Clearly Donald Trump is good at getting people to talk about him.
Since he called for barring Muslims from entering the country, there have been rallies of protest, outpourings of tweets and the widespread fulfillment of the Godwin law (in which an Internet conversation that goes on long enough will eventually lead to Nazis).
He has been called the worst thing to happen to American politics and also the embodiment of our truest selves. A HuffPost/YouGov poll found that just 17 percent of Americans hold a favorable view of Islam; though this number was much the same back in March.
Many on the left wish Trump would disappear so we can stop talking about reality TV and turn to real issues. Ironically, it's a belief that the real issues are being ignored that animates many Trump supporters. The government, in their view, is broken and irrelevant to real people.
But the system is not necessarily broken. Perhaps it would be helpful to remember that government still happens: deliberative, slowly moving, sometimes infuriating, but trying to do its business whether Trump is at the microphone spewing abominations or not.
A substantive hearing
While New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito led a spirited anti-Trump rally on the steps of City Hall yesterday, the City Council Committee on General Welfare held an oversight hearing addressing the homelessness crisis. Advocacy groups &mdsah; such as Care for the Homeless, Picture the Homeless, and Legal Aid Society &mdsah; expressed their concerns.
There are more than 57,000 people in the shelter system, and the city is experiencing levels of homelessness not seen "since the Great Depression," according to a committee briefing paper. Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration has begun to respond with expanded rental assistance programs, supportive housing, and street outreach.
President Barack Obama's Oval Office address on Sunday night urged Americans to avoid the kind of anti-Islamic statements or actions that would only aid the Islamic State, making it appear that America is at war with Islam and not with fundamentalist terrorists. When Trump went and did the complete opposite, he was arguably putting the nation at risk.
On the other hand, New York politicians announced $4.5 million in Department of Homeland Security funding statewide for anti-terrorism programs and law enforcement training — from active-shooter protocols to security at government functions.
Approximately 4,000 New Yorkers have been killed or injured in hit-and-run accidents, but less than 1 percent of those drivers have been prosecuted, according to a report by Transportation Alternatives calling for more attention from district attorneys.
Though de Blasio's "Vision Zero" traffic safety program has been a priority for the administration, a recent spate of traffic deaths has been worrying. Four people were killed by MTA buses in November alone, which seems to be unusual and has the MTA scrambling to come up with solutions.
Meanwhile, here was @realDonaldTrump doing the people's business yesterday:
This is amExpress, the conversation starter for New Yorkers.