George Graham

New York Democrats Say Yes to a Real Liberal

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio kisses his wife Chirlane McCray after voting in the New York City mayoral primary Tuesday in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

I suppose it’s no surprise that most New York Democrats are liberals. What makes me scratch my head is how much they seem to care about politicians’ private lives. New York may be the Big Apple, but it certainly isn’t Paris – or Amsterdam. Times Square may rival the worst depravity of any city in the world, but those middle class families in Queens obviously don’t approve of such sexual shenanigans.

Anthony Weiner (I’m sure I don’t have to tell you he was that Democratic congressman who resigned after sending obscene – and absurd – pictures to women he met on the internet) was demolished in last night’s primary, getting just 5 percent of the vote.

He was last seen riding off into obscurity giving reporters the one-finger salute as he went. I have to confess that I liked Weiner’s politics, and I am sorry to see him melt down the way he has. I hope he is headed for rehab. He obviously needs it.

Eliot Spitzer, the former New York governor who got himself trapped with a call girl, also paid the price at the polls. A brilliant man with solid credentials and a progressive platform, Spitzer lost his bid for comptroller to Scott Stringer, the Manhattan borough president.

That’s a shame. America needs more politicians like Eliot Spitzer. But the New York City Democratic establishment has its own agenda. And it was the party establishment that pushed Stringer into office.

I am heartened, though, by the surprise triumph of Bill de Blasio (pictured above with wife Chirlane McCray), currently New York City’s public advocate. It looks as if he will carry the Democratic Party’s banner in the city’s mayoral race, even if he has to face a runoff.

Bill de Blasio is a real liberal and makes no bones about it. And he has not been reticent about exposing the hypocrisy of that sly little billionaire, Michael Bloomberg.

You might be duped into thinking Bloomberg is a progressive politician. After all, he supports gun control, for one thing. But he also supports police policies that are anything but liberal. And at heart he is a money man’s money man.

Bill de Blasio is the man-in-the-street’s champion, a true-blue Democrat like those great champions of the past – the Kennedy family and FDR (and, of course, darling Eleanor). Here’s how Harry Bruinius of the Christian Science Monitor describes his campaign:

In just a matter of weeks, Mr. de Blasio took a campaign languishing near the bottom of the polls and propelled it into the national spotlight, trumpeting an unapologetic liberal message of taxing the wealthy to fund education, helping struggling hospitals in poor neighborhoods, and most of all, reforming the city’s police tactic of stop and frisk.

“An unapologetic liberal message.” When was the last time we heard a politician (with the exception of such diehards as Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Alan Grayson) deliver a message like that?

Yes, I know it was a Democratic primary, and I know it was New York City, but don’t they say “if you can make it here you can make it anywhere”?

Who knows? An unapologetic liberal message may be just what America is waiting for – from sea to shining sea.

Click here for the Christian Science Monitor’s report.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for