11 November 2022


 Two factors contributed heavily to what should have been a landslide victory for Republicans fizzling out. First the “red wave” essentially was aborted.  (I do so hate that color dichotomy that was originally foisted on us by NBC news a couple of decades ago, maliciously sticking the right with the “red” label previously always associated with the left). Although abortion did not rank high as a issue compared to the economy, inflation, etc. it clearly boosted turnout among one group strongly concerned about it, namely single women, 70% of whom voted for Democrats. Even though there was in reality no serious threat to abortion rights, the scare campaign worked. 

The second factor was a series of relatively weak candidates chosen by Donald Trump, in otherwise winnable races. My earlier warning that his penchant for celebrity candidates would backfire was unfortunately realized, along with candidates who were still sounding off about the 2020 election to please him instead of focusing on more salient current concerns. Trump accomplished a great deal despite unrelenting constant opposition, and deteriorating conditions across the board since he left office prove he was right about virtually everything.  He certainly does not deserve the political persecution he has been subject to since leaving office, and from direct experience I can say with certainty  that he is not the ogre he has been depicted as, but is on a personal level kind and considerate individual. 

Nevertheless, his behavior and remarks since the election have fatally compromised his viability as a candidate going forward, along with his refusal to let go of the last election. I  fully understand his rage and frustration with that outcome, given the gross unfairness of the forces arrayed against him. That election was not “stolen,” but it certainly was rigged, given the hostile, partisan major media, their calculated suppression of the truth (i.e. Hunter Biden laptop), the collaboration of “big tech,” (which is a misnomer- most are fundamentally just Internet companies), powerful partisan bureaucrats, over 400 million in Zuckerbucks, etc. etc, all of which must be held to account. Thus it is understandable that he feels cheated, but his reaction only underscores his lack of self-control and inability to keep his mouth shut, which is what cost him re-election in the first place. It is because of this that Trump himself is liked far less than his positions and policies, which proved to be successful and popular. But given his continuing diatribe, and most recently his unhinged attack on Ron DeSantis, essentially for simply existing, have made a repeat candidacy untenable, and many Republicans are increasingly realizing this. 

This election also exposed the lie about “threats to democracy” conjured up by Democrats and their collaborators in the media. That one is really rich given that Republicans got 6 million more votes than Democrats, yet picked up relatively few House seats.

Here in New York Lee Zeldin lost an election he should have won, largely due to the weight of New York City, because outside of that, Long Island and upstate New York are much like the rest of the country, and in fact are largely Republican and the party actually gained House seats in those areas. Unfortunately the prospects for the city where I have spent most of my life increasingly seem hopeless. After rising to 8.8 million from a prior low thanks to a period of relatively competent government, the city is again now rapidly losing people, mostly middle class taxpayers, and as conditions deteriorate further that may only increase. 

Another legacy of the disastrous radical DeBlasio administration were odious amendments to the city charter which passed, to change the preamble to reflect “racial justice,” and the creation of an Office of Racial Equity in the city  (note the term “equity” not “equality)” throwing fairness out the window, and which is only going to make doing business here more of a nightmare. Is there anything more ludicrous in a city where three of the four top officials are black, including the Mayor and Speaker of the City Council? Or a state where the Senate Majority leader and Assembly Speaker are both black, never mind the Attorney General? Worse with no relief from high taxes, rising crime, and progressive lunacy the outlook for the future of this place is pretty grim. 

01 November 2022


 Like many others, I’ve often thought about leaving New York due to deteriorating conditions that have steadily gotten worse following a long, continuous period of decline. Indeed I even wrote a monograph called The Decline of the Empire State when I was the founding director of the NY State Republican Policy Committee, and generated some programs to reduce the burden on taxpayers the last time we held any power here. But that was over two decades ago, and for most of this century things have steadily gotten worse. Taxes are high, crime is rising, the quality of life is declining, and we have been hemorrhaging people for decades, mitigated slightly only by immigration. One can only wonder if there is any future left here now?

The decline is heartbreaking because it didn’t have to happen, and would not have happened had there been better stewardship, but the corrupt mismanagement and political rot runs so deep that the chances of ever reversing the trend grow dimmer. When I wrote of the decline in the past I was looking at the relative position of the state. Once it truly was the Empire State, the biggest and most dynamic in the nation. When I was a kid it seemed as though everything was here,  including the headquarters of most large corporations, many now long gone. New York was first in everything. But in the 1960s California passed it by, then Texas, and now even Florida has a greater population. But it is telling that the budget of the latter, despite a larger, growing population is half that of New York.

Despite the abysmal degree of chronic incompetence and corruption, for the longest time I have been reluctant to seriously consider leaving places I know so intimately and such great detail, and if you’re from the city, everywhere else seems slow. So I think this has always been my home and I should stay and fight for it. While Democrats have a big advantage in party registration in New York, it is in no way as “progressive” as many people think. It has little of the far out lunacy of places on the west coast, and there is still a significant segment of conservative Democrats who stay registered as such so as to be able to vote in the primary elections, especially in New York City.  

But if Lee Zeldin can’t win this election then no Republican ever can, and we are doomed to unfettered one party rule. There will be no check on the irresponsible legislature, no barrier to the ever-expanding state with ever diminishing resources as the most productive taxpayers and enterprises accelerate their departure. This will inevitably lead to insolvency- and yes, New York State can and will go bankrupt, crime will continue to increase, and day to day life will become ever more miserable for most people remaining here. 

That is why the upcoming election is the most critical in the history of the state. It is our last chance to stop, and even reverse the decline, and truly begin a new era of renewal and reform. Many Democrats know this as well, but it is going to require that they abandon the party regime responsible for the awful situation we find ourselves in, and vote this time around for Lee Zeldin. He is appealing on so many levels, facing a weak candidate and unusually favorable prospects based on objective conditions. He is an outstanding candidate who is poised to save our state from the disastrous prospects awaiting us. 

Things don't have to be the way they are now.  We can become so much better. New York is a vast and beautiful state with abundant resources and great historic places, and extraordinary, untapped potential. With competent leadership  it would still have a good chance of recovery and renewal. Electing Lee Zeldin as Governor is the only way forward now, and voting this Election Day is critical for all our futures.