The New York City Democratic Party is not as leftist as in some cities because it still depends on a working class population of minority groups that are conservative in some ways. Welding those groups together to take back the Democratic Party for a socially conservative candidate will be tough going considering how much cultural power the left wields, but it might be interesting.
Some studies are showing that Latino Evangelical Christians are growing in number and have better retention. Gay marriage has become a big issue in Puerto Rico and while Obama Inc. has muscled most minority leaders into backing the trinity of gay marriage, illegal immigration and insane spending, some Christian minorities are less than thrilled with the leftist takeover.
Evangelical Latinos have been speaking out against the leftward swing of the Democratic Party. Orthodox Jews have also become uncomfortable with the Democratic Party’s anti-religious tilt on social issues and nervous about the legal implications of mandatory gay marriage and abortion legislation.
Salgado, who lives in Staten Island and claims his Iglesia Jovenes Cristianos, or Churdch of the Young Christians, now has “around twenty” congregations “in the New York area,” said Jews and Christians with conservative religious beliefs have been denied “the respect that they deserve” from the city’s dominant political party.
Mr. Salgado, a barrel-chested man who punctuates many of his sentences with a broad smile and a thick Spanish accent, was accompanied by several Orthodox Jewish political operatives who came in and out of the room throughout the conversation and a two-man security team, complete with Secret Service-style earpieces. Even after launching his mayoral bid earlier this year, Mr. Salgado still manages to preach before his flock multiple times a week. The messages he espouses in his church are markedly different from the philosophies of the other Democrats and even the Republicans in the mayor’s race. All of the five major mayoral candidates are pro-choice and pro-same-sex marriage. Mr. Salgado stands out; he has made a name for himself railing against “mortal sins,” including abortion and homosexuality.
Salgado has lined up some support from the Russian-Jewish community which tends to be treated with open contempt by the Democratic establishment.
Mr. Salgado can play the part too, tailoring his message to the local Russian community’s strong Zionist tendencies with Mr. Davidzon’s help. In the interview, for example, Mr. Salgado spent most of his 20 minutes blasting Brooklyn College for hosting a forum that criticized the Israeli government while declaring himself “pro-Israel 100 percent.”
Rather than strictly a religious issue, Mr. Salgado sees abortion as a problem for ethnic minorities in general.
“In minority communities, when you see the statistics of abortion in African-American communities, it’s almost sixty percent and Spanish [communities], fifty percent,” said Mr. Salgado. “I believe there’s an agenda to limit us over here. They are killing us and what am I supposed to do? Allow all of these liberals to go over there and continue killing my people? No, I’m standing up and I’m going to prevent this from happening.”
In theory, Salgado should be competitive in a city with a very sizable Puerto Rican population. Whether he will be comes down to his campaign operation.
None of the candidates are resonating all that much with voters in general. Bloomberg has a placeholder for the post-Guliani era. The left would love to have City Hall, but Salgado could make an impact with a socially conservative/fiscally liberal message. To do that he will need to build a campaign operation and punch through the media’s mockery.