New York Values Bite Back

If Nurse Bloomberg makes the rounds, the presidential race could be a subway series.

By Tony Sokol

Last week I spouted some garbage that originated with a gypsy curse put on me when I was an infink. Part of the problem was this flash of the future thing that is usually unreliable and yet wholly indecipherable. I saw Nurse Bloomberg on a national stage dancing in front of a statuary translator who was signing the whole thing on Spanish-language semaphore flags. I didn’t know what the visions meant until the news ran that former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg might be running as in independent and Jim Knipfel wrote his cautionary tale of what a nationwide Nurse Bloomberg rule could mean. New Yorkers know what it’s like stretching a soda in midtown but I would love to see the nurse make the rounds.

Last week, Ted Cruz dumped all over New York values hoping to take a bite out of the nation’s hatred toward what they call The Big Apple, a term that originated in New Orleans and has nothing to do with us here. The remarks bit the Canadian would-be-usurper right on the ass. Not only do most people not see their values as being that different at heart, the ones being shouted loudest by the GOP are pretty heartless. So here comes Nurse Bloomberg with a daily aspirin to bring down the pressure of such a bloody race.

If Bloomberg runs, there is a possibility of a New York City three-way race. The socialistic democrat Bernie Sanders may be running as an indie from Vermont, but he was born in Brooklyn. Urban catheter cowboy Donald Trump made points across the board by defending the values of the neighborhood. Power to the neighborhood. Woe to those who would belittle such power, because it can roll over the rest of the country.

New York hasn’t really run a presidential front-runner since the two Roosevelts, who did a pretty good job running the country. But the statements and the sentiment behind them are almost like fighting words and we still carry big sticks. The three New Yorkers could either plow through national politics or abandon the body completely. Together they could make New York City the 51st State, like Norman Mailer and Jimmy Breslin tried to do in 1969. Seven weeks before the New York City Democratic Mayoral Primary election primaries, Mailer announced he was running for Mayor and Breslin was running for City Council President with the rousing slogan, “No more bullshit.”

No more bullshit. That’s what people want and there nobody like a New Yorker to give it to them. While a lot of what Trump says is clearly bullshit, the way he is saying it isn’t. Trump is one of the plainest speaking candidates running and whether you disagree with him or think he’s some kind of wondrous joke, he gets people talking. Sanders cuts the bullshit the other way. He’s been championing the underdog, the people, since before he was an underdog himself. He bluntly says he’s going to take down Wall Street’s cloak of inviolability just for the chance to wear it like a cape while checking for wooden nickels. Nurse Bloomberg could be Under Underdog, Underdog’s dog, peeing up the leg of the man who built himself up the Trump Towers with just a million dollar starting loan from his old man.

In 1969, Mailer and Breslin took Harry Truman’s advice to think globally and act locally. They ran on a platform that said New York City could solve all its problems if the five boroughs seceded from the state. They finished second to last  in a field of six because they were writers with no real political savvy, calling their own constituency spoiled. With Bloomberg, Sanders and Trump splitting the ticket New York could become its own country before Texas.

This could turn out to be a real New York City street fight and the country would be better off for it. They want values? We got your values right here. You got a problem with that? Forget about it. No one is going to beat a NYC three way. The country could be our subway series.

Published January 28th, 2016

Tony Sokol is a writer, playwright and musician. He writes for Den of GeekThe Chiseler, and wrote for Altvariety,, Daily Offbeat. Dark Media Press, Wicked Mystic and other magazines. He has had over 20 plays produced in NYC, including Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera "AssassiNation: We Killed JFK." He appeared on the Joan Rivers (TV) Show, Strange Universe and Britain's "The Girlie Show."