Friday, September 21, 2007

New York--City of Fear?

Back in 1945, when the United Nations located in New York, New York was the economic and communications capital of the greatest country in the world. When men like Khrushchev, Mao, or Castro wanted to talk to the world, New York was happy to host them. After all New Yorkers knew the truth. New York was the world's capital. New Yorkers took pride in hosting people of importance, friends and foes alike. New Yorkers knew they dazzled everybody, rich and poor, religious and atheists, communists and capitalists alike. The foreign leaders might be dangerous. They might be nasty. They might be powerful at home. It didn't matter. In New York they were just rube tourists taking in the big city.

When did New Yorkers lose their cocky self-assured mojo? When did New York become a city afraid? When did it stop being the capital of the world?

More after the break.

This afternoon I heard Ed Rollins say that he didn't like the idea of the United Nations being located in New York. If guys like Ahmadinejad didn't come to New York we wouldn't pay attention to them. In the old days people knew that the fact that he had to make a pilgrimage to New York to be heard was eloquent testimony to the weakness of his position. Later I heard Bush apologist Ron Christie say that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shouldn't be permitted to speak at New York's Columbia University. I guess Christie is afraid the Iranian might say something to confuse the students—students who live in New York City. Earlier Ahmadinejad was denied an opportunity to visit ground zero. In the old days New Yorkers would have wanted to impress Ahmadinejad by encouraging him to visit the sacred ground that is ground zero.

Maybe we ought to thank George Bush and the neo-clowns for creating a climate of fear. Rudy Giuliani is partly to blame for selling fear to everybody including New Yorkers. One thing is for sure any real New Yorker of the old days would still be hunting Bin Laden down just to spit in his eye.

Next time you see Rudy (be afraid) Giuliani ask him whatever happened to the old New York. When did it become a city afraid? When did New York stop being the economic and communications capital of the world?