What do you know about the man likely to become the next mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio?
Most people know next to nothing, thanks to the overwhelming attention paid to his rival Anthony Weiner. But on the Glenn Beck Program Tuesday, Beck devoted a segment to revealing the past of a man who he said “makes Mayor Michael Bloomberg look like Sam Adams.”
Beck asked his audience not to take his word for it — all of the information in the segment below can be found in the New York Times.
The Times article, and Beck’s segment, begin with de Blasio’s history with the Nicaraguan Sandinistas.
The Times described a young de Blasio:
He spoke in long, meandering paragraphs, musing on Franklin D. Roosevelt, Karl Marx and Bob Marley…
Bill de Blasio, then 26, went to Nicaragua to help distribute food and medicine in the middle of a war between left and right. But he returned with something else entirely: a vision of the possibilities of an unfettered leftist government.
Mr. de Blasio, who studied Latin American politics at Columbia and was conversational in Spanish, grew to be an admirer of Nicaragua’s ruling Sandinista party, thrusting himself into one of the most polarizing issues in American politics at the time. The Reagan administration denounced the Sandinistas as tyrannical and Communist, while their liberal backers argued that after years of dictatorship, they were building a free society with broad access to education, land and health care. [Emphasis added]
And De Blasio’s activism didn’t stop when he returned to the United States. According to the Times, he accepted a job as a political organizer at the Quixote Center in 1987, and “oversaw efforts to solicit and ship millions of dollars in food, clothing and supplies to Nicaragua.”
When he left the Quixote Center and joined the mayoral campaign of David N. Dinkins, de Blasio reportedly continued to “cause a stir” in his work for the Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York.
The New York Times writes:
At a retreat later that year , members of the network were asked to articulate their visions for society. One suggested a “real peace movement,” according to minutes of the meeting. “Rewards for altruism,” another said. Mr. de Blasio suggested “democratic socialism.”
In a recent interview, Mr. de Blasio said his views then — and now — represented a mix of admiration for European social democratic movements, Mr. Roosevelt’s New Deal and liberation theology.
Mr. de Blasio remained supportive of the Sandinistas, often referred to by their acronym, F.S.L.N., even after they lost power. “People who had shallow party sympathies with the F.S.L.N. pretty much dropped everything when they lost,” said Jane Guskin, a fellow activist in the solidarity group. “Bill wasn’t like that.”
He has remained interested in Latin America — he even honeymooned in Cuba (in violation of a United States travel ban). To this day, he speaks admiringly of the Sandinistas’ campaign, noting advances in literacy and health care. “They had a youthful energy and idealism mixed with a human ability and practicality that was really inspirational,” he said. [Emphasis added]
The Times article also notes de Blasio’s distress with what he described as the “timidity” of the Democratic Party at the beginning of the Clinton era, writing that “he thought the government should be doing more to help low-income workers and maintain higher tax rates.”
At one of his last meetings with the Nicaragua Solidarity Network in 1991, the man reportedly “spoke of a need to understand and build alliances with Islam, predicting it would soon be a dominant force in politics.” He also expressed confidence that the liberal aims the group had worked for were “far from dead” around the world.
“Boy is he right about that,” Beck commented.
Beck continued: “How did all this happen? Sideshows…But what we should’ve really been asking is, what happens after the circus is over? The answer is Bill DeBlasio, a violent revolutionary taking over New York City.”
Read the entire article on de Blasio’s past at the New York Times.
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