video Eli Klein, Greenwich Village gallery owner and lifelong Democrat, reveals how he’s voting in this election
Small business owner Eli Klein, who runs an art gallery in liberal-leaning Greenwich Village in New York City, shares his reasons for “shifting to the right” in the midterm elections this year.
The times they are a-changin’ in Greenwich Village, a bastion of hard-left activism since the 1960s.
"We’ve had a major shift to the right here," Eli Klein, a lifelong Manhattan Democrat, scion of a family of prominent New York City left-wing activists, and owner of an international art gallery in the West Village, told Fox News Digital this week.
"People are upset with Democrat policy."
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Those policies, he said, have fueled the celebrated neighborhood's crises of crime, homelessness and hard drug abuse on public streets over the past two years.
Onerous COVID-19 lockdowns mandated by Democrats, meanwhile, devastated businesses and schools, hurting poor and minority families and children the most, Klein has argued passionately on social media.
Greenwich Village art gallery owner Eli Klein was raised in a prominent family of left-wing activists. Today, however, he is voting Republican, he said. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital / Fox News)
The failures of leftist leadership have planted the seeds of political rebellion in one of the deepest-blue districts in the United States, say local residents.
Klein is helping host a "red wave party" on Tuesday night with other like-minded Greenwich Village business leaders to celebrate anticipated Republican gains across the country — a gathering all but unimaginable just two years ago.
“I’ve been a registered Democrat for 30 years and will not vote for a single Democrat on Tuesday.” — Maud Maron
Greenwich Village will not turn Republican any time soon. Democrat Joe Biden received about 90% of the vote in neighborhood districts in the last presidential election.
But inroads in New York City could go a long way toward helping Republican challenger Lee Zeldin secure the state governor's race against Democrat incumbent Kathy Hochul.
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At the very least, discontent with the failure of left-wing policies has exploded across the city over the past two years. New York voters elected three new Republican women to the City Council in reliably blue districts in 2021.
Prominent Greenwich Village residents have been emboldened to question the city's Democrat authority.
Gay St. in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. “It’s now a party of extremism,” said one registered Democrat about today’s Democrat Party. (iStock / iStock)
"I’ve been a registered Democrat for 30 years and will not vote for a single Democrat on Tuesday," Maud Maron, a parent advocate and community activist, told Fox News Digital.
In the August 2022 primaries, Maron ran for U.S. Congress in the district that represents Greenwich Village — as a Democrat.
But she feels the party has "galloped to the left" in very recent years and grown dangerously intolerant, savaging as racist or homophobe anyone who offers even "mild criticism" of the party.
"It’s now a party of extremism," the Democrat said, while publicly putting her support behind the GOP.
Eli Klein, owner of Eli Klein Gallery in Greenwich Village, told FOX Business on Monday, “The left is really going backward.” (Photo by: David Giesbrecht/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images / Getty Images)
Bob Dylan rode into Manhattan’s once-famously freedom-loving Greenwich Village neighborhood in the early 1960s strumming his acoustic guitar and prophesying of "the battle outside ragin.'"
The Village embraced his words and turned him into an icon of left-wing counterculture.
Fissures in the left-leaning foundations of Greenwich Village began to form during the COVID-19 lockdowns and mandates.
By the end of the decade, the Stonewall Inn riots made Greenwich Village synonymous with the gay rights movement. The neighborhood has been a left-wing bastion in the more than half-century since.
Fissures in this foundation began to form during the COVID-19 lockdowns and mandates.
Greenwich Village residents recoiled in anger when Washington Square Park, famed for its triumphal arch dedicated to George Washington, quickly descended into a drug den infested with junkies who left the celebrated urban green space strewn with heroin needles and other drug paraphernalia.
Washington Square Park in New York City, long a haven of marijuana use, was overrun by hard drugs and violence during COVID lockdowns, causing and outcry from Greenwich Village neighbors. Pre-rolled joints and gummy-infused candy are shown on April 2 (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)
"We may be liberal but this has gone too far," longtime Greenwich Village resident Steven Hill lamented to the New York Post in 2021.
"New Yorkers are tired of watching their city get annihilated by the lackadaisical attention to law and order," Greenwich Village resident and real estate executive Adelaide Polsinelli told Fox News Digital.
Like Eli Klein and others, she plans to vote Republican on Tuesday.
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The chaos and destruction caused by COVID lockdowns, Polsinelli said, "accelerated the decisions by many people to get more involved in the political process."
Klein is one of those people who began to question the political status quo during COVID. That's a major life change for someone who grew up deeply embedded in Democrat ideology.
His late mother, New York City attorney Janet Benshoof, is an icon of leftist legal activism. His father, retired New York law professor Richard Klein, is an expert in indigent criminal defense.
Gallery owner Eli Klein during an event on Sept. 9, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Wendell Teodoro/WireImage / Getty Images)
Benshoof founded the Center for Reproductive Rights, one of the nation’s most prominent pro-abortion advocacy groups, in 1992.
In 2005, she founded the Global Justice Center, which calls itself an organization of "creative feminists using international law to achieve gender equality and dismantle systems of oppression."
Klein said Democrats abandoned the values his mother taught him when it embraced draconian measures during COVID that trampled individual rights, destroyed economic liberties, rejected bodily autonomy and made the most vulnerable of society — children, poor and minorities — suffer more than others.
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He took to social media to express his outrage, growing his Twitter account — while facing the potential wrath of the city's Democrat leadership.
The West 4th Street Station of the NYC subway, in the heart of Greenwich Village, was overwhelmed with vagrants during COVID-19 lockdowns, part of the quality-of-life-crisis residents blame on bad public policy. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital / Fox News)
"Two+ years of racist and bigoted COVID policies are a main reason I’ll be voting against Democrats for the first time in my life," Klein posted recently on Twitter, where he grew his audience from "hundreds" in 2020 to more than 35,000 today.
He also wrote on Twitter about the New York governor's race, "Make no mistake about it, a vote for Kathy Hochul is a vote for indefinite COVID mandates in NY. A vote for Hochul is a vote to permanently suspend basic civil liberties, like being able to breath without covering your face. Voting for her is unconscionable."
He added, "Vote for Lee Zeldin."
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Klein believes the Democrats he supported his entire life have become the agent of oppression that his mother once fought against — and that she’d be proud of her son for challenging authority today.
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"She would have been proud, I think, of me standing up for individual rights and bodily autonomy," he said.
"She would have been shocked to see that the left is really going backward."
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