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Whether Adams or Sliwa Wins NYC, Wokeness Loses

I’ve written on these pages many times about how New York was in danger of transforming from one of the safest big cities in the world to the giant crime-riddled crack den it was in the 1980s, including in my June 13, 2020 column titled: I Ache for My Beloved NYC: It’s Time for a New Mayor.

Responding to the hapless policies of failed Mayor Bill de Blasio regarding law enforcement, which only compounded his insane and unconstitutional Sanctuary City practices, I wrote that “New York had its fair share of bad mayors, including most during my lifetime. There was the Bill de Blasio prototype, John Lindsay. The forgettable Abe Beame followed, along with a long tenure by the flamboyant, personable, but overrated Ed Koch, who fancied himself as ‘New York feisty’ but whose excuse for the City’s problems was the awful: ‘well, that’s New York,’; as if there are some New York issues beyond remedy. Koch’s successor, David Dinkins, was the City’s version of Jimmy Carter: a quintessential nice guy but a largely hapless chief executive, under whose watch lawlessness got even worse than it had been under his three predecessors.”

I continued, “growing up in the City’s Upper Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights, I remember hearing stories from my aunts and uncles about a bygone era, during which people would leave their doors unlocked and could walk home from a friend’s or relative’s house at all hours of the night without fear of being mugged. Yet, the New York City I grew into was best depicted in the Charles Bronson Death Wish films … Then came 1994 and it was ‘Morning in New York’ again. Rudy Giuliani was elected mayor, and the city was saved. To be sure, Giuliani was lambasted for not spreading hearts and flowers often enough, but he accomplished the unthinkable: under his watch, New York became a safe city again. I remember telling many friends at the time: ‘for what this man has done to bring down crime, I’d gladly show up to City Hall every day, have him curse and berate me and throw eggs and tomatoes at me, and I’ll smile and say, ‘thank you, Mr. Mayor.’”

I added that Giuliani’s successor, Mike Bloomberg, was no Giuliani, but is leaps and bounds better than de Blasio. Well, the good news is, so is de Blasio’s apparent successor who, barring some tumultuous turn of events will either be Democrat Eric Adams or Republican Curtis Sliwa, the winners of their respective parties’ primaries.

Long before I ever had any hopes of a guy like Giuliani showing up to save my city, the best I could hope for was a guy like Sliwa founding the Guardian Angels. Unlike Paul Kersey (Bronson’s character in Death Wish), the Angels aren’t vigilantes. They don’t blow away criminals, but their presence sure does create a deterrent. Moreover, they’ve expanded their initiatives over the decades to educate communities on crime prevention and safety awareness. Even Democrat Koch, initially a critic, ultimately reversed course and acknowledged the positive impact the Angels made on the City.

In any case, Sliwa’s chances of prevailing in November remain slim. New York remains a heavily Democratic town. Nonetheless, two of the last three mayors were Republicans who won multiple terms, and so in a reeling city, he’s got at least a puncher’s chance.

The odds-on favorite, however, is Adams, a former police captain who’s got the credentials to prove the credibility of his opposition to the absurd “defund the police” mindset. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s black, because that will go a long way to stimulate the number one base for black candidates: lily white post-liberal millennial and Gen-Z progressives, who didn’t meet a brown person until they first set foot in New York from some all-Caucasian Midwestern town, and who now think they’re ‘woke’ because they routinely buy empanadas from a guy named Raul.

The combination of the woke crazies, the blue-collar real New Yorkers who want safe streets – particularly in their own non-gated neighborhoods – and Republicans who’ll gladly take a former cop over the “de Blasio de Bacle,” bodes well for Adams and deal a much-needed blow to wokeness.

Should Adams prevail, I’m not so optimistic as to think that crime will be eradicated overnight, much less that the police will actually notify Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE) upon encountering Persons Here Illegally (PHIs), but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

Moreover, that New York Democrats chose Adams over the wacky woke alternatives supports the theory that the reason Joe Biden prevailed against 25 Democratic rivals in that party’s 2020 presidential primary was because the silent majority of Democrats are considerably more moderate than what conservative talk show commentators might lead you to believe. Given the choice between a veteran politician in his late seventies who looks and acts as if he’s a dozen years older than that, and a 48-year-old Irishman named Robert Francis, who looks and acts 20 years younger than that, calls himself ‘Beto’ and panders to the woke crowd by saying a few words in broken Spanish (not that his audience would know the difference, being that there isn’t a smidgen of Latin DNA in any of them), they’ll choose the batty old guy every time.

Although none of this suggests that wokeness is down for the count, at least there’s still reason to hold out hope that it’s not too late to stop the madness. If I had written an essay at my Washington Heights elementary school during my years as a student there, envisioning a day when the mayor in charge of those very streets would instruct the police to catch and release criminals, forbid them from inquiring about immigration status, and refrain from using gender-specific pronouns to refer to them, my teachers would have said: “haha, you’ve got some wild imagination!”

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