Bill de Blasio: The Anti-New Yorker

By | 2017-09-12T15:38:09+00:00 September 8th, 2017|
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In a local mayoral race that is drawing national media attention, incumbent New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is projected to win in a landslide. Yet at the same time, there is an eerie sense that de Blasio is quite vulnerable and is perhaps about to tumble down a political precipice.

De Blasio, whose radical background includes support for the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua and who is a weak, left wing ideologue in the spirit of Barack Obama, presents himself as the successful progressive and touts the introduction of free pre-K education and expansion of low-income housing as the hallmarks of his mayoral tenure. De Blasio never misses an opportunity to boast about New York City’s record-low crime rates, even as he fails to mention that crime rates in the city have been dropping for the past three decades, way before he come onto the scene, and even as he consistently attacks the people, policies, and practices actually responsible for the reduction in crime.

Despite having accomplished little, de Blasio is beloved by the liberal New York press, unions, and celebrities, who don’t question his achievements and who are enamored by his progressive pontifications.

One need not put forth much effort to peel the cheap paint off de Blasio’s mayoral tenure. Underneath the entity is full of rust, corrosion, and sports gaping holes.

Under de Blasio’s leadership, the quality of life in New York City has plummeted, subway crime is shooting up, homelessness has increased by about 40 percent (!), panhandling and public urination are out of control (no hyperlink needed—this writer, who lives in Manhattan, unfortunately can attest to this fact with a simple accounting of his daily observations), people are fleeing the city, businesses are shutting down, and the mayor is doing nothing to address the meltdown of the subway system.

There is plenty more. And with the New York City Council, at the behest of de Blasio and radical-left Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, decriminalizing “low-level offenses” such as public drunkenness, noise making, and public urination—and with Manhattan subway fare beaters no longer facing arrest—law and order are becoming things of the past.

Reflective of the reality and in contrast with de Blasio’s fake news accomplishments, his approval rating is way down; even liberal New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has no confidence in de Blasio.

These are all areas of extreme vulnerability for de Blasio. Yet there is a far more profound and innate reason why de Blasio, regardless of achievements, has no place leading the city and will never succeed as its mayor.

New York is famously known as “the city that never sleeps.” Rather than a designation of chronic citywide insomnia, this slogan describes an enterprise known for its hard and unstoppable productivity.

Such is the history of New York, which became the epicenter of and a global force in the areas of business, education, healthcare, culture, and much more, through superhuman work and incessant striving. Those who built New York were blessed with an insatiable drive to excel and to not be bound by natural limitations. Dreams were huge, and so was the effort invested to realize them.     

When my ancestors arrived (legally) in Manhattan, fleeing persecution and poverty in Eastern Europe, they quickly became fluent in English as they toiled hard in order to pay for their own and for their children’s education. These people had a double schedule, laboring by day to pay for night school, or the reverse. There was no such thing as a 9-to-5 workday. Neither was there such a thing as settling for mediocrity. Sleep was scarce, and hard work and education were craved.

This is the narrative of the millions of New Yorkers who, by the grace of God, were welcomed to these shores a century ago from Ireland, Italy, Eastern Europe, and elsewhere. There were no social welfare programs to rely on; no multilingual education; no cushions. There was the blessing of opportunity for hard work and education, and resultant upward mobility.

It is the “never sleep” work ethic of generations past that made New York into a capital of eminence and prowess. And it is the disregard for and denigrating of this same work ethic that makes Bill de Blasio so unfit to lead.

Sleeping late and then being driven 12 miles in an SUV for a daily gym visit, and arriving at work close to 11 a.m., de Blasio is the antithesis of the Great New Yorker. Being tardy for numerous important events, reportedly taking daily naps at his office, and refusing to ride the subway except for rare occasions—in stark contrast with previous mayors—have alienated de Blasio from the city’s traditions. De Blasio is known for frequent vacations, even to the point of inviting criticism from Governor Cuomo and other fellow Democrats. In short, de Blasio is the anti-New Yorker par excellence, whose absence of work ethic and lack of accomplishments place him at odds with the spirit of greatness of past decades and centuries that built NYC.            

In the Book of Proverbs (24:29-33), Solomon writes,

I will render to the man according to his work. I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

Although there are deep and beautiful layers of Talmudic exposition of these verses, the verses’ plain meaning depicts the man devoid of work ethic and the disastrous results of his lifestyle and attitude. I will stop here and let readers connect the dots and draw their own inevitable conclusions about the mayor.

 

About the Author:

Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer
Avrohom Gordimer is a senior rabbinic fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, a public policy institute reflecting traditional Jewish thought. He serves on the editorial board of Jewish Action magazine, is a staff writer for the Cross-Currents website, and is a frequent contributor to Israel National News, Yated Ne'eman, and a host of other publications. He is a member of the Rabbinical Council of America and the New York Bar, and he works as an account executive at a large Jewish organization based in Manhattan. The views expressed in the above article are solely those of the writer.