After 10 years of political commentary, over 2000 articles, several hundred videos (commentary and news events), several dozen interviews of politicians and candidates, and a podcast channel, I decided to take a small rest. The issue that brought me back sadly was the regurgitation of a failed 2015 political farce. Once again, the extreme Far Left wing of the Democrat Party in Binghamton, NY, and in other regions of the State, recycled the impotent Welcoming Resolution.
In Binghamton this took the form of a quasi-protest event sponsored largely by Citizen Action and Councilman Conrad Taylor. More than 70% of the same individuals from 2015, who otherwise never appear at ANY City Council meeting, were rounded up to appear once again and restate their opinions from 2 years ago. The news media was in force for the event that was sure to garner ratings for the local news cycle.
While all televised news media present (Fox40, Time Warner Cable News, ect) included at least some portion of the only dissenting voice at the event, or portions of the Q&A immediately after, the Press & Sun newspaper elected to disavow any knowledge of an opinion other than that of the Far Left – which many would consider commentary masquerading as news coverage.
As I said at City Council, while I may be alone speaking my views are in part and some in whole, are not alone. As I told Fox40 news, on camera, the only reason mare people aren’t speaking out is because of the fear of being called a racist by the Far Left. But I will not be cowed by empty accusations, and fear-mongering. Thus, I present the unedited audio of exactly what was said at the public forum, to be followed by a transcript to the full statement as it was meant to be read (the public announcement was cut due to time restrictions).
Trascript of statement by Michael Vasquez
Ladies and Gentlemen,
2 years ago I came before you because of a message of hate was being pushed against the City of Binghamton. Sadly, today I again speak to you for the same reason.
We are gathered together once again because a small politically motivated minority and their allies wish to impose their views on the masses, without regard for laws of this nation and this community. Let me be clear, the minority opinion of Citizen Action and their allies failed to get their way in 2015, but today they hope to sway the masses with another bait and switch tactic.
In 2015, then-Councilwoman Teri Rennia forced the Binghamton City Council to address the issue of Syrian refugees. Then, like now, it was an issue in the headlines. Then, like now, the core issue was national safety, followed by the ability of communities across America to absorb the tens of thousands of refugees that were being unilaterally forced upon the nation.
But then-Councilwoman Rennia did not care about that. She was on a mission from political elitists, and they filled the Council Chamber in droves. One by one they sought to be heard in support of a resolution that they admitted has no bearing in law, without admitting that in doing so they used the very immigrants they claimed to support. They demanded that the City of Binghamton bend to their will because a handful of political elites agreed. They claimed that they alone held the moral high ground, and knew better than everyone else.
It was an attempt to use a political hot potato to gain a political advantage. It failed, with Democrats voting against the resolution. Not only in Binghamton, but in cities across the State of New York – even in Utica, where the immigrant population is roughly 10x that of Binghamton. If you don’t believe me, google the news coverage from December 2015.
It was at that time that I spoke before this body and stated in part,
‘The resolution, by its definition, implies that we as the people of Binghamton, New York State, and America, do not love the refugees. That’s not true.’
This again is the case today. But I left out something important then that I want to say today. This isn’t about love, it’s about hate. It’s about a small politically motivated group of people putting their hate and contempt of any other thought than their own in the spotlight. It’s about using a simple issue to take advantage of the emotions of others, to gain political advantage.
Love of America says we protect America from known threats. ISIS and its allies actively threatening to use the goodwill of this nation as a means to kill Americans is that threat. Until we can moderate that threat, we must use caution. But even if you disagree with this policy, the City of Binghamton has no power over it. Thus this resolution is a display of impotence, meant only to gain political advantage at the cost of tax payer dollars.
This waste of time, because it will not and cannot change national policy, only confirms the reality that refugees have been, and continue to be, welcomed in Binghamton as has been the case for decades. But at the same time it infers that counter to reality, somehow the decades of effort and success of the American Civic Association has been for naught and that refugees have been rejected. It implies that somehow, literally overnight, Binghamton has become evil. That is insulting and a lie.
As I said earlier, this is a bait and switch tactic. The bait are the refugees and the goodwill of the residents of Binghamton. Some are trying to say that unless we act as political zombies, and obey their directives, the gates of hell will open upon us. The switch is that even if we were to do as they order, nothing will change – except their political power. They will have a small, useless, powerless piece of legislation as a claim to fame, ready to be used by their future hopeful political candidates in whatever election to come. That’s truly the goal here. Because Binghamton does not control national policy and refugees and immigrants remain welcome.
We, as a City and a nation, in my opinion, should never bend a knee to emotional political manipulation. A slick political ad campaign or a tagline on Facebook and Twitter are not the same as thoughtful and useful legislation. Some may want to control how the people of Binghamton feel, but I for one want the City Council to focus on what the people of Binghamton need. In my opinion, useless and unenforceable legislation is not the job of the City Council, but for political panderers and their dreams of domination.
City Council should end this matter, and get back to the only job at hand, governing the needs of the City. National policy takes place in D.C. and those with issues on that policy should address their concerns on this matter there.