Monday, November 2nd, 2009
There’s nothing more predictable than politicians (and their followers) saying “my opponent is playing to people’s fears,” as if that disccredits the reason people are afraid in the first place. Opponents of William Thompson have warned that if elected this Democrat might turn New York back into the Fort Apache anarchy of the David Dinkins years, or into the Detroit or Newark of this year.
What makes that an unfair question? Because Thompson is black? Or is it unfair because he’s a Democrat? Or is it unfair because his views on policing are right out of the bad old days?
Crime has probably been an issue for every city pol since Peter Minuet. It’s something that candidates have had to take a position on in every electoral region.
Up in the Catskills, Glenn Kroll and Jim Farrell are running for Sullivan County District Attorney. Kroll says Farrell is responsible for the county losing the battle against gangs and serious crimes. Kroll (correctly) charges that “Sullivan County is a rural county with an inner city crime rate.”
Kroll is making crime an issue in his race. Guess what? Kroll is a Democrat. He is attacking Farrell, a Republican. Is Kroll appealling to people’s fears of white Republicans? Or is he apealling to a legitimate fear that Monticello (in particular) is experiencing one of the worst violent crime waves you probably can’t imagine? (One can only wonder how long it will take, if nothing is done, for these violent crimes to intrude on the Jewish bungalows and summer homes.)
Kroll, the Democrat, is raising an important issue that needs raising.
So are the critics of Thompson.
Just as the next Republican candidate for president will have to explain why he will not be a Bush do-over, every Democrat who runs for mayor in New York will have to explain why he isn’t a Dinkins do-over.
Bringing up Crown Heights is not just bringing up yesteryear. The New York City Democrats are the party that still treats Al Sharpton as a kingmaker. It’s a party that dismisses legitimate questions as “racial,” which is incitement all its own. Thompson’s approach to fighting crime is to suggest that the New York police are too quick to stop, frisk and question suspicious characters, all in the name of “civil rights,” wouldn’t you know, he wants to make sure that “the civil rights of all New Yorkers are respected and upheld,” and he questions whether the police are doing that. And he wants to fire the current police commissioner, just to make sure.
In fact, the Sharptons have been going down that track ever since Giuliani was inaugurated in 1994, and every investigation has found that the New York City police are intensely careful about making sure that the civil rights of New Yorkers are indeed respected and upheld.
The Sharpton Democrats, in this case, are not unlike the Goldstone Democrats, such as Tikkun’s Michael Lerner and back-of-the-room J Streeters who are more “troubled” about ensuring that the civil rights of all Gazans be respected and upheld” than they are about respecting the civil rights of Jews in Sderot to live without fear. The Michael Lerners and the Goldstoners want to “question” how the IDF “police” their bad neighborhood. You just know that Lerner, and Goldstone and Thompson already have their answer.
Jews have every right to fear anyone who blames the IDF first, internationally; anyone who blames the police first, locally.
If the first response to questioning Thompson is say “you’re a racist,” all the more reason to fear a Crown Heights redux. If the mayor — and the Jewish Goldstone left — will favor or blame New Yorkers based on ethnic identity, then pity the Jews of Brooklyn. Pity the Jews of the Bronx.
Those who say that murders began falling under Dinkins are being a bit too cute. Murders fell hardly at all, from 1,995 in 1992 to 1,960 in 1993.
Under Bloomberg, last year, the number of murders was 516. That means there were 1,444 who had their civil right of staying alive “respected and upheld” by the current guy in City Hall. That means there were roughly 17,328 New Yorkers who were not murdered in the last 12 years of a Republican mayor that likely would have been, if the numbers stayed the same as in the year that DInkins points to with pride. If the nearly 18,000 dead (or the would-be dead) could vote in New York, as they “do” in Chicago, chances are they would not vote for Thompson.
From Dinkins to Bloomberg, New York went from being one of the most criminally dangerous cities in the nation to, statistically, the safest. Anyone who wants to say it would have happened anyway can look at other big cities under Democratic mayors where it did not happen anyway.
If Obama does all he promised, saving the United States from “the mess” he keeps saying he inherited, protecting the United States from another terrorist attack, fixing the economy and the health care system, reversing global warming, getting us out of Iraq and Afghanistan, restoring America to a place of honor in the world, Democrats after eight years won’t say that all the positive changes would have “happened anyway.”
Nothing “happens anyway.” Thompson has a fundamentally different approach to crime than what New Yorkers have come to expect. If in the coming years of possible economic disaster in urban America, if New York subways and sidewalks become dangerous again, while if the default response to criticism of a black mayor will be to dismiss it as “racial,” then all many reasons to support a Democrat for mayor will be rendered meaningless. If New York returns to the criminal anarchy of yesteryear, you can bet that rest of Thompson’s promises won’t get accomplished.
Bloomberg ought be tossed out for everything from term limits, to congestive traffic pricing, to his would-have been Jets stadium on the West Side (I thought he cared about traffic?), to his economic policies, etc. All I needed Thompson to give me was a reason to believe, to not feel afraid. He didn’t convince me.
Based on the history of urban America, Jewish New Yorkers have every reason to be more afraid than most. And Jews who think of Monticello fondly, or if you have a second home or bungalow in the Catskills, you have a right to be just as afraid.
In Sullivan County, throw the bums out. Vote for the Democrat.
Vote early and often. Vote for the Republican ticket in the city and then start driving up Route 17, and when you get to Monticello, vote Democrat.
Most Jews learned a long time ago not to be afraid to be afraid.