Let it be, New York

People where I live don't care about New York City one way or the other.  We think eight million people living all crammed together is unhealthy and unnatural, but if those people want to live that way, so be it.  They like their high-tax, big-public-sector economy, and their rent control and gun control.  They're amoral, cosmopolitan, and nonjudgmental; authoritarian and elitist; disconnected and unconcerned with the vast interior of America.

They're different from the rest of us, but we don't really care.  You see, we're pretty tolerant in my neck of the woods, even of people we find peculiar, a little off.  It's a very big and highly diverse country.  We don't want to take away their lifestyle.  We just don't want it imposed on us.  

So when Ted Cruz starts talking about New York values, we get it.  He's not telling the people of New York to change their ways.  He's asking them to respect the rest of us.

In American Nations, Colin Woodard dubs New Yorkers New Netherlanders to emphasize their distinctiveness.  Politically they're normally aligned with Yankeedom, which stretches west from the Atlantic to the eastern fringes of the Dakotas.  When the Left Coast and El Norte are added, this coalition approaches an electoral majority.  Its natural and historical opposition is in the four sub-regions of the South (Tidewater, Deep South, New France, and Greater Appalachia) along with the Far West.

The key in 2016, as it's been since 1840, is the Midlands, exemplified by Ohio and Iowa but including sections of at least nine other states, from Pennsylvania to the eastern halves of Kansas and Nebraska.

The Democratic electoral base is New Netherlands and Yankeedom.  Republicans penetrate it only in landslide elections, such as 1984.  Ted Cruz knows New York's votes are the last he'll ever receive.  When he points out the fact that the culture that Donald Trump was immersed in since childhood, and the culture that he champions and personifies, has very little in common with the Midlands, the heartland of America, he pays no political price.  On the contrary, as even moderately sentient citizens of the heartland know full well, the people of New York City are a breed apart, and their sense of entitlement and superiority is well understood.  Every year, the New York Yankees try to buy their way into the World Series, and the rest of the country roots against them.

As Senator Cruz made pains to point out, he's not putting the regular people of New York down.  Like the rest of us in flyover country, he finds much that is admirable, as starkly and unforgettably demonstrated by the NYPD and the NYFD on 9/11.  New York City is part of America.  It's just different.

Timothy Sullivan was a notoriously corrupt Tammany Hall politician, and the sponsor of the anti-gun 1911 Sullivan Act.  One historian of New York City is convinced Sullivan was motivated by his desire to have police plant guns on undesirables, such as Italian immigrants, in order to allow the police to arrest them.  But for over 100 years, New York City has led the nation in gun control efforts.  Today former mayor Michael Bloomberg sallies forth from Manhattan to less enlightened regions to fund gun control efforts across the country.  Big media, headquartered in New York, does all it can to assist. 

In fact, if there is one trait which distinguishes New York City from the heartland it's the question of self-reliance.  Most New Yorkers rely on public transport and other public services.  They support an enormous police force to deal with crime. They're not prepared to defend themselves.

In Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska, people tend to look after themselves.  They drive their own cars, and if need be, they will use their personal firearms to defend themselves, their families, and their communities.  They know that by and large, the police solve crimes; they don't prevent them.  For that, you're on your own.

So to all you Gothamites who are upset with Cruz for disrespecting you, I have a message from the heartland.  We're not going to try to change who you are.

And we'd appreciate the same treatment.

Fritz Pettyjohn was the chairman of Reagan for President, Alaska in 1979-1980; is a co-founder of the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force; and blogs daily at ReaganProject.com

If you experience technical problems, please write to helpdesk@americanthinker.com