Let’s talk about something more cheerful. Let’s talk about the Democratic primary for mayor of New York.
Now, I’m cheered because not only did my candidate, Bill deBlasio win, but my second-favorite candidate, Bill Thompson, came in second. It is my fondest hope that there won’t be a run-off election, which is required if no one gets at least forty percent of the vote, but I could cheerfully vote for either man.
(Still,the city could use the money for better things than another election.)
But more than any of this, I’m delighted to see the Conventional Wisdom upended. The Democrats of New York voted for the candidates with ideas they liked and experience they trusted, not for candidates who were members of any particular group.
The Conventional Wisdom would have you believe that Bill Thompson would get the African-American vote, that John Liu would get the Asian vote, that Christine Quinn would get the female and LGBT vote, and Anthony Weiner would get the Jewish vote. Bill deBlasio might get the Italian vote, or the Brooklyn vote.
If the Conventional Wisdom was always right, we wouldn’t have to hold elections. The census rolls would be enough.
But in New York, not a melting pot but, in the words of David Dinkens, a “glorious mosaic,” we put more thought into our votes, at least this time. DeBlasio won because his ideas appealed to everyone, not just those who had genitals and grandparents similar to his. You can look at this map and see how the voting broke down.
It’s unfortunate that some think that Christine Quinn lost because she was an out lesbian woman.
The rest of the country thinks that New York City is some kind of East Coast left-wing ivory tower, but we haven’t elected a Democrat to the office of mayor in 20 years. In those two decades, nearly half the population of the city has lost economic ground, so that nearly half live at or below the poverty line. This isn’t something that happened only in New York (see this) but it’s really noticeable here, because we’re packed so close together. The family up the block in the $35 million townhouse lives next door to a building with rent-stabilized tenants.
Maybe this means that we are just easily manipulated fools, easily charmed by the deBlasio family. Maybe this means that New York is ahead of the curve, and we’ll start thinking that it’s worth a bit of sacrifice from the wealthy so we can all be better off. Maybe this means deBlasio can’t win, and the money guys who control Wall Street will continue to control the rest of the city. Or maybe it means that New York is too different from the rest of the country for any rules to apply, and we should be our own country after all.
Fashion week just ended. Mark Jacobs should have time to design a flag.
Media Goddess Martha Thomases is thrilled that her son, the genius, turned her on to this and urges it on everyone else.