Humility and humiliation
Mr. Bloomberg was introspective as he spoke, and seemed both restless and wistful. When he sat down for the interview, it was a few days before his 50th college reunion. His mortality has started dawning on him, at 72. And he admitted he was a bit taken aback by how many of his former classmates had been appearing in the “in memoriam” pages of his school newsletter.But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”
Michael R. Bloomberg, making his first major political investment since leaving office, plans to spend $50 million this year building a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence, an organization he hopes can eventually outmuscle the National Rifle Association.
Given that the diminutive Jewish billionaire has managed to piss off just about everyone during his decade-plus reign as the Big Apple’s Il Duce, that’s no small deal. Between his fascistic anti-gun policies, his war on sodas and other fattening foods, neutering the city’s term limit law in a blatant power grab and using the NYPD as his personal Praetorian Guard, it’s a wonder that Gracie Mansion hasn’t been torched by an angry mob yet.
But while it’s obvious that Bloomberg is a power-mad little dork with a Napoleon complex, you can’t argue with results. Under both his and Rudy Giuliani’s aegis, New York has rebounded from the horror years of the seventies and eighties to become America’s most prosperous metropolis. Crime has hit amazing new lows, the cities’ most stagnant slums are being gentrified back into polite society, and despite being the epicenter of world finance, it’s weathered the second Great Depression pretty well. Even the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy last year couldn’t stop New York.
And therein lies the problem.
New York City has become a victim of its own success. Giuliani and Bloomberg’s efforts to make the city fit for human habitation have attracted white leftists who enjoy a safe, prosperous New York but can’t comprehend what makes it possible.
1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
-- Ephesians 2, King James Bible