Readers Write: Martins appealing to our worst instincts

The Island Now

“As the father of four daughters, Jack Martins is focused on making Nassau County a better place to live, work and raise a family.” 

This is how the Republican candidate for Nassau County executive began his official campaign biography.

 I wonder how Martins’ four daughters felt when one of their father’s supporters pasted a misogynistic slur over some of his Democratic rival’s campaign signs in Plainview last week.

 Of course, Martins officially denounced this vile vandalism and even invoked his daughters as proof that he couldn’t possibly condone the vandal’s actions.

 However, Martins’ excuse rings hollow.  He has spent the last several months catering to the worst impulses of his core supporters, whipping them into a Trump-like frenzy.

 Like Trump, Martins fostered a hateful, polarized environment and then refused responsibility when his supporters went out and took that hate and polarization to their logical conclusion.

Martins’ protégé, state Sen. Elaine Phillips, engaged in the same sick game during her run for office last year. 

When one of her supporters posted an anti-Semitic ad targeting her Jewish opponent on Facebook, she refused to take responsibility for it.

 To those disgusted by the anti-Semitic ad, Phillips could claim that she was equally disgusted.  Meanwhile, the ad stood as a big wink to the fringe voters she hoped would show up to vote for her. 

Last week’s vandalism was Martins’ wink.

 If Martins the candidate won’t take responsibility for his words and actions, what makes anyone think Martins the county executive would act any differently?

 

Matthew Zeidman

New Hyde Park