Through the movies, TV and real life, New Yorkers have long been stereotyped as brash, cynical and tough.
From Bruce Willis’ wiseguy hero in the “Die Hard” movies to Joe Pesci’s vicious mobster in “GoodFellas,” these in-your-face guys were portrayed as quintessential New Yorkers.
Born in Queens with a silver spoon in his mouth, President Donald Trump always admired and imitated that model of tough-talking NYC street guys: “killers,” he calls them. He has surrounded himself with such types, from his snarling lawyers to foul-mouthed White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. “The Mooch” was fired Monday as communications director at the request of new chief of staff John Kelly, as late-night comedians wept.
Sure, New Yorkers can be blunt, arrogant and occasionally ill-mannered. We are also intellectually curious, honest and caring. Which of these characteristics best describes our president?
I’ve lived in NYC all my life and appreciate our directness and savvy. As former Mayor Mike Bloomberg said, we have a unique ability to recognize a con when we see one.
New Yorkers are known for telling it like it is. Trump lies about virtually anything, from his inauguration crowd size to President Barack Obama being a Kenyan.
But is Trump really one of our own? It appears New Yorkers don’t think so, since 4 out of 5 voted against him for president. Because of his bragging about groping women to humiliating his staff, Trump and his bullying behavior have earned the scorn of most locals.
On the other hand, 4 out of 5 white evangelicals voted for Trump. According to the Martin Marty Center for the Study of Religion, the No. 1 reason white evangelical pastors gave for voting Trump was the “personal character of the candidate.” Seriously?
Trump’s latest scapegoating involves banning transgender people from the military, as leaders from the so-called family values crowd cheer him on.
Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, said his organization “applauds President Trump for his courageous decision,” as did Tony Perkins, president of the American Family Research Council.
By overwhelmingly supporting Trump, the religious right has embraced a man whose vulgar behavior clearly contradicts its supposed values. Why? To punish “sinners,” and push the country in the political direction they desire.
And New Yorkers are the cynics?
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.