Todays word on the state of our state, our nation, and the world.
June 14, 2015 | 5:55am
Photo: left: EPA; center: David Glynn; right: Chad Rachman
In conversations about politics and the world, I often find myself saying, “I wish there was more good news to write about.” I mean it.
While there are many joyous personal moments to savor, society outside the front door is coming apart. As a friend put it, “the world seems vexed.”
It’s the right word — much of the human race is stuck in gridlock, whole regions and countries intertwined so tightly that a mere wiggle causes violent friction. It is increasingly common to hear comparisons of our time with the troubled period that led to World War I.
A new world order may be coming, or it may just be a long period of bloody disorder. The only clarity is an unshakable conviction that something fundamental is changing for the worse.
The biggest change is that America, the modern world’s anchor of stability and security, is being roiled by a never-ending loop of turmoil and division. Mankind’s last resort feels unsettled and unreliable, adding to the sense of impending danger.
The lion’s share of the blame belongs to our awful governments, from New York City to Albany to Washington.
I can think of no other period when we simultaneously had such terrible leaders and ineffective lawmakers at all three levels. They seem to feed on each other’s worst instincts, competing to lay claim to the most sweeping changes, no matter the method or impact.
And so we are engulfed in waves of corruption, incompetence and arrogance, trickling up and trickling down, as government smothers society with agenda-driven policies. Just as modern culture often works against parents and families, modern government often works against social harmony and individual liberty.
Barack Obama leads the pack, and he will make history in two ways: As the first black president, and as the president who weakened America at home and abroad. Even race relations are on fire.
His signature legislative achievement, ObamaCare, remains as unpopular in its fifth year as when it passed in 2010. Yet he and his army of bureaucrats know best, breaking trust with the public as they impose their will.
Obama’s foreign policy is beyond broken — it is a major contributor to the unfolding global catastrophe. Thanks to his failed leadership, Iran, the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism, will get a nuclear bomb, an event that will throw open the gates to hell.
The Syrian civil war, which he pledged to stop, has killed 230,000 people and displaced 7.6 million. It helped to birth the Islamic State, the most ruthless and successful terrorist army the world has ever known. That’s Obama’s legacy.
New Yorkers, meanwhile, are governed by Frick & Frack or, in Andrew Cuomo’s case, NoFrack.
The governor, like the president, took office promising to change the culture of the capital. But either he was telling a whopper, or lost his way.
In his fifth year, Albany remains the most corrupt state capital in America, and Cuomo himself is now regarded by a majority of New Yorkers as being part of the problem instead of the solution.
His office is under investigation by the same federal prosecutor who busted the top Democrat and the top Republican in the Legislature. One result is that the chatter among the political class is no longer about whether Cuomo has any hope of becoming president. It’s whether he’ll be indicted.
Last and least in the rogues’ gallery is Mayor de Blasio, but only because he’s still wet behind the ears. Just 18 months into his tenure, he is proving to be spectacularly clueless about how to govern responsibly.
He has no vision, just an ideological fetish for redistribution and self-promotion. He hates other people’s wealth, except when it feathers his family’s nest.
The perfect summation of his hypocrisy is that Mr. Income Inequality lives at Gracie Mansion on the public dime, while leasing out his two homes in tony Brooklyn for about $5,000 a month — each! Affordable housing for me, but not for thee.
Meanwhile, the city shudders as the guns come out of hiding and the police retreat. Public disorder erodes the quality of life, and rising murder and shootings signal that de Blasio’s “progressive values” are taking the city backward.
For seven decades, America was the architect of a world order that produced unprecedented peace and prosperity, and New York often represented the best of the best. Those eras are passing before our eyes as we, along with much of the planet, speed downhill at an alarming rate.
A crash, or many crashes spread out over years, now seem inevitable. It would count as extremely good news indeed if we could pull out of our decline before it is too late. That’s the sort of news I yearn to write about.
New Hill same as the old
Leading up to Saturday’s rally, Hillary Clinton’s spin squad was on overdrive trying to gin up interest in a reset of her beleaguered campaign.
The spinners told some reporters her speech would lay out an economic plan. They told others she would talk about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. They told others she would talk about her mother. Or that she would . . . does it matter?
Clinton has many enemies, but none greater than herself. Her shape-shifting character and lack of integrity are her most formidable opponents. She has created her own burden — a clear majority of voters find her dishonest and untrustworthy.
After 25 years on the national stage, there is almost nothing she can say that would leave a new impression. She is who she is, no matter how hard she tries to convince us she is somebody else.
Defender plays devil’s advocate
Under American law, the worst among us is entitled to a legal defense, but the lawyer for accused cop-killer Demetrius Blackwell goes way too far. His client, lawyer David Bart said, is “not that bad of a guy.”
Bart made that and other foolish statements to reporters outside the Queens courtroom where Blackwell pleaded not guilty to killing Officer Brian Moore last month. Duty requires Bart to offer a defense before the judge and jury, but not to voluntarily praise his client’s character to the public.
“He’s not a career criminal,” Bart insisted to reporters. “He’s known by a lot of people as a sweetheart and a nice guy.”
The insult to Moore’s memory came as the slain officer’s father expressed his own view. Raymond Moore, a retired NYPD sergeant, attended the hearing and said he’d “pull the switch” on his son’s killer if New York had the death penalty.
Nearly 100 off-duty cops were there as well, a stark reminder of the thin blue line that stands between the rest of us, and the evil predators with their obnoxious lawyers.