Are you scared of homeless people? Subway dancers? Anyone poor enough to take the subway at all? Do dreams of squeegee men washing windshields with their own public urination keep you up at night? It’s time you ratcheted those fears up—how does “disorder and chaos unlike anything we’ve seen or imagined” strike your fancy?
The New York Post has been crying wolf about the supposed decline of the city for a long time now. Maybe people are no longer listening, maybe the Post got bored, I don’t know. In any case, a spittle-soaked editorial by Michael Goodwin today argues that you should be scared of something much worse:
But what if a return to the sordid past is not what we should be worried about? What if the future holds something far worse, a level of disorder and chaos unlike anything we’ve seen or imagined?
The prospect of unanticipated destructive consequences from a de Blasio mayoralty emerges through recent developments. They include a new campaign to close Rikers Island and a push to extend municipal voting rights to noncitizens, including illegal immigrants.
Coming on top of City Hall’s efforts to handcuff police and decriminalize low-level infractions, to incentivize welfare and homelessness, to dumb down schools and impose burdensome wage and benefit packages on private businesses, the latest measures amount to another round of body blows against the city’s social and economic fabric.
They also add evidence to the suspicion that de Blasio and his radical twin in the City Council, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, aim to remake New York in the image of the authoritarian fiefdoms they admire. Recall that de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, honeymooned in Cuba, supported the Sandinista Communists in Nicaragua and praised the Soviet Union.
Communism? A horse for a mayor? A collectivist utopia where you only get your fat welfare check after playing 10 rounds of the knockout game? What are we talking about here, exactly? Per the Post’s headline, it’s “a toxic brew of class and racial warfare” that we’re supposed to be worried about.
If there really is a war on, which side is the aggressor? Is it the newspaper that dedicates multiple covers to humiliating a single homeless man, or the people who are homeless and powerless themselves, or locked up in Rikers Island?
Goodwin dedicates the second half of his column to the recent news that a prominent good government group filed a complaint against the de Blasio administration over its alleged use of nonprofit groups to raise money outside of campaign finance laws and further its policy agenda. “On the known facts alone, the accusations are warranted, but they only scratch the surface of the growing rot,” he writes.
He’s right that things get hairy when too much money is wrapped up in politics. But Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo used similar groups, as do countless politicians across the country. That’s not a sign of a jackbooted revolution coming to New York. It’s a sign of politics as usual.