The year was 1988. The Oakland A's went to the World Series, Ronald Reagan completed his final year in office, and a young Bill DeBlasio traveled to Central America to learn firsthand the anarchist tactics of Che Guevara.
College Yearbook Photo
At the time in Nicaragua, the infamous Sandinista revolution was in full swing and Marxist soldiers were intent on spreading their socialist ideals. The Sandinistas deployed the same tactics as Che Guevara and looked to communist dictators such as Fidel Castro as their role models.
It was in this climate in Central America that DeBlasio cut his teeth as a professional agitator and political activist.
During his time in Nicaragua, DeBlasio helped to supply Marxist guerrilla soldiers with money, clothing and medical supplies in order to help them continue fighting on the front lines.
DeBlasio would have you believe he was there as a humanitarian simply distributing food and medicine but lest one be fooled, the liberal New York Times has even printed that "a review of hundreds of pages of records and more than two dozen interviews suggest his time as a young activist was more influential in shaping his ideology than previously known, and far more political than typical humanitarian work."
DeBlasio upon arriving in Central America, 1980 (Photo Credit: limpinhoecheiroso.com)
Simply put, DeBlasio's "communist organizing" in a foreign country makes Barack Obama's "community organizing" look like mere child's play.
After standing shoulder-to-shoulder with socialist Sandinistas in Nicaragua, DeBlasio returned to the Washington, D.C. area where he worked for an organization called the Quixote Center and continued to send food, money and supplies back to Nicaragua.
It was here in Washington, D.C. that DeBlasio participated in rallies in support of the Marxist (socialist) movement and was arrested - twice - for supporting countries which the United States called "tyrannical and communist."
After wearing out his welcome in the nation's capital, DeBlasio moved to New York where he fundraised for the Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York City. It was there that the New York Times reported DeBlasio rubbed elbows and "worked alongside peace activists, Democrats, Marxists, and anarchists."
DeBlasio was a bona fide Marxist sympathizer.
So, why does his political past matter?
A politician's past political activism matters because it's the best measure of how a person would govern if ever elected to office. Only when you know where a politician has been can you determine where he is going in the future.
It matters because principles don't merely sit on a shelf; principles can be "weaponized" in the form of candidates and public policy measures.
Once a politician is sworn into office, he gives life to those principles as public policies by which the rest of us are required to live.
That is the situation now facing New York City.
DeBlasio's principles wouldn't have mattered to the rest of the world, had he not chosen to follow Saul Alinsky's infamous advice: "True revolutionaries do not flaunt their radicalism. They cut their hair, put on suits, and infiltrate the system from within."
Nearly twenty-five years after he rolled up his sleeves and landed in Nicaragua to help the socialists, DeBlasio finally put on a suit jacket and became New York City's mayor.
Now, the largest city in the U.S. is being led by a far-left-wing Democratic Socialist and professionally-trained anarchist.
However, Mayor DeBlasio is not entirely to blame for his ascension.
Republicans in New York attempted to warn the electorate. Joe Lhota, a colleague of former Mayor Rudy Giuliania and DeBlasio's Republican challenger in the 2012 elections, called out DeBlasio's socialist past during the campaign, but it fell on deaf ears.
When the media finally reported DeBlasio's history in the final few weeks of the Mayor's race it was too little, too late. He had already ascended to become the golden child of the tony, midtown Manhattan press corps who are so left of center, they've nearly dropped into the Hudson River. DeBlasio was so far ahead in the polls, he was unstoppable.
However, it's too simple an explanation to blame the mainstream media.
Voters also failed phenomenally.
We as voters have a responsibility to vet candidates, too.
Rather than excuse a candidate's extreme political activism with the wave of a hand as the "indiscretions of one's youth," we must be astute enough to determine precisely how that activism translates at home. (This will become all the more relevant as we enter into the 2016 Presidential contest.)
In Mayor DeBlasio's case, his ties to an anti-American, socialist Sandinista movement should have disqualified him from the office.
After all, he fought against so-called "imperial" authorities such as the United States should have alarmed voters to deduce that DeBlasio has little regard for U.S. norms and laws -- and probably even less regard for those who choose to make law enforcement a career.
And so it was last week that DeBlasio's remarks about the NYPD incited angry mobs to take to the streets against law enforcement in midtown Manhattan, atop the Brooklyn Bridge and on a street that fateful night in Brooklyn.
As tensions flare in New York City, it should come as no surprise that the flames of discord have been fanned by a Mayor trained in anarchist rhetoric.
DeBlasio's history as a political agitator who stood for all things anti-American, combined with the deadly events in New York over the weekend, are proof that the past does matter. His time aiding and abetting Marxist rebels in Central America should have informed voters on how he would govern and potentially turn New York City into a war zone.
For his apparent role in inciting a gunman to execute two NYPD officers, DeBlasio undoubtedly has blood on his hands; but frankly, so do any voters who knew of his dangerous past and propelled him into office anyway.
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