Donald Trump was offended last night that Ted Cruz accused him of having “New York values.” Speaking to the television audience in Iowa, New Hampshire and the rest of the country, and the live audience in South Carolina, Cruz reminded us that we know what that means.
When I was barely able to vote, growing up in N.H., I attended a town meeting in Seabrook. This is the oldest form of democracy, and it’s still used in the Granite State, where a Board of Selectmen and a moderator have an annual meeting where all residents have a say, and a vote, on such things as should the town buy another police cruiser. It’s an amusing and informative way to do business.
The biggest problem the townfolk complained about was the influx of New York values into the town. “We don’t need no New York divorcees” is one line I’ll never forget. The image of Ivana Trump (this was about that time) is forever associated with that statement.
In New Hampshire, they know what New York values are (or at least they did, before Massachusetts values took over half the state).
Can we define “New York values” with some objective description? Yes, yes we can.
In a word, “liberal.” Since 1898, when New York City consolidated its government, there have been 21 mayors. Five of them have been Republican. And out of those 5, two left the GOP while in office. In 1966, John Lindsay switched to the Democratic Party—but he was never a conservative to begin with. Most recently, Michael Bloomberg, the champion of gun control, switched from (R) to (D) in 2007. So you could say that only three mayors actually left office in NYC as Republicans. Do the math: The Big Apple is 85.7 percent blue.
A big, blue apple.
All the issues that attach themselves to this party preference attach themselves to New York City. High taxes, government dependence, severe gun control, the regulatory super-state, and aggressive enforcement of liberal social agendas. “Misgendering” a transsexual will get you a fine of up to $250,000. That pretty much says it all.
There’s even a political party with its own rich history, based on New York values: Meet the Liberal Party of New York, of which the aforementioned mayor Lindsay was a card-carrying member. From their own website:
The Liberal Party has a history of supporting candidates on the basis of merit, independence and progressive viewpoints regardless of party affiliation. Past nominees have included Governors Averill Harriman, High Carey and Mario Cuomo; U.S. Senators Herbert Lehman, Robert Wagner Sr., Jacob Javits, Robert Kennedy, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton; NYC Mayors Fiorello LaGuardia, Robert Wagner and John Lindsay.
The Liberal Party stands against everything Donald Trump has claimed as his own mantle in his run for the Oval Office.
In the 1980’s, the Liberal Party was the first political party in America to support a woman’s Right to Choose and filed a friend of the court brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade.
Today the Liberal Party is especially aware of the erosion of the liberal principles which made America the greatest force for freedom and justice the world has known. Begun in the Reagan era with the pledge to rid America of FDR’s New Deal progressive legislation that would lead to Medicare and Medicaid in later years, and continuing through the years of Karl Rove and George W. Bush and now the Tea Party and the overwhelming influence of Big Business, the Liberal Party has developed a Platform which is based on the continuation of its core principles: freedom, justice and a level playing field of opportunity for all citizens.
Trump can be insulted all he wants, but New York values do not represent anything the GOP wants to accomplish, and in fact, we should be angry that he would defend the statement. Trump offered the example of the late William F. Buckley as a product of New York. Ironically, Buckley would most certainly have opposed Trump as a candidate, given his political history. In fact, Buckley’s legacy, The National Review, vigorously, vociferously, and aggressively opposes Trump.
Another product of New York, Jonah Goldberg, wrote an NR piece in September titled “No Movement That Embraces Trump Can Call Itself Conservative” where he deep dives all the reasons his fellow New Yorker does not represent conservatism. You should read it.
Maybe Trump will walk back his insult and pivot it north of, say, White Plains, where the party affiliation map finally starts to turn purple from the deep, deep blue of Manhattan. But we all know what Cruz meant.
New York values are liberal. They always have been. And Donald Trump is most decidedly a product of, and has been working with, the proponents of those values his entire life. Instead of being insulted, he should agree with Cruz and tell us why he has changed.