New York returns to the slums with Bill de Blasio.
Twenty years ago, New York’s long nightmare ended with a Giuliani victory over Mayor Dinkins. Now the nightmare returns as former Dinkins staffer and terrorist supporter Bill de Blasio will begin wrecking the city where Dinkins and his Democratic predecessors left off.
Bill de Blasio vowed to undo Giuliani’s reforms and turn back the clock on fighting crime and terrorism. Giuliani’s victory was a wake-up call to Democrats that one of the more dangerous cities in the country had rejected their liberal soft-on-crime policies that had made it unlivable. Bill de Blasio’s victory tells them that soft-on-crime is popular again.
Welcome back Michael Dukakis.
Part of the reason is that New York City has changed. The city’s politics have traditionally been middle class. Even Democratic politicians identified with the storeowner in Brooklyn, the fireman in Staten Island and the auto body mechanic in Queens.
Bill de Blasio breaks with that tradition. The former Warren Wilhelm Jr. did pick a name that opens more political doors for him among working class voters, but other than that his causes, building more housing projects, banning carriage horses in Central Park and ending police surveillance of Muslim terrorists are a grab bag of bad ideas from his two bases; liberal yuppies and welfare voters.
The middle class voters in Queens pleading with Joe Lhota to protect them from Bill de Blasio’s red plague are part of the older New York; that city of gruff accents but kind hearts, loquacious taxi drivers and busybody tenement grandmothers that appears so often on television and in movies that even most New Yorkers still confuse it with reality… even though it hardly exists now.
Bill de Blasio, with his Park Slope digs, represents the city’s new Yuckie overlords, yuppie hippies with Subarus, six- figure salaries, leftist politics and Whole Foods reusable bags full of tofu for the kids. It was only a matter of time until the college kids who moved to the city to slum and protest before finding profitable work formed alliances with minority community groups that would allow them to take over.
The Yuckies would probably have moved somewhere else if Giuliani hadn’t made the city safe for their kids. Bloomberg made things worse because he moved the city deep into debt with the dirty deals that he struck with local power brokers and activists. These deals let a cold fish with an arrogant personality win three elections while putting the city on the hook for his payoffs.
Bloomberg wasn’t stupid. He knew that the money had to come from somewhere. Like so many other urban mayors, he focused on attracting the young and the wealthy who would buy things and pay taxes. He understood how precarious the situation was when he warned that there were 40,000 taxpayers keeping the city afloat. Unfortunately the very people he was attracting were also the likeliest to sink it.
Like Obama’s successes, Bill de Blasio’s victory is a defeat for the middle class and a big win for the alliance between wealthy young liberals and welfare voters. It’s not the first time that happened in the city’s political history, but Red Bill makes John Lindsay look like Ronald Reagan.
It was Ronald Reagan who said that freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. A single generation is how long it takes for experience to be lost. Many of the New Yorkers who struggled in the bad city of the 70s and 80s have gone elsewhere. They write to me about the troubles they endured in those days. The new New Yorkers are younger and have never lived in that other bad city.
New York’s Black population is declining and its Latino and Asian populations are rising. White flight has nearly reversed as an older middle class continues to drift away while a wealthier younger generation of whites spreads up into formerly dangerous neighborhoods like Harlem and Williamsburg.
Gotham is starting to look more like California with large Asian and Latino populations and small wealthy white elites, trendy industries and a real estate bubble temporarily funding welfare programs and union sweetheart deals that carry with them an unsustainable debt.
Joe Lhota might have been a credible candidate in 1993; but in 2013, New York is safe enough that no one but the older members of the middle class took his warnings about crime seriously. He may have a shot at a comeback in 2017 when the city has grown tired of four disastrous years of Bill de Blasio, the way that it was exhausted after four terrible years of De Blasio’s former boss, David Dinkins.
But then again he may not.
The Reagan Democrats who can catapult a New York Republican to victory, are politically outnumbered by the Yuckies, who came to the city to slum and decided to force the rest of the city to slum with them, and by minority welfare voters greedily fighting to protect their freebies.
Bill de Blasio’s landslide comes from minority votes. A New York Times/Siena College poll toward the end of October showed that he was only up to 55 percent among white voters. It’s the 90 percent support from Black voters and 76 percent support from Hispanic voters that give him his ridiculous lead.
Lhota’s best numbers are in Brooklyn where there are still enough working class voters to make an impact and his worst numbers are in the Bronx and Manhattan. The linkage between the Bronx, New York’s Detroit and its future under Bill de Blasio, and Manhattan is the new wealthy-welfare coalition.
Finally the old muscular tradition of urban journalism has made way for tabloids that are the Huffington Post in print form. Many New Yorkers were barely aware that there was anyone but Bill de Blasio in the race. A few weeks before the election between a quarter and a third of New Yorkers had not heard enough about Lhota to have an opinion about him. Those same people probably couldn’t have named Andrew Cuomo’s opponent in the governor’s race.
New York media outlets have begun ignoring the existence of Republican candidates. When they can’t ignore them, they smear them and destroy them. Many of those who voted for Bill de Blasio not only did not know about his support for Marxist terrorists who burnt and bombed synagogues and churches, but were barely aware that there was even another choice in this election.
Media boycotts of the opposition are turning New York City elections into Soviet elections where there is only one choice.
Bill de Blasio’s victory isn’t an endorsement of his program, but of the manipulation of the political system by the powerful special interests bringing the city to the brink of bankruptcy and of the short memories of city residents voting in more of the same two decades after the Dinkins nightmare ended.
New York City’s meteoric rise from the slums was a national story. Its descent back to the slums will be local crime coverage.
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