I’ve been seething lately over my city’s mayoral election campaign. And I’m doubly pissed off that I feel impelled to say something about it.
Scott Stringer is far and away the best candidate for City Hall. He has been far and away the best candidate since before the campaign began. I can’t think of any previous candidate for mayor who was so ideal, so logical for the office.
He isn’t a god or a hero; he’s a professional public servant with vast experience in New York City governance. You want to see how right he is? Click on his name above and read his c.v.
We’ve reached an ugly and sad point at which unverified accusations, especially sexual smears delivered by women during a political campaign, must be regarded with suspicion — and not only for the timing.
Thing is, there’s nothing that can be done to stop them. No mechanism exists — aside from the multiple built-in restrictions and inadequacies of a defamation lawsuit — to stop someone from making such a public condemnation without providing evidence.
I don’t blame the news media. It is news, after all, even if the news turns out to be false. And there’s no law stopping all sorts of public figures who should know better from issuing knee-jerk support.
As a woman who has dealt with her own multiple #MeToo situations, let me tell you straight: not all women are to be automatically believed or trusted. And not all men are automatically to be suspected. It’s time to confront #MeToo. Some of these accusations smell like a kind of vicious female fad.
Please notice I modified #MeToo with “some.” Problem is — and it’s a massive problem — it draws all of us into the game, the She-Said-He-Said game without any realistic plan to quickly determine what is true and what is false.
One woman, previously unknown to most of us, is immediately applauded for attempting to destroy the career of a man whose life has been bound to public service. Right now, I could make you doubt her story simply by quoting news reports about her, but Stringer himself is doing a better and kinder job of it than I would.
But I am going to yell my head off at the other mayoral candidates who’ve jumped on the bandwagon. What you’ve done — supporting an unverified, sudden accusation against one of your own campaign challengers, even demanding he drop out of the race (!!!!) — is unbecoming, tasteless, irrational, ugly, thoughtless and deeply offensive to me.
Is this what you learned from our four-year Trump nightmare? Run for office, accuse your competitors of anything, no matter how unproven, rather than tell us voters why you should be mayor? Are you going to start calling each other dimwitted names now?
I am furious at all of you — but especially at Maya Wiley, who had impressed me when she regularly appeared on MSNBC as a legal expert. I did not think you had the experience to be mayor, Maya, but I liked you a lot. I do not like you now. Not only do you still not have the experience, you don’t have the political instincts to be mayor of New York.
Here’s some unsolicited advice about how to deal with this sort of thing. When the media ask you to comment, you say, “I have no reason to take an unproven allegation seriously, or to comment on it.”
So fuck you, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Dianne Morales and Andrew Yang. You will not be getting my ranked choice votes. And a subsidiary fuck-you to the Democratic congresspeople, all newly elected, who dropped their support for Scott Stringer. You haven’t been around long enough to know him.
But you have, Working Families Party. I will no longer be voting on your ballot line. I am seriously angry with you.
Applause to the congresspeople and union leaders who’ve worked with Stringer for years and do know him well. They still support him, as do I.