Vogel: NY's rare breed of socially progressive Republicans
Who among us isn't concerned about the world's critically endangered species? Consider the Northern hairy-nosed wombat. Once roaming freely throughout New South Wales, there are now only 113 of these creatures left, all huddled in Australia's Epping Forest.
An even rarer species is the socially progressive Republican, once found throughout the United States but now reduced to a small nest of mayoral candidates on the island of Manhattan.
As opposed to the wildly breeding tea party loon, this vanishing breed of Republican is pro-choice, pro gun control and pro same-sex marriage.
Although the primaries are only days away, the media's preoccupation with the uninspiring but always-good-for-a-headline crew of Democratic candidates means that many New Yorkers have never heard any of these GOP rarities speak. So here's a sampling:
"There is no reason for anybody to have an assault weapon," says GOP front-runner Joe Lhota, who is also for legalizing pot. Candidate George McDonald says his support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Women's Equality Agenda is meant to "send a message to the extreme elements of the national GOP that in New York we respect and will protect women's reproductive rights." And all three GOP mayoral hopefuls, including candidate John Catsimatidis, have no problem with gay marriage.
Heathens! As a group, they make Chris Christie look like Attila the Hun. With New York's impending fiscal crisis, perhaps we could make some easy cash charging tourists to see, talk to and touch these rare specimens.
Of course, all three get to display their conservative plumage when it comes to crime. They all favor stop and frisk.
Still, they are a unique breed. Most New Yorkers consider themselves liberal, particularly on social issues, but tend to be a bit more conservative when it comes to public safety and fiscal matters.
While a substantial number of locals would rather lose a hand than pull the lever for a Republican, many of us make an exception when it comes to voting for mayor. If the Democrats continue to self-destruct, don't be surprised to awaken on Nov. 6 to greet yet another Mayor Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat.
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.