In the late 1960s, "The Peter Principle," by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull, took the nation by storm, spending months on The New York Times Best Sellers list.
In their work the authors argued — persuasively in my judgment — that people often move up in the hierarchy of their chosen profession until they achieve a position in which they "rise to their level of incompetence."
And once a person reaches that level, "they always lack insight into their situation."
One elected official who validates the Peter Principle is New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Bill de Blasio is a typical city politician — a sanctimonious leftist ideologue, never holding a real job.
After graduating from New York's Columbia University, the self-described Democratic socialist, worked as a community organizer in Maryland, spent time in Nicaragua supporting the Sandinistas. He later honeymooned in Castro’s Cuba.
Returning to New York City, de Blasio joined the Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York, served as a volunteer in David Dinkin’s successful mayoral campaign and was subsequently appointed a city hall aide.
De Blasio continued climbing the "Peter Principle" ladder, holding various political jobs, winning a city council seat in 2002, and in 2009 — the city’s public advocate post.
Being a city councilman or the public advocate is great for people who don't like working very hard. All one has to do is issue press releases, host fund raisers, and get arrested at public protests.
Thanks to the support of the powerful union, SEIU Local 1199, de Blasio managed to get elected the city’s 109th mayor in November of 2013.
He ran on a platform that promised to abolish the police separtment’s "stop and frisk" policy, to raise taxes, and to destroy charter schools.
Being mayor is a 24/7 job. And most of the City’s recent chief executives — LaGuardia, Wagner, Koch, Giuliani, Bloomberg — loved working around the clock.
However, Mayor de Blasio is cut from a different mold.
Some city hall observers describe him as low energy, others as lazy — more interested in raising campaign and PAC money and rewarding finance supporters with sweetheart contracts than governing.
Staff members have complained to reporters that the mayor never stops campaigning because that’s the only thing he knows how to do.
Political columnist Michael Goodwin has described de Blasio as a "human sloth, a late sleeper who can’t be bothered to get out of his SUV or even show up at city hall many days."
As a result of de Blasio’s insouciance, city housing is in shambles, streets are dirtier, education standards have been declining, the homeless problem is exploding, and crime is rising.
In the first quarter of 2020, total crime increased 12% compared to the first 3 months of 2019. While murder and rape were down the other 5 major felony categories were up: robbery plus 25.2%, assault plus 2.6%, burglary plus 21.9%, grand larceny plus 5.2%, car thefts plus 65.5%.
Worse than his laziness is de Blasio’s ideological blinders.
He cannot see past identity politics and political correctness.
A recent revelation by Bob McManus of the Manhattan Institute, proves how ideologically dense this mayor can be: Samaritan’s Purse, an emergency medical response charity that has provided help in the aftermath of disasters throughout the world, recently set up a field hospital in Central Park to help victims of coronavirus.
McManus was livid that the volunteers "armed with tons of the sophisticated medical equipment so sorely lacking in the city right now, plus the expertise to use it, are presumptively suspect. And are perhaps to be expelled."
Because Samaritan’s Purse was founded by the noted evangelist preacher Franklin Graham.
And because the mayor frowns upon Graham’s views on abortion, same-sex marriage, and other moral issues, upon learning of the field hospital, de Blasio told the media, "I said immediately to my team that we had to find out exactly what was happening. Was there going to be an approach that was truly consistent with the values [of] New York City?"
You can’t make this up. The mayor questions the motives of dedicated volunteer medical experts and contemplates evicting them because he abhors their religious beliefs?
Mayor Bill de Blasio: the poster boy for "The Peter Principle."
George J. Marlin, a former executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is the author of "The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact," and "Christian Persecutions in the Middle East: A 21st Century Tragedy." He is chairman of Aid to the Church in Need-USA. Mr. Marlin also writes for TheCatholicThing.org and the Long Island Business News. To read more George J. Marlin — Click Here Now.
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