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New York Values

Who said “I mean, hey, I lived in New York City and Manhattan all my life, ok, so my views are a little different than if I lived in Iowa perhaps…”?

Alright. The “I mean, hey” was a dead giveaway. There’s only one guy on the national political stage right now who starts a sentence that way.

The other infamous way to start a sentence is “Now let me be clear.”

Don’t get me wrong, Trump fans. I really like how Donald has been a wrecking ball on Political Correctness. I spent many hours on the radio over the last several years saying things that are considered politically incorrect and I always appreciate reinforcements.

I’m also grateful for the fact that The Donald is able to bring important issues to the forefront and make it OK for regular folks to hold positions disdained by the establishment from both parties (and the media). Or at least for them to have someone willing to join them, shoulders square and head held high, in their shame.

But I went to graduate school on Long Island back in the 80’s and I had the privilege of getting to know all kinds of New Yorkers. Some conservative and some liberal. (Actually, mostly they were liberal).

One thing they all seemed to take pride in, regardless of their political persuasion, is that they were “different”. It wasn’t just that they were more liberal. They were better, really.

More liberal, sure, but in a sophisticated way. Even the conservative ones wanted you to know they weren’t “that kind of conservative”.

New Yorker Cover

New York Values

More cultured, urbane, experienced and worldly. The first thing most of them (liberal or conservative) wanted to know when they first found out I was from “Amish Country” (not really, but many New Yorkers think everyone in PA rides in a horse drawn carriage) was what it was like to go cow tipping.

Funny thing was, I’d never heard of cow tipping till I got to New York City.  There was no World Wide Web back then, so I had to ask what it was before I could deny ever participating.

The other thing I found out pretty quickly is that most of them have pretty thick skin. Especially if you repeat back to them what they said while they were bragging about being different better.

That’s why Donald’s reaction to the Cruz missile didn’t surprise me (or anyone else who wasn’t pretending to be offended).

The reaction to Senator Cruz’s comments are a political Rorschach test. If you think he was making a valid point, your values are probably rooted in the soil west of the Hudson. If you were insulted or thought that Lady Liberty’s middle finger was an appropriate response, well, then you’re just different better than the rest of us.

The truth is only time will tell if Cruz’s novel attack on Trump using his own video was spot on and strategically smart or a miscalculation. But rest assured it was rooted in the strategic question “Which part of America will determine the GOP primary winner?”

Thanks to D.C. McCalister in CRAaron Blake at The Fix and David French at NRO for helping me think this through.

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