Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Class, racial warfare and corruption in NYC. Communists acquiring wealth while destroying the city. The Left's arrogance is palpable.
From the day Bill de Blasio was elected mayor, much of New York has been gripped by fears that the city would return to the bad old days of rampant crime and disorder.
Although the worst-case scenario has not materialized, the fear remains because of the undeniable fraying of the quality of life in many neighborhoods.
But what if a return to the sordid past is not what we should be worried about? What if the future holds something far worse, a level of disorder and chaos unlike anything we’ve seen or imagined?
The prospect of unanticipated destructive consequences from a de Blasio mayoralty emerges through recent developments. They include a new campaign to close Rikers Island and a push to extend municipal voting rights to noncitizens, including illegal immigrants.
Coming on top of City Hall’s efforts to handcuff police and decriminalize low-level infractions, to incentivize welfare and homelessness, to dumb down schools and impose burdensome wage and benefit packages on private businesses, the latest measures amount to another round of body blows against the city’s social and economic fabric.
They also add evidence to the suspicion that de Blasio and his radical twin in the City Council, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, aim to remake New York in the image of the authoritarian fiefdoms they admire. Recall that de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, honeymooned in Cuba, supported the Sandinista Communists in Nicaragua and praised the Soviet Union.
Mark-Viverito, from a well-to-do family in Puerto Rico, where she attended private schools, has been photographed wearing a red-star Communist beret. She said it was a “compliment” when someone created an image of her as homicidal revolutionary Che Guevara. She was arrested with the Occupy Wall Street rabble, used her office to honor a convicted Puerto Rican terrorist, and long refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to America.
A common theme among the leftist leaders is a blurring of crucial distinctions between merit and entitlement.
Standards and excellence are demoted to make way for race, class and gender claims. The rights of American citizens are demeaned as unearned privileges that should be offered to all comers regardless of legal status or behavior. Those who pay taxes are chided for not paying more, while those dependent on government are adopted as innocent victims of a rigged and racist society. The compassion for convicts is not extended to their victims.
The leaders of this assault on decency are self-described warriors for social justice and income equality. In truth, they are power-hungry elitists who enjoy considerable private wealth and the fruits of taxpayers. The Observer reports that Mark-Viverito, who just rammed through a raise for herself to $164,500, owns several properties in Puerto Rico as well as a three-story town house in East Harlem.
The mayor, who is paid $225,000 and lives rent-free in Gracie Mansion, owns two single-family homes in Brooklyn with a combined market value of over $3 million. He rents them out for more than $100,000 a year in rental income.
The leaders’ shared pretense of sticking up for the little guy is also belied by their conduct in office. Mark-Viverito has been fined twice by regulators for improper dealings with lobbyists, and put one influence peddler on the city payroll for $130,000. Like de Blasio, she accepted large contributions from yellow-cab owners before attempting to crack down on Uber.
Regarding de Blasio, the smell of corruption is so strong that a top government watchdog is calling for an investigation. Citing the mayor’s use of nonprofit slush funds to push his agenda, Common Cause accuses him of creating a “shadow government”that evades limits on campaign contributions by accepting millions from individuals with business before his office.
On the known facts alone, the accusations are warranted, but they only scratch the surface of the growing rot. The mayor’s duplicitous actions in trying to kill the horse-carriage industry smell of pay-to-play illegality, and deserve a criminal probe of their own.
By mixing a toxic brew of class and race warfare, the blatant dispensation of government favors to political supporters, and undermining law enforcement and educational standards, de Blasio and Mark-Viverito are on a relentless campaign to control and transform New York.
By the time they are finished, we may not recognize the city. And we may belatedly realize that a golden era of low crime and prosperity has been replaced by the absolute worst of times.