Instead, with one candidate so far ahead in the polls, the real enemies are apathy and cynicism.
It would be easy for the Irish Echo to endorse Fernando Ferrer. He is the Democratic candidate in a Democrat-leaning city. He is hardworking, with a decent record at local level. He is a friend of Ireland.
It would be easier still for the Irish Echo to endorse Michael Bloomberg. He has been an excellent mayor, bringing his business acumen to the urgent task of nurturing new businesses and jobs, and banishing much of the racial tension of the past. He, too, is a friend of Ireland. He is also a friend of the Irish Echo newspaper, and celebrated our 75th anniversary with us.
Bloomberg has managed to self-finance his own campaign, thanks to his considerable wealth, while Ferrer has relied on donations and public money, which carries its own weight in terms of favors repaid. Up until recently, we have been spared from an uncouth campaign. Now TV ads that border on salacious are on the air, and perhaps had Ferrer boasted his ideas sooner, the numbers would not be so telling.
There should be pressure on the winner; whichever man that may be, to bring ideas to City Hall. Yes, the streets are safer, education standards are considerably higher, and development is at an all-time high. Perhaps it is more important now to consider the future of a city boasting such staggering growth. The people who will be here long after the next mayor has left office will be responsible for continuing what should be a positive track.
That responsibility leads up to this newspaper’s stance for Tuesday’s election.
This newspaper chooses to urge our readers in the famous five boroughs of New York to do one thing on polling day: Vote.
Irish-America has fought long and hard, for many decades, for the political influence our community now wields. Our Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is magnificent, the pride of Ireland and the best in the world. But above all it is a display of cultural, social, and political strength.
But in a democracy like the United States, all political influence stems from one source — the voting booth.
And so we urge our readers: Never mind those who say Bloomberg is so far ahead it “doesn’t matter” whether you vote or not. Pay no heed to those who snipe from the sidelines and say they have “better things to do” than exercise the democracy for which our forbearers fought.
Yes, it does matter. Yes, your vote will count.