…The greatest moral issue in America is four decades of failed inner-city public schools. In New York, local liberals won’t lift a finger for minority-district schools in east Brooklyn, Harlem or the Bronx.
Instead, Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio, like Jerry Brown in blue California, stay afloat on public unions and a liberal urban sea of smug, yuppie self-absorption. Donald Trump learned this week that these people don’t even bother to vote. In 2013, New York’s now-unpopular Mayor de Blasio won with 17% of eligible voters (turnout was 24%).
New York, after its primary, will revert to its status as a blue-state automaton. Just now, New York’s political values are a good subject.
Hillary Clinton this week is defending herself against charges that as senator, she never delivered on her promises to beleaguered counties upstate. She blames George Bush’s economic policies.
More revelatory of New York values, though, is Vermonter Bernie Sanders, ranting about “Wall Street” and “bankers.” To be clear: Those people, much mocked of late for living on Park Avenue and such, annually give tens of millions to support charter schools, scholarships to parochial schools, social entrepreneurs, and innumerable nonprofits and arts institutions. Most, Republican and Democrat, would do it without the tax deduction.
Bernie is praising New York for its total ban on hydraulic fracking. Let me rephrase that as a local political value. New York City to upstate New York: Drop dead.
Donald Trump projects himself as the embodiment of “New York, New York,” the ethos of making it big as sung by Frank Sinatra at the end of Yankees home games: “Top of the list, King of the hill, A-number-one!”
We then might have expected the Queens-born Mr. Trump to be campaigning everywhere in the city that never sleeps—in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island. But no, he’s been in places like Rochester and an airport hangar in Rome (N.Y.). Thursday evening, he’ll attend the state party’s fundraiser near Grand Central Terminal, with Gov. John Kasich and Mr. Cruz. The streets outside, of course, will be a zoo of protesters.
The irony of the Trump “outsider” campaign in New York is almost too rich for words. Let’s start with the relationship between New York politicians and real-estate developers, an ancient swamp of crony capitalism.
Today the city’s politicians green-light thousands of condominium units—like the Trump apartment towers lining the West Side Highway—because each one is a taxpayer-pod sending the pols revenue from a combined, top city-state tax rate of more than 12%. Even so, the city’s perpetually wrecked road surfaces, paved with tire-busting steel plates, would embarrass a third-world capital.
Still, as a construction guy, Mr. Trump knows as well as anyone what makes New York City tick. So why is Mr. A-Number-One in Rome? Because that’s where his people are in a presidential campaign based mainly on two policies: building a wall on the Mexican border and putting a 35% tax on goods made in Asia.