Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz will never live down his insult to fellow candidate Donald Trump for “embodying New York values” and then doubling down adding, “Everybody knows what that means.”
The next day the New York Daily News gave Cruz the Statue of Liberty’s middle finger on its front page, a cover that immediately became iconic. During the Republican debate in South Carolina, native New Yorker Trump looked genuinely hurt, no trompe l’oeil for Trump. He gave a thoroughly appropriate response, reminding the country of 9-11.
Cruz wants to have it both ways. He visits New York with grubby hands out looking for campaign cash; his wife worked for Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs. But he can do without the rest of “liberal” New York, whatever that is.
To paraphrase the title of Cruz’s book, it’s time for a little truth about his statement: There are lots of people in the U.S. just like Cruz. They love the New York that took a giant bullet for the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, a fall day so beautiful and bright that it belied anything horrible was amiss.
The world knows two jetliners slammed into the World Trade Center, turning them into towering infernos that caused the buildings to collapse with nearly 3,000 innocent people inside, including more than 400 first responders, and blanketing the financial district in toxic smoke and dust. First responders continue to deal with the aftermath of their heroic efforts to keep New York alive. Police and firefighter deaths due to cancer are expected to eventually outnumber the immediate casualties of 9-11.
That’s the sacrificial New York that most people in the United States know and, yes, love: New York offered on a burning cross, paying for everyone’s sins. Privately, quietly, people thank God it wasn’t Chicago. Thank God it wasn’t Los Angeles or Miami. Thank God it wasn’t Denver or Dallas.
Nearly all else people “know” about New York is stereotype – the loud New Yorker, the rude New Yorker, the always-in-a-hurry New Yorker, the New Yorker with a funny accent, the huddled stinky masses in subway cars, to say nothing of the abhorrent sly references to New Yorkers as a bunch of Shylocks or to New York as “Hymietown,” as Jesse Jackson said in 1984 when he ran for president.
Must be something about running for president that brings out the crass in people. In Cruz’s case, he’s cranky, crass, crude and uncouth all the time – candidate, campaign or not.
˜˜Maria Padilla, Editor and New York-born Floridian