Turning New York State Red
From a Google Image Search - Urban Design Forum
Turning NYS into a Red State
Rob Astorino is one of several candidates running in the Republican Primary for Governor in New York State. He presents those who attend his rallies, those who go on his Facebook page, and the media with a list of his fifteen priorities as governor. New York State is proud of its standing as a blue state, not subscribing to the policies so popular in red states which go against majority liberal policies backed by most New Yorkers. We have been able to avoid participating in the Trumpian culture wars of the extreme right-wing in America that have taken over the Republican Party in America. But if we elect a Republican in 2022 to be New York’s governor we will be plunged deep into the middle of the culture wars raging elsewhere across the nation.
The Supreme Court, this morning, overturned New York’s laws about concealed carry and said that the law defies their originalist interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. The decision strikes down New York’s law that places restrictions on carrying a handgun outside the home. This ruling suggests that red state gun laws are now the law of the land and that every state must take right-wing interpretations of laws into consideration when writing and passing laws. Is this is the Supreme Court legislating, which is something that is not in their purview? Originalism is not the only way to interpret the Constitution, at least this rule has not been established in our laws. Originalist views were designed very recently to make Republican ideology the only legal interpretation of the US Constitution in the nation, but our government has not established that rubric yet. By forcing New York to obey an originalist interpretation of the Second Amendment the Supreme Court is seeking to make Originalism the only official interpretation of our documents. This cannot stand. The court has overreached, and they will do it again. Looking at our Constitution from this point of view will allow the Court to change any law it declares to be against the intentions of the founders. I call BS.
Rob Astorino apparently wants to present his right-wing bona fides to the New York State Republican Party, so he has made a list of agenda items similar to the list presented by Rick Scott in Florida and by the Texas Republican Party. (Enumerated in my previous newsletter)
1. End all COVID mandates on Day One.
Do we still have any COVID mandates? I suppose we do for doctor’s offices and a few other situations. Does this mean people will not be expected to isolate if infected with the virus? The right-wing feels that public health is political, which could be quite dangerous in future pandemics, predicted by scientists as serious possibilities.
2. Rehire everyone fired over mandates.
Good luck with that.
3. Reduce taxes, spending, and regulations
We all love to hear about lower taxes, but lower taxes mean fewer amenities and lower standards. This is also the language the right-wing uses when they plan to get rid of benefits and let businesses be as rapacious as they wish.
4. Repeal the “No Cash Bail” law
Law enforcement folks hate these new laws, and it may be true that criminals have taken advantage of these laws, but many citizens were languishing in our prisons for minor offenses because they could not make bail. It was a way judges could be sure that these offenders would show up for court, but it is against our laws, it overcrowds our prisons and it turns people into more serious offenders. The law may need to be tweaked but should not be overturned.
5. Remove DA’s who refuse to prosecute crimes
Again, this is intended to stop the reforms of our criminal justice system and go back to “hard on crime” policies. There must be a way to get needed change without completely vacating necessary reforms. This law came into effect during a pandemic and the insecurities that followed. The law may need to be revisited but, once again, should not be overturned. It is true that our laws are enforced in ways that skew racist and that this imbalance needs to be addressed. Black folks do not necessarily break the law more often than white folks, but they are imprisoned more often, and their sentences tend to be longer. Truly cold-hearted, hardened criminals, regardless of skin color, belong in jail and we need laws that put them there.
6. Require photo ID prior to voting.
Even Stacey Abrams has given up her objections to this.
7. Ban CRT and gender ideology in the classroom
CRT is used by the right as shorthand for forbidding schools to suggest that America was not always perfectly able to uphold its lofty creed. Teaching our children that America is perfect will backfire. There are no perfect nations or perfect people. In this case “perfect will be the enemy of good”. Pretending that not talking about gender will end gender differences is just going backwards to a place the entire world has already been in for centuries and it will not end gender differences; it will simply make people feel guilty and hide what is most likely a biological predisposition. Any discussion of gender should, of course, be age appropriate and show tolerance.
8. Repeal or Defund the Safe Act
The Supreme Court just began that process today with its ruling on handguns.
9. Shift more education money to families
A way to keep schools segregated and privatize education. Most Republicans want to get rid of the federal Department of Education and make schooling a state concern, but only if school rules follow Republican guidelines.
10.Term limits for all state lawmakers.
Both Republicans and Democrats talk about this.
11.Stop the illegal immigrant flights into NY
Is this even a thing? The reasons Republicans are so concerned about illegal immigration have to do with elections and giving benefits to people who are not citizens and white supremacy and fear that America will be overrun by people who will change the American zeitgeist. Not accepting immigrants is unfair to other nations that cannot avoid accepting migrants.
12.Restore the Tappan Zee Bridge name
I have nothing to say about this.
13.Repeal the Halt Act
This act stops the practice of solitary confinement and increases the variety of rehab programs. Again, Republicans are blaming these reform laws for increases in crime. This is not an established cause-effect relationship at present and these laws need more time for us to be able to tell if they will eventually right racist imbalances and improve our justice system.
14.Phase out school taxes for seniors.
Star exemptions make senior school taxes low already, usually just enough to support the nearby public library.
15.Tap NY’s natural gas and energy potential
Drill everywhere. NY banned fracking. Say hello to water that burns and new environmental problems that will take years to surface. We voted no to all of this and hopefully will not change our policy in this matter.
Astorino is not doing well in the polls, but we can expect some of the same moves if we elect any of the Republicans to be our governor.
Canada, are you listening? How would you like a nice new province with a great port city, great colleges and universities, and some really nice beaches, mountains and farms?
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