New York is often considered a beacon of democratic principles, a home for those who believe that equity and social justice trump all. New York City, for example, is home to some of the most radical members of the Democratic Party who pass legislation based on race and equity, rather than fundamental fairness. Nevertheless, contrary to what we may think New York to be, recent trends in the campaign for governor suggest that New York may be on its way down a different route.
Lee Zeldin, a Republican congressman from Long Island, and Kathy Hochul, the former lieutenant governor who became governor after the resignation of Andrew Cuomo, are competing in a gubernatorial race of which the outcome has become unpredictable.
A few months ago, Hochul had a 24-point lead in the polls. However, Quinnipiac, one of the most recognized pollsters in the nation, recently released a poll with shocking results: Hochul has just a 4-point lead. This is the outcome of what seems to be a perfect storm of events that have hit New Yorkers and showed them the repercussions of advancing far-left policies.
First, an assault attempt was made on Zeldin during a campaign rally. This occurred after an onslaught of unjustifiably harsh rhetoric directed toward Zeldin. Hochul’s message of compassion for him and his family — in which she did not acknowledge, however, that her rhetoric may have played a role — exacerbated the situation for the Democrats. And to make matters worse, the man accused of attempting to attack him was released without bail under New York’s controversial bail reform laws.
What might have been the biggest eye-opener for New Yorkers was when Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida sent thousands of migrants to New York City, a “sanctuary city” that supports illegal immigrants and regularly admonishes governors who try to control illegal immigration, seemingly out of spite.
To further irritate New Yorkers, while New York City has become so prohibitively expensive that the average person no longer can afford to live there — with skyrocketing rents averaging around $5,000 per month for shoebox apartments in Manhattan — these migrants are being housed and fed three meals a day on the taxpayers’ dime.
Finally, escalating crime rates in New York City and its surrounding neighborhoods, some of it fueled by a lack of prosecution by leftist district attorneys and increased poverty, have transformed the city into a place many fear. New York City at night is a veritable Gotham City, with violence even reaching Zeldin’s front door on Long Island — two men exchanged gunfire while his daughters were home alone.
Voters are beginning to understand that Democratic leaders care exclusively about retribution and equity for the tiny minority — and not about ordinary Americans. This “equality” always comes at the expense of fairness and the quality of life of the common individual. In addition, based on their rhetoric and policy proposals, it often appears that Democrats care only about Democrats and future Democratic voters, not Republicans, independents or anybody who disagrees with them.
Many New Yorkers are certainly concerned about matters such as transgender rights, abortion and immigration. Yet they worry more about how they will put food on the table, whether they will be able to pay rent and whether they can provide a safe and comfortable life for their children. The messaging of Hochul and other Democrats is entirely fixated with the trivial — significant, but less pressing — problems of abortion, immigration and transgender rights.
Does this mean that New York voters are discovering that Zeldin may be the governor for them because he seeks to be fair to everyone, at the cost of no one? Many Republicans are not interested in providing illegal immigrants with support, food and shelter when they cannot even provide for their own constituents. We cannot save everyone, but we can create an environment where everyone can save themselves — and that includes illegal immigrants and others.
New York is often a city of extremes, but we can use a bill introduced in the Virginia State Legislature to demonstrate the Democratic Party’s electoral aims. The upcoming legislative session in Virginia was supposed to see the reintroduction of a bill that would broaden the state’s definition of child abuse and neglect to include people who cause mental or physical injury based on their child’s gender identity or sexual orientation. Thankfully, there was bipartisan backfire, and the bill’s sponsor said she will not reintroduce it.
Many Democrats in power support frustrating, irrational policies. Considering what has occurred over the previous four years, it does not take a soothsayer to forecast that New York would regress significantly over the next four years if Hochul is elected governor.
I have no doubt that Zeldin would have earned a narrow victory in the governor’s race if the election had been held a month later, and a wide victory another month later. New Yorkers will decide in the next election whether they prefer four years of senseless, liberty-invading policies or four years of fundamental fairness, equality of opportunity — not outcome — and prosperity for everyone, including Democrats.