January 15, 2016

IN THE #NEWYORKVALUES STATE OF MIND. In his latest G-File, Jonah Goldberg writes:

6. Another irony is that Trump has always been a bridge-and-tunnel populist in New York. He began his career by taking on the snooty world of Manhattan real estate and he’s always been on the New York Post side of the yawning cultural divide in the Big Apple. Because of that, even though he is constantly prattling on about how exquisite his tastes are, he’s never seemed snooty himself. Cruz’s attack would have worked fine on Michael Bloomberg or Bill de Blasio, because they’re more what people think of when they hear “New York values.”

7. Trump’s point about William F. Buckley was a good one, but Bill would be the first to concede that “New York values” is a defensible shorthand for a certain kind of politics and a certain kind of culture.

8. That’s another irony about New York. It produces quite a lot of conservatives, some natural born, others naturalized. (Heh.) I was born there. So was my dad. My mom is a consummate New Yorker now, but she’s from Virginia. John Podhoretz, Bill Kristol (not to mention their parents), Rudy Giuliani, Andy McCarthy, General Jack Keane, et al were born in New York, too. As someone who grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where the right-wing Goldbergs were like Christians in ancient Rome, I can tell you I understand immediately what people mean when they refer to “New York values.”

9. In fact, I would argue that there’s a certain advantage (and many disadvantages) to growing up  — or living as — a conservative in a liberal place. It forces you to know yourself and your beliefs in a way that you might not if conservatism is just in the air you breathe. It’s analogous to my longstanding argument about being a conservative (or libertarian) on a liberal college campus. You develop muscles when you swim against the tide. The best learning is Socratic, and when you are constantly having your beliefs and assumptions questioned, you either cave in to the conventional wisdom or you force yourself to develop arguments for why the conventional wisdom is wrong. The smartest liberals at Harvard or Yale rarely meet a professor — or administrator — they actually disagree with on a fundamental philosophical level. Meanwhile, if you can make it out of those schools having been a politically engaged conservative, it means you’ve sharpened your thinking against a lot of whetting stones. Ted Cruz went to Harvard Law School, but that doesn’t mean he’s a hypocrite when he  criticizes the values of Harvard Law School — it means he probably knows what he’s talking about.

Ben Shapiro adds, “No, Cruz’s ‘New York Values’ Slam Won’t Hurt Him. Because He’s Right, And Even New Yorkers Know It:”

First off, Trump’s play here is incredibly manipulative and nasty. Obviously, Cruz didn’t mean to suggest that the behavior of New Yorkers on 9/11 was anything less than exemplary. Cruz insults DC values constantly, but nobody suggests that he’s insulting the behavior of people from DC in their response to an attack on the Pentagon on 9/11. This is politically correct nonsense from The Donald. It isn’t truth, it isn’t brash, and it isn’t honest.

The media know this, but they hate Cruz, so they’ll play along. Remember this: when former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani ran for president in 2008, the media scoffed every time he mentioned 9/11. Now Donald Trump does it to benefit himself politically, and they’re drooling.

In fact, the media attention to the Cruz/Trump “New York values” spat demonstrates more than anything else just how insular and self-centered New York media are. Their response to Cruz’s comments actually reinforces Cruz’s argument, as this insane cover from today’s New York Daily News shows:

new_york_daily_news_flips_bird_1-15-16-1

As Shapiro concludes, “So yes, ‘New York values’ means something. And it means more to those outside New York than those inside New York, who live in their own bubble and to whom the rest of the country is ‘flyover’ territory.”

As far as Trump and Cruz themselves, “Exit quotation: ‘The bromance is over.'”

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