New York City

New York City

The more people you pack in limited space, the more those people have to follow the rules. Law, order and good manners are essential to the healthy functioning of our towns and cities.

Democrat-run cities often have an unfair reputation as hotbeds of left-wing activists intent on letting miscreants run wild. That's because lefty activists have bigger megaphones through which they often shout ludicrous proposals, like cutting police forces in the middle of a crime wave.

In reality, these cities usually have two political factions — progressive Democrats and moderate Democrats. As the disruptions caused by COVID shutdowns unleashed disorder, electorates in these cities started moving toward the moderates. That's happening from San Francisco to Chicago to New York.

Their voters are jettisoning many of their fringe politicians. San Franciscans famously recalled their uber-progressive district attorney, Chesa Boudin. Who can forget former Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan who created the outrageous no-go zones for police during the 2020 protests?

Durkan was replaced by Bruce Harrell, whom Fox News called a "pro-police candidate." And New York's mayor is former police captain Eric Adams, a law-and-order guy along the lines of Mike Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani in his sane days.

In Portland, Oregon, left-wing excess let homeless encampments spread and trash pile up. The city is suffering economically and psychologically from the departure of the REI sporting goods store. REI cited thefts and break-ins in its decision to leave. Moderates are fighting back.

Before going on, let's recognize that though most big cities are Democrat-run, those with Republicans in charge have problems as bad or worse. For all the handwringing over the crime surge in San Francisco, violent crime is worse in Miami, whose mayor, Francis Suarez, is a Republican candidate for president.

Nor are these cities as monolithically Democratic as many think. Giuliani and Bloomberg were elected mayor as Republicans. And San Francisco has the highest percentage of independent voters of any county in California.

In New York City's outer boroughs, local officeholders are being challenged by candidates to their right who happen to be other Democrats. Public safety is a major issue.

One of the most interesting races involves Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. Two years ago, Katz barely won the Democratic primary against lefty Tiffany Caban, who was endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Now Katz is being primaried by a Democrat who is accusing her (unfairly) of being soft on crime.

Ocasio-Cortez has not been endorsing candidates for city council of late, and, as it's becoming clear, they don't want her endorsement. As Jeff Leb, who runs super PACs that champion moderates, put it, "A lot of the luster of AOC's endorsement has really gone out the window. The more she endorses candidates, and loses, it devalues her."

The pandemic hurt cities in several ways, but those downward trends have begun to reverse. Tourist dollars disappeared for a while, but the visitors are returning even to troubled San Francisco. In New York, they're back big time.

Downtown office towers may not soon enjoy their previous high occupancy rates, but more employers are calling their workers back to the office. Transforming some of these office spaces into residences could lower some high rents as well as repopulate business districts.

In the big cities, rare is the successful politician who rails against gay marriage. And anyone who portrayed drag queens as a threat to America would get laughed off the podium. There's also no bashing of immigrants, who, in fact, make up a large part of the electorate.

Call them conservative liberals, if you want. They are really moderates. The cities need their pragmatism to keep the gears turning. Actually, the country does as well.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

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New York City

A view of New York City facing southward from midtown

New Yorkers should thank Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan for helping (unwittingly) remind the country how safe their metro area is compared to his own. Did he think that no one would note that there are 15.4 murders for every 100,000 people in Columbus but only 5.2 in New York City? Or that Ohio's murder rate is almost twice that of New York State?

But let us not knock Columbus. It has a reviving downtown, Ohio State University and a lively club scene, famous drag queen included. Springtime there is spectacular. And, trigger warning for a stereotype, the people there are nice. Columbus happens to be a terrific city — despite the crime.

Too bad for Jordan's "Victims of Violent Crime in Manhattan" hearing — surely orchestrated by defendant Donald Trump — that it took place in a closed room somewhere. It caused no noticeable traffic jams. As a stunt it afforded Jordan and company much TV time, but the usual claque of protesters clearly had other things to do.

One attendee, Republican Rep. Mike Waltz of Florida, got to talk on CNN about crime "at crisis levels across our inner cities," citing the Democratic strongholds of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Jake Tapper picked up from there. "It is horrible what's happening nationwide," he said. "For example, you represent Florida's 6th congressional district, and it's between Jacksonville and Orlando, both of which have higher homicide rates than New York City."

Republican moderate-turned-MAGA-lunatic Elise Stefanik from upstate New York complained that Democrats mentioned the unpopular Donald Trump 38 times. Did she think they wouldn't?

The main target was Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney who led the probe that ended in Trump's indictment on 34 felony counts. Shortly after being elected, Bragg got blitzed for announcing that he would not prosecute certain lower-level crimes — and rightly so. New York Mayor Eric Adams was among the many who condemned the remark.

Bragg quickly retracted, and mainstream New York moved on. But he will undoubtedly have to explain himself when he next faces the voters. Make no mistake that the New York masses regard crime as a very serious issue, witness the easy election of former police captain Adams as mayor.

Murders in New York have recently trended down since the COVID spike. Contrary to Jordan's made-up claim, they are nowhere near record levels. There were 433 homicides last year. In 1990, there were 2,245.

The show afforded a useful spotlight for Adams, who is smooth fighter. Asked to comment on Jordan's show, he said: "This is called conspiratorial behavior of the far-far left and the far-far right. ... The far-far right is saying that everyone should have a gun, and the far-far left is stating that those who use a gun ... should have no repercussion."

As Americans, he concluded, "We're caught in the middle of that madness."

Knock on wood, but there's never been a mass shooting at a New York City public school. One reason, Adams says, is that the city actively confiscates weapons entering schools. Other reasons are that New York has real gun control laws and the local culture is not much into gun worship.

The spectacle of these Republican tourists harassing, intimidating and threatening the DA in a place where they had no standing was not a great look for those who care about optics. But the ultimate pan of the show came in New Yorkers' reaction: They weren't really upset about it. On the contrary, they got to repeat again and against that their city is one of the safest cities in America.

As that great Nebraskan, Johnny Carson once advised: "Only lie about the future."

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at

Reprinted with permission from Creators.