Emmett Tyrrell

WASHINGTON -- How does one explain the victory of Bill de Blasio over Joseph J. Lhota by some 500,000 votes? I have viewed all the learned studies offered up by the psephologists. I have studied the pundits' blah. If there were chicken entrails to be read, I would have read them. Frankly, I am at a loss to explain the election save for the timeless power of boredom.

I am not speaking of Lhota's contribution to the race. I am sure he put up a good fight. Surely his record as Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman transcended that of de Blasio as the city's public advocate, whatever that might be. Moreover, Lhota's record as a citizen is blameless as compared with de Blasio's record as advocate for left-wing tyrants, for instance and rather stupefyingly, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and the Castros in Cuba. Also, there was something about undeclared income from rental property. He has a $1.1 million second home for which he has failed to report rental income in his annual financial-disclosure filing. Well, what was his explanation for that? Was it that all Democrats of his high station in New York City do it? Still, for an average guy -- and de Blasio prides himself in being an average guy -- it has a whiff of corruption to it.

My only explanation for the margin of his victory is boredom and possibly the herd mentality. The late, distinguished sociologist, Robert Nisbet, would doubtless endorse my finding of boredom. Nisbet identified boredom as being one of the constant historic forces behind the upheavals and catastrophes of the modern world. Life has become relatively monotonous compared with days of yore when one had to worry about famine, plague, and an army of Goths, Visigoths or Huns coming across the horizon. One palliates tedious days with alcohol, drugs, pornography, suicide, murder, mayhem, and if those are insufficient, one casts a vote for a candidate like de Blasio.

He promises to raise taxes on people making $500,000 annually, but that will never be enough to pay for his schemes, and so we know he will raise taxes on everyone. Raise the sales tax. Raise the sin tax on booze and tobacco -- oh, yes, and sugary drinks. There will be taxes on private transportation, increased taxes on hotels, and then he'll hit the museums and concerts and other entertainments.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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