Commentary On Things Present
New York's primaries are only three weeks away and the choices - it seems to me - are stark. Will faithfulness and truthfulness prevail?
City Democrats are asked to select from, among others, (a) a pugnacious exhibitionist, (b) a serial screamer, (c) a financial skullduggerist, (d) a knee-jerk liberal, and (e) a middle of the road technocrat; while City Republicans (a) a fading but mighty entrepreneur, and (b) a time-tested technocrat, among others.
At the brink of bankruptcy in 1975, New York City was heading down the same paths as Detroit; but our last four mayors - two Democrats and two Republicans - restored the city with safe streets, clean streets, opportunity and prosperity for the native-born as well as the immigrant-born, and the pursuit of better schools and bigger businesses.
Today, New York City (and Boston and Pittsburg too) is safer, cleaner, newer, bigger and more prosperous than in the 1960's; and Detroit - a once great industrial Capitol of The World - is bankrupt. We too could have been there if these four men and their administrations had caved to strident politics, bowed to political correctness, sold out to municipal unionism and ignored business as only a reservoir to be tapped for the latest interpretation of, you know, 'new math'.
Was not Ed Koch faithful to a better future for the City of New York, and truthful to the people of New York?
I think so...even if I didn't agree with all his positions. Likewise for David Dinkins, Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg...even though I certainly don't agree with all their positions. Do you agree?
Dating back to Marcus Aurelius, or maybe even Socrates, faithfulness and truthfulness are important qualities to measure, to seek out, to evaluate in a prospective leader, no? Humi Abedin Weiner has publically and tearfully forgiven her husband's unfaithfulness and un-truthfulness, and she asks her eight million neighbors likewise to forgive, to forget, but really to overlook her husband's frailties and elect him our 109th Mayor. But can we...and should we?
John Liu - presently, the city's comptroller - asks us to forgive, to forget, but really to overlook his own campaign's financial skullduggery and the guiltiness of his top two aides. But can we...and should we? Aren't AW and JL the 2013 embodiment of Coleman Young; and likewise aren't Christine Quinn (who leads with her mouth) and Bill de Blasio (the John Lindsay of our day) the embodiments of Kwame Kilpatrick?
Certainly, it's a big risk to elect a new leader, but one way to measure the future is to study the past.
Two stone lions - Patience and Fortitude - guard the NYC Public Library and embody NYC's character.
Remember them - please - on Tuesday, September 10th when you nominate your best, your brightest, and your greatest candidate to lead our city.