Michael Goodwin: the worst. Mayor. Never. De Blasio is digging the city's grave. That's how

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In "Here is New York," a 1949 love letter to his adoptive home, author E.B. White declared that it was a miracle that the city managed to exist.

"The whole thing is implausible," he wrote. "Every time residents brush their teeth, millions of gallons of water must be drawn from Catskills and the Westchester Hills."

He marveled at the "underground system of telephone lines, power lines, steam pipes, gas pipes, and sewers," noting that when "an incision is made in the pavement, noisy surgeons expose nodes that are tangled beyond belief." .

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Of course, White knew that it was the people who made the city unique, especially those who came from elsewhere looking for something, even if they didn't always know what that something was.

“The travelers give the city their restlessness of the tide; the natives give it solidity and continuity; but the colonists give him passion, "he wrote.

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Reading White's elegant essay today should remember that Gotham has always been a state of mind as much as a real place. However, 71 years later, the magic is slipping away, heartbreaking day after day.

The New York that survived September 11 and recovered stronger than ever is now on its knees. The coronavirus, economic closings, and frequent street protests, mixed with looting and vandalism, are not common obstacles, but they are surmountable, with courageous leadership.

Tragically, that is exactly what New York does not have. Crises pile up like dead leaves, but leadership cannot be found anywhere.

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Without it, the city is rapidly becoming impossible to live. The slow exodus of recent years has accelerated in recent months, with natives, veterans, and newcomers obstructing exits. They go to the suburbs, Florida, anywhere but here.

Always before, the deceased were replaced by new seekers. It is impossible to believe that the exchange will continue.

The problems are many, but the key piece is Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose performance worsens every day. There is nothing endearing about his act, just a long list of examples of how little he cares.

And what little he does. New York has had its share of corrupt and incompetent mayors, but it has never had one that is both and also a lazy bum.

With restaurants wanting to know the rules for reopening, de Blasio lingered until the last minute. His survival was at stake, but he couldn't be bothered.

What is the plan for schools in the fall? Good question, but don't ask the mayor. It has not yet come to that.

Furthermore, the problem only involves a million students, their families, teachers, coaches, principals, and administrators. They must wait for the head of the political popinjay to dominate himself.

Crime is on the rise (murder has increased 25 percent) and de Blasio responds by promising to cut the police budget.

The police are resigning en masse, and no one should blame them. Would you risk your life to enforce the law under this mayor?

The goal is not to do more with less. It is making the police do less. This is a death wish.

For weeks, illegal fireworks have exploded overnight, and a 3-year-old Bronx boy is among the injured innocents. Thousands of complaints come, to which the mayor shrugs and says that the police and firemen "have many other things" to do.

The police are resigning en masse, and no one should blame them. Would you risk your life to enforce the law under this mayor?

Friday produced a perfect contrast between what New York needs and what Blasio does. The Post reported that a homeless man by the name of Jesus turned the dry fountain in Washington Square Park into his mat, complete with six chairs, a clothes box, and a beach umbrella. He has been there for a week, and the city, failing to convince him, refuses to force him out.

Instead, the mayor went to Brooklyn for a photo shoot while grabbing a brush to help paint "Black Lives Matter" on the street. He promised to paint the same words on Fifth Avenue outside Trump Tower to antagonize the president from whom he is seeking a ransom.

In ordinary times, such emptiness would be irritating. But these are extraordinary times and there is a real risk that Blasio is digging the city's grave.

Worse yet, The Putz has another 18 months in office before being mercifully limited, and the list of aspiring successors is grim.

They are dominated by the usual Democratic time servers who believe it is their turn. Their common criticism is that De Blasio is not progressive enough, and they promise to do twice as much (dumb) things, especially when it comes to raising taxes and handcuffing the cops.

Perfect. Let's destroy the middle class and watch emboldened criminals destroy everything else.

A brief history of the past 50 years illustrates the madness. Beginning during the mayoralty of John V. Lindsay, who took office in 1966, a crime wave hit New York and lasted nearly three decades.

Starting in 1994, Rudy Giuliani reversed the wave, a two-decade process that Mike Bloomberg completed.

De Blasio, although he did not love the police, knew that crime could sink his career. So while he decriminalized quality of life crimes, he let the New York police keep the pressure on violent criminals.

Until now. With the mobs raiding the foundations of our republic and terrorizing sensible people in silence or assent, the police are declared Public Enemy No. 1, and de Blasio joins the corner of Amen.

He no longer defends the New York police, and one by one, the crime programs that made New York miraculously safe are being thrown in the trash.

E.B. White would be horrified. After cataloging the racial, ethnic, and religious stew that made up the metropolis of his time, he noted that “New Yorkers are tolerant not only because of their willingness but because of need.

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"The city has to be tolerant, otherwise it would explode in a radioactive cloud of hatred, rancor and fanaticism. In New York every racial problem that burns burns, but what is remarkable is not the problem but the inviolable truce.

Therefore, it has always been, more or less, but "the inviolate truce" is collapsing. It is no coincidence that the collapse occurred under the worst mayor in history.

This column first appeared in the New York Post.

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