The Latest Marxist Proposal from NYC’s Sandinista Mayor
George Neumayr
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In the 1980s, Bill de Blasio supported the Sandinista National Liberation Front, whose regime of Marxism terrorized and impoverished Nicaragua. He worked as a political organizer for a group of communists and socialists called the Quixote Center in Maryland, traveling down to Nicaragua to participate in its “revolution.”

The fruit hadn’t fallen far from the tree. Born Warren Wilhelm, de Blasio adopted his mother’s maiden name after his father, a troubled war veteran, shot himself in the chest outside of a Connecticut motel. His parents were hardcore leftists, dogged by accusations of Soviet sympathies, one of which came from Whittaker Chambers. As the New York Times reported:

The government, concerned about spying by Soviet sympathizers, had established a program in 1947 to examine civilian government employees. Its Fourth Regional Loyalty Board was investigating whether Mr. Wilhelm, who had studied the Soviet economy at Harvard, and his wife, who had been an active union member, were Communists.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation asked co-workers, professors, neighbors and family friends whether they had seen evidence that he was a traitor. On July 14, 1950, at 10:15 a.m., the couple was questioned by the Loyalty Board at a federal office building. Had he enlisted in the military with hopes of turning his gun on his superiors? Had she conspired with Communists at Time, as a prominent anti-Communist writer at the magazine, Whittaker Chambers, had alleged? Was it true that they kept recordings of Red Army songs in their home on Q Street?

The Times says de Blasio’s father was “denied access to classified documents” and that he and his wife were considered by the federal government as having a “sympathetic interest in Communism.”

His parents would later divorce. Bill de Blasio said that his father’s alcoholism, his flaking out on the family, and his “German roots” led him to fiddle around with his name. First, he called himself Bill de Blasio-Wilhelm. But he would later drop the Wilhelm completely after his dad killed himself and after he entered Big Apple politics as an open-borders enthusiast. As a member of the City Council from Brooklyn, de Blasio quickly saw the value of playing up the Italian “immigrant” story of his grandparents. He said of them: “I felt very close to them. They made me realize how it is to start in a new country with all the odds against them.”

De Blasio dropped his father’s name but never dropped his interest in Soviet economics. When de Blasio was looking around for a place to honeymoon, he settled upon Castro’s Cuba.

His parents didn’t live to see him try and implement as mayor of New York City the ruinous theories he absorbed at the dinner table. He has uncorked a series of stunningly stupid Marxist proposals. In 2013, he ran on the promise that he would increase tax rates on the “wealthy” for the sake of guaranteeing “universal prekindergarten,” and now he is gearing up to run for reelection on a platform of even more radical frivolity: from plans for free suntan lotion to “cultural plans” to de-fund insufficiently “diverse” museum staffs to compulsory “all genders bathrooms” to, his most recent campaign gimmick, “fair fares.”

This week he unveiled a proposed tax on the “wealthy” in order to fix New York City’s crumbling subway system and fund “half-price fares” for some 800,000 low-income riders. His previous efforts, which include a “mansion tax,” went nowhere, and likely this one will too. For one thing, he idiotically calls it a “millionaire’s tax” even as he plans to impose it on non-millionaires. The tax would start on individuals making over $500,000 a year or families earning more than a million, which, according to the New York Times, would hit 32,000 New Yorkers.

Another obvious problem is that such a lumbering proposal doesn’t address the existing emergency. As Joe Lhota, who has been parachuted in to fix the subway system, points out, “I can’t wait a year.”

But De Blasio, who has washed his hands of the subway mess (saying that it is Cuomo’s problem under his narrow interpretation of New York state law), is clearly not losing any sleep over the misery of New Yorkers. The New York Post just ran a story about his cat naps in his office after he gets back from the Park Slope YMCA (an absurdly unnecessary trek from Gracie Mansion with a fleet of SUVS for the “climate-change activist” mayor).

Wilhelm-de Blasio might as well still be protesting in Managua or Hamburg. He remains a crackpot of astonishing proportions — the perfect symbol of a bi-coastal Democratic Party’s refusal to grow up.

 

George Neumayr
George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author of No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom.
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