Unfortunately, in our current political climate, it is unusual for a person to criticize those who are members of their political party and praise those who are members of another party. An extreme example is the comment from one of the letters to the editor - whom I believe has stated in the past that he is the son of Holocaust survivors - who attacked me for criticizing Marjorie Taylor Greene’s comments which demean those who suffered and died in the Holocaust. In contrast, it was refreshing to read Izzo Zwiren’s column in which he praised the president.
Furthermore, the letter writer clearly does not read my column every week because he would have seen that I have occasionally criticized progressives, including members of “the squad.” This is one of the occasions to go after some of the progressives.
This may be the hardest primary to navigate. There are so many candidates for many of the positions. There is even a contested Republican Primary for some of the positions. In addition, there is ranked-choice voting. Therefore, to be a well-informed voter, it will take a lot more effort than usual.
The tendency by many people is to pick one or two choices and then leave the other spots blank. I understand that there may be two candidates you like and thus those are the only two that you should choose. That is a mistake. Ranked-choice voting is not only who you choose because you really want them to win but also who you want to make sure will not win.
For example, there are candidates vying for citywide office and for the city council who are members, or have received the backing, of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) or leaders of the group. Although the DSA has not endorsed any specific candidate for mayor, the most famous member of DSA, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with Representative Jamaal Bowman, are supporters of Maya Wiley for mayor. Similarly, Brad Lander is endorsed by AOC for comptroller.
Not only is the Democratic Socialists of America far left as it relates to domestic policy, but they support BDS. DSA had thrown its support behind candidates for city counsel in districts where there are small Jewish communities, such as district council 22, which covers Astoria, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Woodside. Tiffany Caban, who almost won the Democratic primary for Queens County District Attorney, is the candidate. Other candidates for city council include Alexa Aviles for district 38, representing Sunset Park, Red Hook, parts of Borough Park, Dyker Heights, and Windsor Terrace.
We must make sure these candidates lose. The Jewish community along with the city is split in its support for many of the citywide offices. However, the DSA crowd may be more united even if the party did not technically throw its support to one candidate. If we only pick one or two candidates and they are eliminated, it will help the candidate whose views are consistent with the DSA. After the second round, our vote does not matter. If we pick five candidates, it helps in each round because it dilutes the number of the progressive candidate. Also, if we choose all five, the Jewish community could end up supporting one candidate even if for some it may be as low as the fifth choice.
The stakes are high. Not only is it important for New York City that the candidates who espouse the DSA mantra lose, but it will set the tone for other parts of the country. If you support BDS and attack Israel, you will pay a political price.
Therefore, everyone who is eligible to vote in the Democratic Primary must vote and use choice voting to help defeat the candidates who are supported by the DSA.