The following is the third letter in a debate series in the “Readers Write” section on the Opinion Page of the TimesLedger Newspapers. Read the first letter in the series here: When did politics become so ugly and divisive? Read the rebuttal: Boro GOPer distorted facts on Bush election. Read the third letter below.
By Phil Orenstein
In his rebuttal to my letter on political divisiveness, Robert LaRosa proves my point that partisan rancor has intensified since the 2000 presidential elections. My message to Mr. LaRosa and the small vocal minority, who still feel cheated after 14 years, is to move on. Bush vs. Gore is an outdated political dispute involving a complex Supreme Court decision that would go on forever if the hapless souls who felt embittered by the outcome of our Democratic process had their way, as well as the dubious claims that voters were stricken from the roles which were later proven false. My point was, instead of continuing a campaign of malice to destroy the opposition by falsely accusing the GOP of racism, extremism, a “war on women,” and an “illegal takeover of the White House,” as Mr. LaRosa declares, let’s move on. It’s a distraction and we’ve got bigger fish to fry.
Let’s get beyond the partisan bitterness that has led to the present impasse in the political life of our nation, which has turned people off to politics, spread lies about principled Republicans and led to the present disillusion and apathy. The outcome is that only 24% of NYC voters came out to vote in the last election, perhaps the lowest turnout in a century. Queens has become a corrupt one-party system with over 50 Democrat elected officials and only one Republican. Rather than name-calling and ad hominem attacks, let’s try to have a civil exchange on real issues in order to best inform voters.
I registered as a Republican 10 years ago. I did not leave the Democrat Party, the Party of my parent’s generation, the party of Truman, JFK, Al Smith and other great leaders. Rather “the Democrat Party left me,” as Ronald Reagan famously said. The progressive left seized control of the Party and turned it into a road to hell paved with good intentions. Since the progressives took over, the lives of minorities and the poor are much worse, just the people they claim to help.
Mr. LaRosa asked for facts. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the four poorest cities in America are Detroit, Buffalo, Cincinnati and Cleveland, all run by big government Democrat mayors for decades. Their progressive policies attacking Republicans, Conservatives and the rich, have turned these once proud and prosperous cities into slums of human misery and decay. Detroit, once the wealthiest city in America, has been run by a progressive socialist monopoly for over 50 years. One of those Democrat mayors, Coleman Young was also a member of the Communist Party. Today as a result of decades of progressive policies, Detroit has suffered the largest public bankruptcy in US history, and is the poorest and most dangerous large city in the nation. Yet hypocritical politicians continue to attack Republicans as enemies of the poor and minorities.
Under Democrat administrations, NYC suffered a long spell of crime and chaos which peaked during the Dinkins administration to over 2200 murders in a year, causing millions of people to flee. Crime was drastically reduced and prosperity restored under Republican Administrations for the past 20 years making NYC the safest large city in America. Under Republican Mayor Giuliani’s pro-active crime reduction policies and Mayor Bloomberg who built on that progress, NYC has been flourishing as people rediscovered the joys of living in the Big Apple. Now, the progressive anti-law enforcement, anti-business policies of Mayor de Blasio who said, “I am not a free-marketeer. . . I believe in the heavy hand of government,” threaten to undo all that progress. Already we see shootings surging throughout the city and New Yorkers fleeing for sunnier destinations in business-friendly, income tax-free states, the states run by Republican governors. According to the annual CNBC study, thirteen of the top 14 best states for business and economic competitiveness are led by Republican governors.
Rather than splitting hairs over long past elections, a little less partisan rancor will go a long way to solving current issues and crises that affect all of us. As a proud Republican, I believe in individual freedom, limited government, free markets, merit, hard work and pursuit of the American dream and that choosing leaders who uphold these values will lead to a great new era of freedom, security and prosperity. As I mentioned in my original letter, I believe these are the values that made America great and are shared by the vast majority of Americans.
Queens Village Republican Club