New York City has often been seen as separate from the rest of America.
As the nation’s financial and business capital, the city’s relative affluence and fast-paced lifestyle is one point of differentiation from other more sedate and less expensive portions of the country.
Its legacy as the entry point for many of the nation’s immigrants is celebrated both in the museum on Ellis Island that is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and in the diversity of nationalities who continue to thrive in the city’s multi-cultural neighborhoods. This has led the city to become much more tolerant in accepting a wide-range of immigrants from all over the world in a way that many smaller towns and cities have not.
Now, The New York Daily News has published an editorial that acknowledges its uniqueness in the American landscape and attempts to make amends for one cultural trend that many in the city are far from proud of exporting. The title of the op-ed says it all:
The embarrassment of the city over this turn of events is manifestly clear in the opening lines of the editorial:
“What a humiliating time to be a New Yorker.
As if native son Donald Trump wasn’t enough, he’s now rejoined by Rudy Giuliani, who just last month or not even two Scaramuccis ago was yesterday’s news.”
The author of the editorial, Harry Siegel, goes on to list the ignominious ways the former New York Mayor has been spending his time since leaving the Trump campaign for a life spent outside the public eye, before describing Giuliani’s bumbling return to the limelight last week.
“Meantime, the joy was painted on Giuliani’s face as he returned to the spotlight last week, carrying and sloshing the President’s water like a third afternoon martini as Rudy joined Fox News host and Trump adviser Sean Hannity. Giuliani spent his unhinged hour on air waving his arms wildly. He called FBI agents “stormtroopers” for raiding the office of Trump and Hannity lawyer Michael Cohen. He ‘fessed up that Trump had fired the Bureau’s boss for insufficient political loyalty. And that Trump had paid Cohen for paying off the porn star who’d slept with The Donald to keep her mouth shut during the election.”
Like most New Yorkers, familiarity gave plenty of time to breed contempt for Giuliani in Siegel, who as mayor was noted for his tough guy persona and the institution of a “broken window” policy that led to a crackdown on minor infractions that disproportionately affected minorities. He described how most New Yorkers regarded the mayor towards the end of his term.
“By then, most New Yorkers had grown tired of Giuliani — who, without a crisis at hand, spent his energy on ever pettier and nastier fights and who valued personal loyalty above all else to the point of appointing a police commissioner who later served time in prison. Witch hunt!”
Then came the horrific terror attacks of September 11th, 2001 and suddenly Giuliani was “America’s Mayor” for his gravitas during the attacks. He was seriously considered a top contender for the Republican nomination for president in the aftermath of the tragedy, a position that led Joe Biden to remark:
“Rudy Giuliani, probably the most under-qualified man since George Bush to seek the presidency. . . . I mean, think about it! Rudy Giuliani. There’s only three things he mentions in a sentence — a noun, a verb, and 9/11. There’s nothing else! There’s nothing else! And I mean this sincerely. He’s genuinely not qualified to be President.”
Luckily, the Republicans thought so as well, sending Giuliani back to his elite cosmopolitan city to wait out the Obama era. Now, with Trump in the White House, he’s re-emerged to the embarrassment of New Yorkers who know him all too well.
“A decade later, Giuliani works — at least for another Scaramucci or two — for a far less qualified New Yorker, as many conservatives have become so suspicious of their “enemies” that they will forgive their allies in “the game” anything.
Frank Sinatra was right: If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. The question is why these characters keep making it here,” the op-ed concludes.
Take it from a native New Yorker who grew up with Trump and Giuliani as daily fixtures in the news from the 70’s onward, if we locals who’ve been forced to endure the presence of these two sad excuses for politicians for many more years than the rest of the country can’t stand them, the least we must do is apologize and let you know that we’re not all like that.
Remember, Trump lost in New York by a wide margin.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.