What Are "New York Values"?

On 9/11, I discovered much to my surprise that I was very angry about an attack on New York City. It wasn't obvious that I ought to be. My entire life had, after all, been marked by the New York Times remarking on my home and everything I loved in tones most suitable for 19th century anthropologists describing weird savages who practiced cannibalism and head-shrinking on their tribal enemies. I always had the sense that New York had settled itself in judgment against Georgia and the South. Why should I love or defend anyone who hated and despised all I cared about? And yet I did, for reasons that were hard to identify.

Equally hard to identify is exactly what this phrase means, "New York values." I have no idea what the Senator from Texas means by that.

It's a strange place. I've only been there twice, at very different times. The first time was in the 1980s, when it was dangerous and weird. The last time was just a few years ago, when it was gentrified and not very weird at all. It means a lot of things to a lot of people.

As for me, I enjoyed the Cloisters, and then I left. It's not for me. Is that because its values are not mine? Maybe. Maybe not. I don't know how to tell you what it values, or if it values anything. People value things, and there are too many people there. How could you name a coherent vision from such a multitude? America is e pluribus unum, but not New York: it remains many, and if you come back in a decade or two it will be another many, different from before.

UPDATE: Stephen L. Miller proclaims himself a proud New Yorker, and tries to explain what he thinks New York is all about.
At its best, New York is a real, functioning, unglamorous, unforgiving machine. And it’s all of that despite what the balance in your account says. It’s not Times Square on New Year’s Eve. It’s the hidden neighborhoods, tucked out of the reach of the sightseers. It’s the concrete canyons filled with natives hunkering down in hooded jackets and earplugs, not the European visitors searching for Mad Men or the Kardashians. New York is the person on the subway with an overstuffed bag and unfashionable walking shoes, just trying to get to and from work or home. It’s the wind-bitten locals rolling their eyes at the throngs of out-of-towners....

And you have to be able to love it. All of it.
That's New York at its best, according to someone who says he does love it!

I'm glad you're happy, really. I'm just even more glad that I can stay a very long way away from any place like that.


Dad29 said...

Cruz is using shorthand for the "glitterati" values found in New York City (specifically Manhattan) which are echoed in Hollywood, (but without the Old Money behind it.)

And it worked.

Ymar Sakar said...

How could you name a coherent vision from such a multitude?

Easy, impose a unified vision on them, as the LEft has. Humans like Obeying Authority. It is a kind of least resistance path.

douglas said...

Here's a question- If the 9/11 attack had been on multiple targets in smaller flyover cities (under 250,000) such that the total casualties were in the same ballpark, how much do you think New York Elites would care? I suspect some of them would go so far as to say the rubes deserved it for their anti-islam sentiments.

Living in L.A., I know exactly what he meant, and in short, it's the values that elect Hillary Clintons, Anthony Wieners, Bill DiBlasios, Chuck Schumers, and so on.

I'm also not at all convinced it'll hurt Cruz in the least, particularly in the primaries.