This pandemic has exposed the dangerousness of the progressive world-view of limiting individual liberties, stifling our free market system, and treating our police officers with disdain.
Like many fellow New Yorkers across the five boroughs, I enjoyed the warm weather last weekend by having a few cold beverages outside a local establishment on Third Avenue in Bay Ridge. It was nice to catch up with friends and feel some normalcy again. Significantly, bar and restaurant owners also got a needed jolt of business.
Mayor Bill de Blasio quickly threatened to shut down these local businesses, many owned by our neighbors, with the NYPD and the Sheriff’s Office. Hizzoner said, “I’m not comfortable at all with people congregating outside bars…If we have to shut places down, we will.”
What Mayor de Blasio and many other blue state officials forget is that the First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.”
By saying he will shut down businesses because individuals freely decided to congregate on a public space, Hizzoner is saying to hell with the business owners and their employees who have struggled for survival over the past two months. He is also saying screw quarantine-fatigued New Yorkers who are ready to make their own decisions about resuming their lives.
As I said last week, it is time to open the Big Apple again. New Yorkers who are not guaranteed regular taxpayer funded paychecks, like our mayor, governor, and legislators, need to get back on their feet to make ends meet at home.
Last Monday, the mayor even threatened to have people pulled out of the water at city beaches. He said, “[If] anyone tries to get in the water, they’ll be taken right out of the water.” For Mayor de Blasio and his fellow progressives, it is more important for police to pull people out of the water, shut businesses, and break up New Yorkers that are peacefully assembling, rather than fighting the alarming increases in shootings, robberies, and burglaries.
Indeed, the growing criticism that blue states and localities are dragging their feet on reopening seems more legitimate. We need to trust individuals to make the best decisions for themselves and their families, and businesses to use the free market system and their own entrepreneurship to open our city, state, and country again. Allowing government to keep their foot on the necks of businesses is choking the livelihoods of Americans, and is not the system our founders created.
While Mayor de Blasio was quick to respond with his threats to New Yorkers socializing with one another on our public streets, he had no similar stern words for his Health Commissioner who said she didn’t “give two rats’ asses” about cops getting needed personal protective equipment. She finally issued a public apology this week and it is forgotten.
The despicable comments of Dr. Oxiris Barbot to NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan during a phone call in March as the pandemic took hold here was merely a vocalization of the anti-police views of the mayor and progressives.. Can you imagine anyone at City Hall daring to utter such words under Mayor Bloomberg or Giuliani?
Detectives’ Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo summed up the skepticism about the sincerity of her apology when he stated, “Dr. Barbot’s apology comes only because her disgusting comments were brought to light for all New Yorkers to hear.”
This pandemic is also bringing to light the path we are on if we continue to elect democrats, who are now almost totally controlled by the far-left progressive wing.
Perhaps the only silver lining to all of this is that New Yorkers may realize that a change is needed in leadership to protect individual freedoms and the free market, and to stand up for law enforcement.
Bob Capano has worked for Brooklyn Republican and Democrat elected officials, and has been an adjunct political science professor for over 15 years. Follow him on twitter @bobcapano.