Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Attack de Blasio--That '70s Show Redux

Ray Lhota, the Republican candidate for NYC mayor, is eating the dust of Bill de Blasio, the Democratic candidate.  Some estimate that de Blasio is outpacing Lhota six to one.  So Lhota decided to advertise himself as the bulwark between law and order and a return to the '70s of rampant crime and graffitied-scarred subway cars.

He's not the only one presenting this persona.  Some newspapers and magazines are also helpful in sketching Lhota as the uber-Bloomberg, the only person between the voters and chaos.

The New Yorker delicately touches upon this meme in the 10/14/13 issue.  A writer compares the "wilding" of a group of bikers attacking the driver of an SUV to the movie The Road Warrior, a dystopian vision of tribal warfare over scarce gasoline.  As the author writes:

"It was a Bloombergian's nightmare of Bill de Blasio's New York--except that de Blasio isn't even mayor yet.  De Blasio has chosen as a campaign theme the phrase "a tale of two cities."  In a certain light, the biker attack read as the revolt of one of them against the other."

I don't know what kind of rarified world the writer lives in, but here in New York City we interpret "Tale of Two Cities" as standing in for the greatest income inequality in the nation.  The 99% vs. the 1%.  This is the same paradigm that was used to describe Occupy Wall Street as a churning sea of lawlessness.  It de-legitimizes the call for social justice.

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