Saturday, Aug 30, 2014
Columns

Reiniers: New York City voters coronate a socialist as mayor


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Ordinarily, mayoral elections aren't big news nationally, but New York City is our nation's largest and most important city.

Bill de Blasio will be the first Democratic mayor since 1993 when the failed Mayor David Dinkins (high crime and racial discord) was defeated by Republican Rudy Giuliani. De Blasio worked in Dinkins' city hall where he made his progressive political bones.

New York City has always been considered ungovernable by Democrats and for good reason. But truthfully, this guy is so far left of most Democrats, if he leans any further left, he will fall over.

One would have to agree that it is odd that he and his activist-poet wife honeymooned in communist Cuba back in 1994 violating a U.S. travel ban; that he actively supported the communist Sandinistas in the 1980s, and continued his support and admiration for them as rulers of Nicaragua, at a time when our government denounced the communist Sandinistas.

About all de Blasio will admit is that he believes in a "progressive activist approach to government, an aggressive use of the tools of government to work for social justice and economic justice." This has a striking similarity to the sentiments of our president.

He pledges to raise taxes, opposes charter schools and has vowed to replace police Commissioner Ray Kelly, a proponent of the stop-and-frisk policy, who has been highly effective in reducing crime in the city. De Blasio was supported by all the major unions, including the powerful teachers' union. No wonder he blew away his Republican opponent.

I have argued for years that the American polity is moving inexorably to the left. New York City is not a microcosm of America generally, but quite representative of America's failed Democratic big cities periodically in need of bailouts. (This is why New Yorkers elect Republicans from time to time.) Juxtaposed with Detroit we can sense what the economic trajectory of NYC will be, with its equally powerful public sector unions.

Mayor de Blasio's family is bi-racial, a plus in NYC with 28 percent of the population identifying themselves as black - the largest urban Black population in the U.S. Voter demographics should be changing during de Blasio's tenure as he has vowed immigration reform. Translated, that will mean that as long as a New Yorker has a municipal I.D. card and has been a resident for six months, they will be able to vote - illegal or not. The city has the highest number of immigrants of any city in America, and the largest black population at some 3.3 million. (More blacks than there are people in 23 states.) With that in mind, the progressive caucus is expected to have a super-majority in the city council next year, so just like President Obama in the first half of his first term, de Blasio will be able to get anything he wants.

This should put New York City on the same trajectory as Greece in the years to come.

What will happen with New York City is what will happen with Obamacare. As more and more voters get subsidies, it becomes impossible to roll back the free money.

De Blasio defeated a Democratic centrist in the primary, and then destroyed his Republican opponent, which proves voters in NYC want even more change, not centrism. So the notion that Republicans are the extremists is patently false. Socialists are far more militant than those who argue for fiscal sanity. After a while fiscal conservatives just grow weary.

The liberal Washington Post was right on the mark when it editorialized:

"After 12 years of centrist non-partisan government . an independent city services run more efficiently, school reform has advanced and crime has plummeted. Yet economic inequality represents the unfinished business of . centrism - as indeed, it remains an issue nationally. De Blasio has promised to tax the rich . De Blasio is the champion of those on the Democratic left who are disillusioned with President Obama ."

Good grief!! As though Obama's transformation of America - which is still a disaster in progress - hasn't been enough. This will raise class warfare to a new level. I would argue that this is the playing field that socialists and community organizers prefer - divisive populist tactics.

De Blasio's vow to change the "two New Yorks - one for the rich and another for the poor" is an echo of John Edwards' and Barrack Obama's "two Americas," with nothing said about poor parenting, dysfunctional families, no job skills or educational aspirations.

John Reiniers is a retired attorney and a regular columnist for the Hernando Today. He lives in Spring Hill.

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