One of the biggest takeaways from Thursday night’s Republican Debate particularly here in New York is the furor over Ted Cruz’s New York Values statements. I am personally very surprised by the reaction because as a New Yorker I would have predicted a very different focus based on Donald Trump’s response to Ted Cruz. It was not just obvious what Ted Cruz meant by talking about New York values, he had just explained it as referring to socially liberal views on abortion and gay marriage.
What Donald Trump did next is what I call pulling a Lois Griffin. If you are familiar with the television show Family Guy, you probably already know what this is. I am including a link to the clip where Lois who is running for office uses a particular technique to gain support from the audience at this debate. Click here to see clip. Now watch what Donald Trump did at the debate here. What’s more amazing than Donald Trump using this blatant and obvious misdirection is the fact that with a lot of people it actually worked!
Many of the people taken in by this shameless demagoguery are actually New Yorkers who were offended by Ted Cruz’s comments which to me doesn’t seem characteristic of New Yorkers. Two characteristics commonly associated with New Yorkers are that we are thick-skinned and street smart. And being offended by Cruz is at odds with the first trait just as being hoodwinked by Donald’s ploy is inconsistent with the latter. Because New York City is socially liberal, so how is that as Donald Trump called it, an “insult”?
Some moves by politicians are while underhanded, pretty savvy but I can’t call this one of them. It was elementary, transparent and invoking a pretty vivid description of the deaths of thousands of people to avoid addressing your social policies wasn’t savvy it was… slimy.