NEW YORK – The Democratic Mayor Elementary School in New York City is attracting unwanted attention from a place far outside the city limits – MAGA Land.
As eight candidates battle for the post vacated by Mayor Bill de Blasio – a popular punching bag for Conservatives – the right-wing media are showing their fascination with an election that will serve as a nationwide political referendum on the future of Democrats for many cities.
In the same breath they criticize liberals for their “lively” identity politics. Rightists find things they like about the two front-runners – Andrew Yang and Eric Adams. Experts like Tucker Carlson have expressed admiration for Adams, Brooklyn City President and former police captain, who has said he will be wearing one licensed firearm as mayor when exposed to a credible threat. Former Trump adviser Stephen Miller and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have expressed their support for the policies of Yang, the former presidential candidate who became famous for his universal basic income proposal and who has shown a libertarian streak.
These national-level raids have had a noticeable impact on what is technically a communal race, and Adams is forced to respond to Carlson’s praise with a tough rejection of the Fox News host and the Yang campaign Tell POLITICO They viewed Miller’s approval as sabotage. Yang himself declined Miller and Cruz’s tweets, saying, “I would certainly never ask or want your support.”
“The Democrats themselves say the Democrats have done a poor job of running the city over the past eight years,” said Joe Borelli of Staten Island, one of the few Republican city councilors. “So this is the first national spotlight on whether the electorate will continue to go in that direction, even in a progressive city like New York, or whether they will work with someone who is a little more moderate on policing.”
The fact that the two leading Democrats in this deep blue city are forced to resist Republican support is a sign of the symbolic place New York City occupies in national politics today.
Although the competitive mayor’s final race in 2013 was largely a local affair, years of escalating divisions culminating in Donald Trump’s presidency and its aftermath have made the city’s political scene a right-wing target. Many of Trump’s loudest critics are also based in New York – de Blasio, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Majority leader Chuck Schumer and the heart of the mainstream media – further cementing New York’s right-wing reputation as the incarnation of uncontrolled progressivism.
However, the conservative interest in the mayor’s race primarily concerns the future of policing and how it might set the standard for the rest of the country. George Floyd’s protests a year ago, which led to screams for disappointing the NYPD and restricting its role in city life, further cemented the right-wing view of New York as a criminal hell landscape despite decades of steady improvement in the public safety figures.
But with the rise in gun violence in the city over the past year, Democratic Elementary School has become a litmus test of the Defund movement’s popularity.
“For better or worse, because everyone is looking to New York City and paying undue attention to it – or perhaps as the most populous city in America, it can be said it’s getting the right amount of attention – there is a way to get the political agenda informed [nationwide]”said Michael Hendrix, a research fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute.” People say, “I want to learn from New York’s successes or failures.”
It is also inevitably a benchmark for politicians across the country.
“People want to know what’s your response to what’s happening in New York?” Said Hendrix. “And maybe you’re framing it as a local question, but in your mind you might think of an example in New York … and apply it now: How will you react in Nashville, if that were the case?” Come?”
Right now, the right wing’s favorite in the race appears to be Adams, a black retired Republican cop whose position on crime contrasts him sharply with other New York progressives.
“The current mayor spends half his life dealing with global warming, even if he pollutes the atmosphere with his weed smoke. Eric Adams is actually serious about fighting crime, ”Carlson said during his May 7 episode, a widespread monologue. “How serious? He said if he becomes mayor he plans to carry his own gun. Can you imagine Bill de Blasio doing that? He would accidentally shoot himself.”
Within minutes of rival campaigns emerging, Adams had declined Carlson’s approval, stating that he needed no support from him or “anyone else who is upholding racial propaganda against immigrants.”
Adams has also received referrals from right-wing outlets like the New York Post and Jewish Press, whose editor-in-chief Elliot Resnick was among the Capitol rioters on Jan. 6, The Flame and the Daily callerand put him in an awkward position.
“Eric is a proud Democrat who has always advocated democratic values - including police reform, racial equality and workers’ rights,” said campaign spokesman Evan Thies. “A few years ago, more than 20 years ago, he changed his party status to protest Democratic politicians’ support for the Racial Crime Act and the Rockefeller Drugs Act.” Thies also pointed to Adam’s harsh condemnation of Resnick for attending on January 6, and expressed his condolences to those who attended.
The Yang campaign has claimed it is being trolled by Miller and said it also opposes his support. At least one of Yang’s rivals, Comptroller Scott Stringer, pulled an attack from Miller and enjoyed the opportunity to tangle with a Trump light fixture.
“I don’t want the support of someone who thinks the words ‘Trump’ and ‘humane’ belong in the same sentence,” said Stringer tweeted in this week. “I wish my opponents would think the same way.”
Yang himself has been a libertarian darling since the beginning of his political career, aiming to win the Democratic nomination by getting Trump voters on his side through his economic policies. During his campaign he stepped on several conservative outlets to defend his case, to gain admiration for his approach to the universal basic income.
He’s also compiled an impressive list of endorsements from Orthodox Jewish rabbis representing communities that made up some of Trump’s most ardent supporters the 2020 election.
In the early days of elementary school, candidates like Stringer and de Blasio’s former advisor Maya Wiley built their campaigns to reach the city’s progressive base. However, multiple polls have challenged the notion that the primary one would be a race to the left: Yang and Adams consistently lead the way, followed by Stringer and the other progressive contenders, a little way off.
The Manhattan Institute’s recent Mayor’s Race poll suggests public safety and reducing crime are a top priority for voters. Although 79 percent of respondents said they wanted New York to become more “socialist” – particularly to advocate tax hikes for rich, free education and guaranteed income – about half of likely Democratic voters agreed with the NYPD’s performance, and only 18 Percent wanted to see less police presence in their neighborhood.
And when asked, 49 percent of those surveyed did not answer this question wants to defuse NYPD and redistribute the money for social programs. For Hendrix, this meant a bright line in the general priorities of voters.
“If you think the big picture and throw out a whole bunch of ideas with the most positive ideas for socialism, you could theoretically find good support here. But here, too, the devil is in the details: What are you doing? indeed meant by that? “he asked rhetorically.” And if you mean to get rid of the police in your neighborhood, if you mean [wanting] There is not so much support to possibly set strict limits on the housing estate. “
Sally Goldenberg contributed to the coverage