At a recent debate, Democrats Christine Quinn and Bill Thompson took turns extolling the New York that welcomed their respective immigrant grandparents 100 years ago. The candidates suggested they were running for mayor because the city no longer offered the same degree of opportunity and class mobility that it did in the early 20th century.
Think about that. They are nostalgic for a past that had barely escaped the notorious Five Points and Gangs of New York era. The good old days featured the vile slums chronicled by Jacob Riis in “How the Other Half Lives” and a political culture controlled by Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall thieves. Moreover, Quinn’s Irish ancestors and Thompson’s Caribbean ancestors likely were subjected to merciless bigotry.
And they want to turn back the clock to that New York. Really?