Matt Forney
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How Donald Trump Painted New York Red

NOTE: This article was originally published at Right On on April 27, 2016. I’m re-posting it here as the site is now defunct.

For decades, American political math has revolved around the Northeast—once a bastion of moderate Republicanism—being monolithically Democratic. Donald Trump’s nationalist platform is forcing a political realignment the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the 1980’s.

For all their chest-pounding and back-patting about living in “the capital of the world,” New Yorkers themselves are pretty irrelevant on the national political scene. The Empire State hasn’t produced a major politician since Franklin Roosevelt; no, carpetbaggers like Hillary Clinton and Bobby Kennedy don’t count. Air conditioning and high taxation has sent middle-class New Yorkers fleeing to warmer, cheaper states, with New York now eclipsed by California, Texas and Florida in both population and electoral clout. The state’s heavy Democratic lean also means it usually gets ignored in presidential elections.

Donald Trump isn’t just the most important New York political figure in nearly a hundred years, he’s also the only figure who can put the Empire State on the map for the Republicans. As the first overtly nationalist major-party candidate since Ronald Reagan, Trump has brought about a major realignment in American politics that will persist even if he himself fails to secure the White House.

I witnessed this first-hand when I attended two Trump rallies in upstate New York: one in the Rust Belt slumopolis of Rochester, and the other in the state capital of Albany. Even in the middle of one of the most Leftist states in the Union, there’s a beating heart of nationalist sentiment, and harnessing it is the only way the GOP can win in an increasingly non-White nation.

Ted Cruz’s disastrously short-sighted bromide about “New York values”—and the saltiness of his fanboys after he got crushed in New York’s primary—belies the Empire State’s hidden Conservative heart. The alt-right talks a big game about how mass immigration is a form of anti-White genocide, yet few realize that New York City was one of the first places to fall victim to the Left’s demographic warfare.

While Catholic immigrants formed an integral part of FDR’s New Deal Coalition in the thirties and forties, by the time the sixties rolled around, the Big Apple’s white ethnics were starting to wander off the Democratic plantation. Race riots, forced busing and anti-war protests further accelerated the white working class’ divorce from the Democratic coalition, coming to a head in the late sixties. In 1968, the war between blue-collar white ethnics and New Left hippies exploded into violence at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and two years later, the Hard Hat Riots—pitting pro-war AFL-CIO members against bearded, anti-war Marxists—erupted in the streets of New York.

White ethnic discontent with the Democrats and Republicans—at the time, the New York GOP was dominated by Leftists under the aegis of Nelson Rockefeller—led to the creation of the Conservative Party of New York. The Conservatives became an overnight success, with National Review founder William Buckley’s 1965 mayoral campaign garnering 13 percent of the vote and his brother James winning a Senate seat in 1970. These victories were fueled by Catholics whose fathers had worked for the WPA and voted for Roosevelt four times in a row.

The Left’s response was to ethnically cleanse working-class Whites from New York City. The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 made it a cinch for the government to airdrop hordes of welfare-dependent, Left-wing third-worlders into cities across America. Whole neighborhoods in NYC such as Bushwick became minority-majority in record time, as Whites fled the crime and corruption the newcomers brought. White flight subsequently turned the Big Apple into a seedy slum, reduced to begging the federal government for bailout money, but the Left didn’t care: they got their votes.

Similarly, upstate New York—where I hail from—was decimated both by immigration and free trade. Cities such as Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo were built on manufacturing jobs, all of which have been outsourced to Mexico, China and other third-world hellholes. The end result of giving away our jobs and taking in the world’s unemployable, teeming refuse is borne out in upstate’s horrifically high poverty and unemployment rates. Even the farms up there are flooded with Mexican illegals.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, their Coalition of the Fringes strategy was predicated on White Americans continuing to support them at the same levels for all eternity. With the Obama administration openly fomenting racial strife, even Whites in New York are defecting to the GOP: Mitt Romney won the majority of NYC’s White voters when he ran for president four years ago. The door is falling off its hinges, and Donald Trump is here to pry it off with a crowbar.

As the record-breaking turnout at Trump’s upstate New York rallies shows, New Yorkers have been hungering for a nationalist candidate. His event in Rochester on April 10 drew over 15,000 people, with thousands more turned away from the hangar due to lack of space. When he came on stage, ecstasy gripped the crowd to a degree I’d never seen at a political rally before:

In a far cry from his half-empty Milwaukee rally, both Trump and the crowd were fired up and pissed off. For example, whenever the Donald brought up Ted Cruz, his audience erupted into a chorus of boos and screams of “LYIN’ TED! LYIN’ TED!” There were only a half-dozen disruptors in the building, and as the final insult, the Rochester police had forced the hundred some-odd protesters outside to stand on a manure-stinking mud patch on the far side of the road.

The next day, after frying my brains at a meetup in Syracuse, I stopped muttering demonic incantations long enough to drive to Albany for Trump’s rally at the Times Union Center. On the way, I teamed up with my occasional podcast sidekick William Rome. We arrived around quarter after two, 45 minutes before the doors opened, a line already going out the door and down several blocks. While waiting for the line to move, we chatted up a guidette MILF in front of us: she agreed with me that John Kasich has LSD-induced brain damage.

Inside the arena, the mood was electric. At least 20,000 people showed up (remarkable given that Albany’s population is less than 100,000), all of whom were energized beyond belief. Trump was introduced by Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, best known for running for governor in 2010 on a similar platform as the Donald’s… and similarly getting screwed over by the GOP establishment. When Trump took the stage not long after, the crowd went nuts, and even the man himself seemed pissed off:

Much in the same way that the limp turnout at Trump’s Milwaukee rally presaged his poor results in Wisconsin’s primary, the enthusiastic response he got in New York foreshadowed his schlonging of his opponents there. Trump took 60 percent in New York’s primary—a far better result than Cruz or Kasich got in their home states—and walked away with all but five of the state’s 95 delegates. At the same time, #NeverTrump darling Ted Cruz came in a distant third in New York, finishing with zero delegates. Turns out that insulting an entire state is a bad strategy for winning.

In his sweep of the South and North—two regions whose interests have historically been opposed—Donald Trump has begun forging a new political coalition, focused on the concerns of working-class Americans and reigniting national pride. With the Left’s demographic mushroom clouds threatening a future of socialist kleptocracy, uniting Whites in a single party is the only way to stave off total collapse.

Read Next: New York Campaign Dispatch, Part 2: The New York Trump Bump