Maud Maron is still a liberal.
She qualifies that by identifying as “a classic liberal, not a lefty liberal.” But outside her home in New York City, and maybe even still in it, few would say she is not firmly on the left.
When she talks about the Republican Party, she certainly sounds like a typical Democrat. “I watched for years as the far Right of the Republican Party pulled the party to ugly extremes — opposing gay marriage, defending torture, and trying to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
But Maron, running for New York City Council as an independent, doesn’t fit in with her party anymore. “I see the Democrats caving to their own extremists, and it is just as awful, cheering on corporate censorship, supporting cancel culture mobs that result in people losing their jobs for saying what they believe, and trying to turn schools into activists training camps for the Left. My mom always said two wrongs don’t make a right. I don’t think the extremes of either party represent where most Americans live their lives.”
This kind of talk has put Maron firmly on the outs with her side of the political aisle. In July, she became nationally known when she gave an interview to Bari Weiss on her podcast, Common Sense.
“If you had asked me when I became a mom what I thought were the pressing concerns my kids would face, I probably would have said climate change, maybe ending the Iraq War,” Maron told Weiss. “I am so shocked that what I worry about now is creeping totalitarianism in America.”
Maron’s background is as a public defender in the Legal Aid Society. But over the summer, something happened that resulted in her being pushed out. What exactly occurred is unclear. Someone filed a complaint against her at the Black Attorneys of Legal Aid caucus and Attorneys of Color of Legal Aid.
I asked Maron about the nature of the complaint. “I don’t know! Because I was informed of the existence of the complaint by email but not provided a copy or details. Classic witch hunt. But I know my three supervisors were asked about the quality and nature of my work, and they all told the head of the office that there were no issues whatsoever. The head of the office also told me that my case files were reviewed, and no issues were identified in any cases.”
The phrase “Orwellian” gets thrown around quite a bit in recent history. Still, the idea of an anonymous complaint filed against you without explaining the accusation certainly fits in with George Orwell’s dystopian vision of the future world. Maron believes she was targeted because of her school advocacy. In 2017, she was elected to her local Community Education Council, New York’s version of a school board. “I was first elected to the CEC in 2017 and wrote a resolution opposing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to phase out the SHSAT during that term.”
The SHSAT, or Specialized High School Admissions Test, is a test given to incoming high schoolers who wish to apply to one of New York’s eight “specialized” high schools. Though the high schools represent a small fraction of New York’s total number of high school students, they are a lightning rod of controversy due to the skewed demographics at the top schools.
Every year, Stuyvesant High School, one of the more prominent of these schools, makes the news when it fails to admit a significant number of black and Hispanic students. Stuyvesant, and the other specialized schools, admit students based on the SHSAT test alone. Stuyvesant is predominantly Asian, with 46% of the students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch. Proponents of the admissions process say it is the fairest method possible, while opponents call it “racist.”
In 2019, Maron told the New York Post, “[The New York City Department of Education] also have to deal with the inconvenient fact that somehow, low-income Asian students are outperforming all other groups in a system they argue historically and currently centers whiteness.” Buzzwords had failed to explain that reality.
Maud told the Washington Examiner, “The following term, in 2019, I was reelected [to the CEC] and was the leading vote-getter — not just in our district but in all of Manhattan. That angered a lot of people and reportedly surprised many in Tweed.” The New York City Department of Education’s offices are in the Tweed Courthouse building, named after William M. Tweed, one of the most powerful and corrupt politicians in New York’s history. “They apparently thought that calling someone racist for defending merit-based admissions would make that person go away or be unelectable,” Maron said. “But the parents who voted for me had other ideas.”
Maron took a sabbatical from the Legal Aid Society in January 2020 to run for the New York City Council. The plan was to return to her role if she did not win her race.
In July 2020, Maron wrote an op-ed for the New York Post calling out the “anti-racist” scams enveloping our school system in New York and elsewhere. “The administration, and many local politicians, buy into a benign-sounding but chilling doctrine called anti-racism, which insists on defining everyone by race, invites discrimination, and divides all thought and behavior along a racial axis. Many of the theories trace to ‘White Fragility,’ a small-minded book that relentlessly insists all white people are racist and need to think about race all the time. Conveniently for its author, who charges $6,000 an hour to discuss this conundrum, there is no way to fix the situation … except with more of her expensive workshops.”
Following the release of the op-ed, the Twitter account for Black Attorneys of Legal Aid tweeted, “You cannot oppose anti-racism and effectively represent Black and Brown people. It’s impossible,” and attached a long, unhinged diatribe against Maron. The Twitter account of the Legal Aid Society, still Maron’s employer, retweeted it.
Maron told me she is currently “suing my employer and union for creating and maintaining a hostile work environment and suing my employer for ‘constructive termination.’”
The rage against Maron is specifically because she is on the Left. A conservative with similar opinions would not raise the intense ire that Maron has provoked. It’s because she dares take a step outside of acceptable liberal opinion that she is such a target. There is a demand for a frightening conformity on the Left right now, especially on issues of race, that does not allow any free thinking whatsoever. Even pointing out the obvious scam nature of the anti-racist movement is not allowed.
Maron is a terrific spokeswoman and advocate for a better New York. Maron was born in New York City, grew up in Pennsylvania, and returned to New York to attend Barnard College in 1989. She has lived in the city ever since. A mother to four children, Maron has lived downtown in Manhattan since graduating from Cardozo Law School in 1998.
It’s obvious that she cares for the city and, yes, everyone in it. She told me the motivation for her campaign is “making NYC a place I want to keep living in and raising my children in.”
When I asked her if families had a future in New York City, she said, “There will always be families in NYC, but watching so many neighbors flee is depressing and heart-breaking ... and understandable. During Mayor Bill de Blasio’s eight years [in office], my neighborhood got dirtier, less safe, and more expensive. I watched the quality of my kids' education plummet during COVID, and I had to listen to an endless stream of woke nonsense from school officials who have not figured out how to teach most of the kids in their care how to read despite having one of the largest per-student school budgets in the country.”
In a saner world and a saner city, Maron would be the perfect fit for the New York City Council. But as the Democratic Party drifts ever leftward, rational voices such as Maron’s continue to be sidelined. Catchwords of liberalism such as “diversity” or “open-mindedness” no longer apply to the Left at all. That won’t end well, not for New York, not for any of us.
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Original Author: Karol Markowicz
Original Location: The last liberal in New York