail. 

Kaitlyn Chiu, a 23-year-old manager of Magnolia, a pub on Haight Street, said she is seriously considering moving to Europe if Trump wins.

"I've already lived in Holland. Why not do it again?" said Chiu. "I mean, they have their own problems, but at least they don't have Donald Trump."

Maxwell, a 26-year-old genetic engineer who declined to give his last name, said he's looking at moving to Canada if Trump lands in the White House.

"It would just represent a lot of things that I just can't identify with that upset me," he said. "I would kind of feel like I just have to give up [being in the U.S.]."

Maxwell's friend Zarinah, who also declined to give her last name, said she knows a lot of people in the city who say they'll leave the country if Trump wins.

"I wish we talked about Trump less," she sighed. "It's a distraction from things that are viable and important."

HuffPost talked to both of them in the lobby of the Red Victorian Bed & Breakfast Inn and Peace Center, a historic hotel that's long been a communal space for bohemians and artists. More recently, it's been converted into a hostel and mixed-use space, and Maxwell lives here. Zarinah, a 34-year-old neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco, lives nearby.

"If we'd pay as much attention to some of the other candidates, and if we'd make less outrageous statements, and if we didn't share them on Facebook and we didn't make them into memes ..." Zarinah said, trailing off as a group of people playing ukuleles across the room drowned her out with a rendition of "The Way You Do The Things You Do."

"It's a shame," she concluded.

Some locals just aren't paying that much attention to the race. Deonte Brown, who works at Puff Puff Pass, a head shop on Haight Street, said he's not sure if he's even going to vote. But if he does, it definitely won't be for Trump.

"That guy's a dick, dude. He's a real asshole," said Brown, 23, who stood behind a display case filled with trippy glass pipes. "Everybody's saying he's just super honest, which, there's a difference between being honest and just, like, pulling shit out your ass and saying anything. He just pulls shit out of his ass so blatantly all the time. And he's winning. I don't understand it."

Brown said if he does vote, he'll probably vote for Sanders because he's "heard good things."

"That's only what I've heard. I don't really know. I didn't do any research on my own," he said. "He seems to be really on board with legalization of weed. I'm comfortable with that."

Down the street, Tony, a 30-year-old local artist who declined to give his last name, was in the middle of painting a giant mural on the side of a building. He and others had just finished painting the words "Atoms Family" and were starting to add in characters from the TV show, The Addams Family. It was unclear why they painted a different spelling on the wall.

Tony said he's not following the race at all, but he knows Trump is "a jerk-off" and that Clinton will win.

"For sure. They're already saying it on the news," he said. "When she says something, they're already putting it on there like it's the final word and all this crazy stuff. So yeah, she's definitely going to be the new president."

Other people were more tuned in to national politics. Kevin Hicks, a 27-year-old bartender who was walking around with a skateboard, said he attributes Trump's success to ridiculous media coverage and voters being too lazy to research other candidates.

"A lot of Americans just want to hear some loudmouth. They're just not very educated. Not at all," said Hicks. "They're just like, 'Yeah, this guy is an asshole just like me. Why not vote for him?'"

He said it's "terrifying" to imagine Trump becoming president, but he doubts it will happen.

"He doesn't have the Hispanic vote. And they hate him. A big wall. He's gonna make the Mexicans pay for it or something like that?" said Hicks. "Idiot."

Out of everyone HuffPost talked to, Allen at Jammin On Haight was the only one who wasn't considering leaving the country or in complete disbelief that Trump could be president. She said her greatest fear wasn't what he might do as president, but how angry voters might respond if he wins. She predicted riots and people burning down buildings.

Beyond that, though, everything will be just fine.

"Honestly, it's just, whatever happens happens," Allen said with a cheery smile. "If the Supreme Court doesn't agree with him, they're going to save our asses."

Editor's note: Donald Trump is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.

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