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To the Honorable Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City
My apologies for sending this to you so late, but congratulations on becoming Mayor of New York. This is quite an accomplishment and I commend you. I sincerely hope that you are more successful than your predecessor, although I think you and I would both agree that he set established the world’s lowest bar for mayors. Just getting through your first term without killing a groundhog will probably do it.
Being Mayor of New York is one of the most important jobs in the world. It is not at all an exaggeration to say that an important factor in the health of the United States is the health of New York City. I recognize that importance and I pray for your city. I wish you all the best as you tackle its myriad problems.
That being said, you’re an idiot. And I don’t mean that in a simple, innocent, Dostoevskian way. I mean you’re a dunderhead. Your remarks about Kansas at the news conference this week weren’t just mean-spirited, they were ignorant of a place that I’m reasonably sure you’ve never been to and nearly as ignorant of the place you currently represent.
I will be the first to admit that Kansas doesn’t have a brand like New York City. We don’t have the cultural or entertainment possibilities that New York provides. I’ve lived in a west coast metropolitan area that is nearly the equal of New York in its brand and I know it’s a heady experience and one that I miss occasionally.
But only occasionally. There is beauty here and cultural activities that are pretty wonderful if you are willing to look beneath the surface. The people here are decent and caring once you get to know them. And pretty well-educated since there isn’t a lot going on to interrupt reading time. At my age, such characteristics carry a lot of value. Others would disagree, but that’s the beauty of living in the United States. There’s always an opportunity to grow where you’re planted and this is a good place to grow.
Let’s take a moment to talk about New York’s brand. Not just the part of the brand you like to talk about, but some of the seamier aspects of it. Last week, an EMT officer got stabbed and killed in broad daylight in Queens. The crime rate is worse in New York than it is here, but that’s not my point. We have our share of violent nut jobs as well. The ugly part of this story, and one that’s not getting discussed nearly enough, is that he stabbed this woman in BROAD DAYLIGHT. On a busy street. With pedestrians nearby. No one helped her as the guy spent several seconds stabbing her over and over. No one helped her after the dude ran off and left her to bleed out. This isn’t an isolated incident in New York. It’s part of your “brand,” the part that says we aren’t going to help out someone that desperately needs our help.
It could happen here, too. Some people are obsessed with their own self-interest and refuse to act. But part of OUR brand is that we do try to help. I can guarantee that such an event would be much less likely here. Sometimes that can come across as meddlesome. I would much rather deal with the problem of meddling than the problem of indifference.
And I know that my view of our respective brands is based on stereotypes that probably aren’t true. I know only a few New Yorkers (although I’m confident I know more New Yorkers than you know Kansans) and they seem like decent, caring folks. Perhaps that’s why they live in Kansas now, or perhaps, like myself, circumstance brought them here to enrich our state.
I’m aware of my ignorance and am working to correct it. You, sir, are clearly not aware of yours.
Which is why you are an idiot.