“Everything you heard about me is true. . . . I am not a free marketer. . . . I believe in the heavy hand of government.” — Bill De Blasio
John Fund, writing in National Review, explains why the hard-left speakers at De Blasio’s inauguration do not bode well for NYC.
Look, I have a soft spot in my heart for radical idealists of any persuasion. In a political era dominated by poll-tested remarks and blow-dried hair, at least they are passionate believers in something. In 2012, I wrote an obituary celebrating the life of the “mellowed” Marxist writer Alexander Cockburn.
But couldn’t we have done better than Harry Belafonte as the keynote speaker at Mayor de Blasio’s inauguration? De Blasio really is a hard-left true believer. He wasn’t kidding when he told business leaders after his election, “Everything you heard about me is true. . . . I am not a free marketer. . . . I believe in the heavy hand of government.”
But how heavy? Well, last September the New York Times ran a story on de Blasio’s political roots, and found that he had returned from a 1988 visit to the Marxist Sandinista regime of Nicaragua “with a vision of the possibilities of an unfettered leftist government.” This was long after the Sandinistas had been exposed as human-rights violators on a grand scale and purveyors of anti-Semitic slurs. In 1990, the year Nicaraguans voted the Sandinistas out of office, de Blasio was asked at a retreat of the Nicaragua Solidarity Network what his vision of society was. “Democratic socialism,” he replied. The Times also noted that in 1994, when de Blasio was 32, he even honeymooned in Cuba, violating the U.S. ban on travel to that country.
When pressed during the mayoral campaign about his quote that he advocates “democratic socialism,” de Blasio blustered and claimed, “That’s not a quote from me, that’s someone’s notes.” The Times contradicted him, though, reporting: “The notes were, in fact, written by him; a copy is kept at the New York University archives and was reviewed by the Times.”)
We have it on Bill de Blasio’s own authority that his views haven’t changed. “But it doesn’t matter,” he said in explaining the notes. “The bottom line is the values that I have put forward I think have been consistent over the last quarter-century or more.”
That’s exactly what I and other New Yorkers are afraid of as we look toward the future and guess what Mayor de Blasio’s plans for the city will be over the next four years.