Ideologues and Political Rhetoric without Action
Good governing only comes with compromise, and ideologues seem to lack the common sense that they can’t prevail at all times. Simply stated they are incapable of compromise. Rhetoric without action can be worse since nothing is there to be discussed, modified and ultimately agreed. Great pronouncement speeches are soon forgotten without the requisite follow through of action.
We have all witnessed these two shortcomings in our politicians, and unfortunately our well-intended new Mayor of New York seems to embrace both. His Pre-K stance on tax the rich as the only path to offering universal Pre K even though the state has offered to fund it, is an excellent example of an ideologue that refuses to compromise, even when he is getting most of what he wants. He then goes on to embrace the second failing of rhetoric without action by announcing multiple projects and trashing existing ones without any specific plans to launch or improve them. Take your pick, a rejuvenated Sandy, a “reset” of mid-town zoning, specifics on Pre-K, etc.
I for one am also tired of hearing the new mayor was elected with a 73% mandate. Let’s take a quick look at those pesky facts: There are 4.6 million registered voters in New York City. Only 1.02 million actually voted which is only 22.2 % of eligible voters. Of this 22.2 percent he did receive 73% of the vote. This translates, mathematically and factually into 16.3 % of the vote of New York City voters…hardly a mandate.
However, it was clearly a mandate by the unions of New York City. If 75% of the 300,000 union members of NYC voted for DeBlasio and their partner/spouse also voted for him, along with one parent or parent-in-law, that group alone would have accounted for almost the entire vote he received. And, let’s not forget, union members are democrats, they vote regularly, and the new Mayor was promising retroactive pay increases. They totally supported him and if the truth were known, single handedly, elected him. This calculation would leave 3.0 million registered voters who did not cast a vote (shame on them) and gave the Mayor his often-stated “mandate”.
The mayor must start delivering. Compromise on the Pre-K, and you’ll be lauded and known as the Mayor who gave everyone Pre-K not the Mayor who compromised away his tax increase. Release specifics on projects and “resets” that make sense and then follow through.
And, a few more thoughts Mr. Mayor. Those nasty one-percenters are at their desk in the financial district long before your first meeting is scheduled and they show up on time, each and every day. They are not 40 to 60 minutes late for their scheduled meeting and certainly not for their first of the day. You’d be surprised to see how active the “street” is at 6AM or 7AM each morning. Try getting up one morning and checking it out. You’ll find the “other city” you often refer to up and working very hard long before you’ve had your first cup of coffee.
And above all, don’t become the Mayor Ed Koch spoke of in his memorable words: “The people have spoken…and now they must be punished”
Good Luck Mr. Mayor. Everyone really does want you to succeed, as that would be best for the city we all love. But, you’ll have to get up early, show up on time and avoid the two enemies of good government.