New York mayor Eric Adams lays into 'woke' Democrats

February 9, 2023

New York's mayor Eric Adams is stepping up his rhetorical attacks on the "woke" extremists who run his party.

The first-term mayor, who has sought to develop a brand as an independent voice within his party, blamed a vocal "woke" minority for driving away Asian and Hispanic voters.

Democrat goes after "woke" left

Adams echoed a common criticism of the Democratic party -- that it has drifted in recent years from its traditional working-class base.

The party's obsession with race has alienated the white working class, especially, but Asian and Hispanic voters have also begun to drift from the left on issues like crime and education.

Adams said the party has lost touch with basic, day-to-day concerns that working people care about.

"There’s a hemorrhaging of our Latino community, our AAPI communities, that’s leaving the traditional Democratic base," he said.

"I think the party is now understanding that we have to speak at those issues that are important: Jobs, public safety, educating our children, good health care, just these common kitchen table issues that we run away from," he added.

"Blue-collar"

The mayor cited President Biden's State of the Union Speech, which downplayed "woke" fixations like race and gender identity, as a blueprint for the party.

"The agenda he laid out goes hand-in-hand with what we are doing in New York City — this is a blue-collar president, I’m a blue-collar mayor, and we’re both pursuing a blue-collar agenda for working people in New York and across the rest of the nation.," Adams said in a statement.

In his speech, Biden focused heavily on the economy, presenting himself as a "blue-collar" champion of a "made in America" agenda.

Despite his administration's obsession with identity, he mentioned topics like LGBT rights only briefly.

Toxic branding

Adams rode a backlash against the left's soft-on-crime agenda to win election in 2021, and he has continued to distance himself from the Democratic party's toxic national brand.

He has sought to clean up the city's homeless issue by having mentally ill people taken off the street and committed to hospitals involuntarily. Still, he has faced pushback from progressives in this effort.

His use of the term "woke" echoes language more often heard on the right. Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) criticized Democrats as "crazy" and preoccupied with "woke fantasies" in her rebuttal to Biden's State of the Union speech.

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