A new low in the presidential primary debates was reached last week when candidate Ted Cruz charged that Donald Trump represents “New York values.” This was almost as a bad as when presidential candidate John Kerry was accused of looking “too French.”
New York values, claimed Cruz, are socially liberal, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, and a focus on money and media.
What Americans outside of New York in the heartland really heard was: “you are from Sodom and Gomorrah, a cesspool of perversion and depravity, where oligarchs and money changers rule the temple and the Antichrist lives in a Park Avenue cooperative apartment and vacations in wicked France and drinks wine.
The same rural prejudices animated America’s prohibition movement in the 1920’s.
As a Manhattan-born native New Yorker, I must say that I agree with Cruz. New Yorkers are horrid and their values are an abomination. If the heartland is not careful, it could end up overrun by Muslims, gay honeymooners, pickpockets and assorted deviants. I love the city.
Imagine, people in New York get their news from the city-based TV networks and newspapers instead of from Christian talk radio and TV like 144 million good evangelical Americans. Those vile New Yorkers even have the audacity to call the United States between New Jersey and California, “fly over country,” as if there was nothing of value or interest below. They have no idea of the intellectual renaissance in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Clearly, a lot of Americans do not love New Yorkers.
Each summer I was sent off to camp in New Hampshire to escape polio epidemics in New York. Around the jolly old campfire, my fellow camp-mates would sing, for the benefit of the few New Yorkers (who were all assumed to be Jewish), “all you guys with long, long noses, come and join the fight for Moses, fight, fight, fight for Palestine.”
When I was in the US Army (unlike the fire-breathing Trump or Cruz) one risked being beaten up at night if exposed as a New Yorker. When getting tropical shots for Vietnam, I was asked by a sergeant, “where are you from, son.”
Foolishly, I replied, “New York City.” Bad move. The sergeant yelled out, “hey, we got one those rich bastards from New York.” Twenty medics attacked my arms with needles, leaving them bleeding.
Sen. Cruz, New Yorkers are nasty people. They would kill for a taxi, never hold doors, are always in a rush (the famed “New York minute,”) and unfailingly rude and pushy. They don’t attend church or join Rotary or Lions Clubs, and eat French and Italian food. New York’s kamikaze taxis are piloted by Muslims, Sikhs and Sri Lankans.
Like the phony cowpoke George W. Bush, Cruz pretends to be a rough and tough Texan. In fact, he is the product of top Eastern schools. Last week, it was revealed that a lot of his campaign finance came from Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street money lenders who are the incarnation of the rapacious New York money-changers denounced by Cruz.
Unlike the faux Texan cowboy Cruz, Trump is indeed a real New Yorker. When I was a boy, Manhattan had tough German gangs on the East Side. One knew not to go east of Third Avenue. In fact, New York was once a great German city – the world’s biggest after Berlin and Hamburg –until two world wars submerged America’s German identity. German Yorkville with its boisterous beer halls and the wonderful “Luchows” German restaurant are sadly long gone.
Trump came from this milieu. His family moved to Queens which, with New York’s borough Brooklyn, are more populous than primary states Iowa and New Hampshire put together. Trump sounds and acts like he came from very middle-class Queens.
Firing back at Cruz, Trump orated about New York and 9/11, taking credit for the city’s resistance and rebound. But he blew it when he told Cruz to “go back to Canada” as if it were some sort of northern Cuba.
The United States would do well to be a bit more like Canada. Canadians are famously polite, genteel, helpful and non-violent. As the wonderful actor Peter Ustinov once quipped when asked what he thought of Toronto, Canada, he replied: “New York City….run by the Swiss!”
That would be a fine goal for both candidates rather than more guns and foreign wars.