There is no such thing as "Old Hoboken". It is as clear as the day is bright that there simply cannot be an "Old Hoboken". If it were true, where does one draw the line between old and new? Are you "Old Hoboken" only if you were born and raised here? If so, then yuppie infants must be "Old Hoboken" and residents who lived here through six mayors but their first few years elsewhere are disqualified. Are you "Old Hoboken" if you have an ethnic last name, or if you went to High School here, or if your parents lived through the burning of their tenement homes by property owners bent on driving them out while the city government looked the other way? Who's to say? And who's to tell you that you are or are not "Old Hoboken"?
The people who attempt to divide us and make us enemies with this lie pretend "Old Hoboken" exists, but they will never give you a proper, unbending definition, because the truth of the term lay not in your loyalty to our fair city; rather, the definition lay in whether or not you support THEM.
If "Old Hoboken" exists at all, it is just as that - will you support WITHOUT DEFINITION those who preach that "Old Hoboken" must be protected and preserved. Beware Citizens! Those who approach you to peddle the "Old Hoboken" lie embarrass your dignity and toy with your heartstrings to their advantage and for their lust of power.
So what is the real harbinger that divides our wonderful city? T.Paine believes the true division that motivates the solicitors of the "Old Hoboken" lie is much less prideful and much more egregious. It is a belief that was once before stamped out when this great nation was first made independent from the disingenuous monarchies of the Old World, but has crept back in to our city over decades of political decay until "Old Hoboken" was run just the same as the kingdoms of the Old World. Those kingdoms took the fruits of the people's labor and enriched the elite few who were of aristocratic lineage, or to whom were willed to support and pledge faith and allegiance.
Yes, the true division is a belief that is categorically anti-American and anti-democratic. In a word, the division of our city is an archaic, aristocratic belief in ENTITLEMENT. Those who cruelly tempt the faithful notions of honest citizens with the "Old Hoboken" lie believe they are part of an elite minority that deserves to collect and control the riches of our great city simply because they've either controlled city government or managed to climb up into some position of power through its most corrupt era. They brazenly take from us all without concern, and subsidize the lives of themselves, their families, and those who support them in the absence of fair policy.
The so-called "Entitlement Class" believes that because they have managed to gain this power, they are unquestionably entitled to hold on to it and do with it what they will, at the great expense of the masses who pay taxes and wonder how a city so rich can suffer through so much misery and misdirection.
With corrupt roots so deep, not even the 2003 arrest of a mayor at the core of that new aristocracy and responsible for much of that misery could halt the harm to the city. That family, perverted by an undemocratic belief in entitlement, enriched itself through graft, trading contracts for campaign contributions and side deals whose impact would last for decades. Even the apparent incidental benefits to the citizens, such as an expanded but decrepit waterfront and privatized but unmaintained water infrastructure system, still serve as an expensive reminder of the ongoing legacy of corruption that has spoiled and distracted the advancement of our beautiful city.
That mayor's son, now seeking to regain a throne of totalitarian rule, is a skilled charlatan who carries the torch for the father, but he is not alone in his treacherous endeavor. No, he is backed by a dense legacy of embedded family within Hoboken's government. With him on the City Council is his father's cousin who frequently espouses the "Old Hoboken" lie. His brother and her husband serve on the police force, while his uncle is Chief Financial Officer. Around that nucleus of power are the soldiers and their families that have invested so much into Hoboken's OTHER SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT and sing the colorful melody of greener pastures whence they regain their power. Take care fellow Hobokenite! A family dynasty installed through nepotism rather than merit endures and, crouching like a tiger waiting to pounce, positions itself for the upcoming opportunity to devastate the yearling fawn of reform that has only but recently felt the warmth of a healthful spring sun and yet matured so much.
The aristocratic notions of Hoboken's wretched Entitlement Class are nothing short of the same wicked mentality that was overthrown by revolutions throughout the world a century ago, returned in a masked form that pretends to be a familiar democratic government yet is far from that pretense.
To find the most callous and committed leaders of the Entitlement Class, look no further than the entrenched members of City Council who desperately cling to their remaining positions of power with an eye to return to their aristocratic-minded reign. When they successfully installed a young, charismatic leader in 2009, it was feared that the revolution of reform would suffer a major, if not terminal, loss. “...they get ground into powder.” said he at that time about his adversaries.
The mentality of the Entitlement Class has always been, is vividly now, and always will be of that mode. But those who are steeped in greed and self-interest are also often careless and rarely learn from past mistakes. Despite the arrest of that previous mayor in 2003 for nearly identical crimes against us all, this new leader of the Entitlement Class was almost instantly exposed for taking bribes from developers and dethroned. They of that entitled way of thought were then nearly squashed by the dramatic and true revolution of reform that has advanced our city further in less than two years than our city has moved in two decades under the regimes of entitlement. But, with the financial backing of a disgraceful and pride-bent traitor who once claimed to wave the banner of reform herself, the Entitlement Class has recently rallied so that they now have majority control of City Council. They are preparing for an onslaught this Spring to stamp out the fragile revolution of reform. Where will you stand fellow Hobokenite?
Those who believe the “Old Hoboken” lie are but pawns of the much smaller and self-interested Entitlement Class. “Support them...”, they proffer in gross disregard to the laws of our nation and the fundamental philosophies of our democratic system, “...and you will be rewarded for your allegiance with gifts of subsidy beyond merit,” while the balance of our city is propped to appear living until all of that Entitlement Class are done feeding from the trough.
But how much will be enough, and for how long must you pledge allegiance to a monarch and a system that flaunts itself in the face of all that is American? Unfortunate it is that so many good Hobokenites are fooled into believing the "Old Hoboken" lie, and thinking that they are a part of a seemingly righteous clique when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. What is fortunate, though, is that we are so many and the peddlers of the "Old Hoboken" lie are but a small, misguided few. Only your will to act is needed to make the purge.
Patriots, believers in democracy, and supporters of reform in Hoboken, we must unite and take action! All of us must stand guard against those who try to split us with the emotional yet illegitimate mantra of the "Old Hoboken" lie. You and I must together unite and resist those who silently claim to believe themselves entitled to the fruits that are due all of us in reasoned moderation based on sound policy. We must do this or watch Hoboken plummet back into the wicked, evil, corrupt ways of the past. No, "Old Hoboken" is a lie, and the self-ordained political aristocracy of entitlement- or the foot soldier betrothed thereto - who stops you on the street, in the deli, or at the polls to convince you otherwise in hopes of your vote, is a liar.