The first time I voted I needed to declare a party preference. Coming of age in the 70’s in the Empire State crime was everywhere. The Son of Sam was following his neighbor’s dog Harvey’s instructions to kill people on Gotham’s mean, unsympathetic streets. Meanwhile, factories upstate were closing, as local restaurants were suggesting people bring their unemployment checks in to be cashed and to get some tacos. I declared for the Conservative Party. Not Republican. Conservative. This was in New York State!
It was clear things needed to change. The country was a mess politically, economically and socially, especially in New York. America was quickly changing. States in the south and out west were growing in population and political influence.
In the years since, I’ve thought about a day when New York would give the country its next President. A New Yorker hasn’t been president in decades, since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a guy who kept the job like the Pope. If he didn’t drop dead in office, who knows how long he would have kept going. He was only 63 when he died.
New York State has given America six presidents.
- Martin Van Buren (or as he was called back in his day “Martin Van Ruin“). “Marty Van B” comes in at president #8 and was the first American born president. The previous seven were carpetbagging foreigners. Where was the colonial era Donald Trump demanding to see Thomas Jefferson’s birth certificate?
- Millard Fillmore was the last Whig president and was president #13. Whig was a political party and not a hair piece. He’s buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo. I’m guessing it’s got to be one of the hottest tourist attractions in my hometown, right after the place where chicken wings were invented. The story goes he was born in a log cabin in New York’s Finger Lakes Regio….Finger La….Finge….Zzzzzzzzzzzz.
- Chester A. Arthur. Not to be confused with Chester E. Arthur or Chester K. Arthur. What’s the deal with the “A?” His middle name was Alan. May be he didn’t use his full name because only serial killers are referred to by three names, like John Wayne Gacy. New York gets credit for him, but he was born in Vermont. His bones currently reside in Albany. He comes in at president #21.
- Grover Cleveland. I’ll bet you thought he was from Ohio. Nope. Not even New York. And his first name wasn’t Grover. It was Stephen. He was just another carpetbagger, this time from New Jersey. He was president twice, coming in at #22 and #24. He was the governor of New York and the mayor of Buffalo. So how did he pay back the voters of the Empire State for making him Prez? When he croaked they dropped him into a hole in Princeton, New Jersey. Today, he rocks for eternity with Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Southside Johnny.
- Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th president after William McKinley took a head shot in Buffalo. “Teddy” had no middle name. He was a Republican and a member of the Progressive “Bull Moose” Party, which was called that because Roosevelt once said he was fit as a “bull moose” to some newspaper reporters. Can you image the fun we’d have in social media if Bill Clinton declared himself a “bull moose?” Bully!
- The last president from New York was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Most people have middle names like Robert, William and Michael. When you’re born filthy rich you get a middle name like “Delano.” Born in Hyde Park, New York. Buried in Hyde Park, New York. He was president for 12 years, leading the country with inspiring speeches and fireside chats during the tough years of the Great Depression and World War II. A statesman, politician and leader. But, many would question his judgement of female beauty? Let’s just call his marriage to Eleanor a marriage of “political convenience.”
1945 was the last time “New York values” governed the nation and back then those “New York values” were respected and meant something. When Texas Senator Ted Cruz made his political misstep and was critical of “New York values,” who knew the Northeastern-Ivy league educated, Texas senator from Canada was so correct.
Unfortunately, the next president will be from New York.
Donald Trump. At least he was born in Queens. Have you ever flown to New York City and thought, “Wow. LaGuardia Airport is a dump.” That’s Queens! A few of my favorite quotes from the “always a media whore” Mr. Trump:
“My IQ is one of the highest – and you all know it. Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault.”
See he’s caring and has a soft spot for us mental midgets.
“You know, it really doesn’t matter what media writes as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
Inappropriate to some, but you have to agree it does make for better pictures.
Hillary Clinton. A carpetbagger from
Illinois, Arkansas, Washington, D.C., Long Island. She was elected Senator from New York after living in the state for about 14 minutes. A few of my favorite quotes from the “always a bureaucrat” Mrs. Clinton:
“God bless the America we are trying to create.”
We already have convenience stores open 24/7, craft breweries and Netflix. What more can we want?
“We are going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”
OK. But, don’t be messing with my right to get stupid drunk at an NFL game or a NASCAR race.
From a state that’s home to the economic capital of the world, New York City. A state that’s filled with mountains, lakes, both great and small, and rural beauty as far as the eye can see. A state with the Statue of Liberty to the east and the thundering waterfalls of Niagara to the west. A state that has served as a gateway for immigrants whose descendants today make up a third of all Americans. A state that has given us healthy food choices like coal fired pizza, jello, the potato chip and chicken wings.
I ask, is this clown show the best New York can come up with?
I apologize. I’m so sorry America. I’m so very sorry.