The right to vote is the of our most valued and cherished freedoms in America, yet very often treated with extreme apathy. The selection of candidates should only encompass two characteristics: their relevance and how they can help their constituents and our country.
U.S. Army veteran Eliot Rabin, the epitome of leadership, is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. His platform of inclusiveness wants his future constituency to contribute their ideas in order to synergize Congressional District 12 of New York City, spanning sections of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens and the U.S.A.
Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Eliot went to work in his dad’s shop at eight years old. The elder Rabin first handed him a broom. “This is not to ride,” he said, adding, “Son, if you can fold a cashmere sweater with your left hand and clean the toilet with your right hand, you can be in business.”
In high school, Eliot was somewhat of a maverick. Under his senior picture was the quote: Though what man within him hide, though angel on the outward side.
Almost failing French one year, he sang O Christmas Tree, Oh Come All Ye Faithful, and Oh Holy Night in French to his teacher, and she gave him a barely passing grade. And for a fun diversion, he became a cheerleader for the basketball team.
Working in his dad’s shop was quite an elucidating experience as it was the time of civil unrest throughout The South. One of the most memorable experiences was when he watched his father take an injured child to the nearest hospital in town. Upon their arrival at St. Francis Xavier Hospital, the receptionist refused to accept Earl due to the simple fact that he was black.
“Is he not a person?” Eliot’s father asked. Then he left the boy at the hospital and told the receptionist, “If he dies, it’s on you.”
Thankfully, he survived and even worked at Leon’s Mens Wear, Eliot’s dad’s shop, as a teenager. Earl later enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he became the top Sergeant Major.
Eliot graduated from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, with a B.A. in Political Science and Government, and then attended law school at University College London. Even though his training at The Citadel would have sufficed, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private and worked his way through basic training at Ft. Gordon, Georgia; advanced individual combat training at Ft. Dix, New Jersey; and attended Officers Candidate School at Ft. Benning, Georgia, where he was elected student council president of his infantry company.
Upon graduation from OCS, Eliot was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry of the 24th Infantry Division. During this period, a revolution occurred in Czechoslovakia, which became known as Prague Spring (an effort to rid the country of Soviet domination). Eliot’s battalion was moved to the Czech/ German border, to provide safety for the refugees crossing the border. The media never reported it, but the mission succeeded.
While on tank gunnery maneuvers in Grafenwöhr, West Germany, Eliot drew the short straw and returned to Augsburg to plan a party for a retiring Colonel. As a result, Lt. Rabin was called into the commanding general’s office and was told to take over as director of the Augsburg Officers Club, as it had been losing money.
He tried to decline the order. “Sir, I am a combat infantry battalion S4 logistics officer,” Eliot said, but Gen. Young told him in quite an imperatively imperious manner, “Go make money, or we close the club.”
Prior to his honorable discharge, Eliot was awarded the army commendation medal. He continued to serve as a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves, and soon after retired. Arriving home in Charleston at the peak of the civil conflict in Vietnam, he was saddened to learn of the death of Citadel classmates, which was the catalyst for his move to New York City. He first lived with his sister Eileen, who had embarked upon a career teaching English as a second language to Haitian children. After becoming fed up by Eliot’s weeks of frivolousness, she said, “Get a job.” And he did just that, beginning his long career in the fashion industry at Bloomingdale’s flagship store in New York City.
He took a leave of absence from design while at Braten Apparel. He volunteered to assist Israel during the October War, where he drove an evacuation vehicle back and forth from the Golan Heights to the Sinai Peninsula.
Eliot quickly excelled in the fashion industry and soon thereafter designed menswear for Givenchy, Emilio Pucci, and Oscar de la Renta. Working so diligently for all those glamorous folks, yet being an entrepreneur at heart, he one day took a queue from his father, and thought to himself, “I’ma do my own thang.”
Eliot launched his personal brand Peter Elliot in 1977, opening a small menswear store on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. By demand, the women of the neighborhood asked that Eliot provide the same coolness and quality for them as Peter Elliot provided for men and boys. Taking his superior sense of quality and exceptional customer service far beyond the metaphorical boundaries of the UES. Eliot enlisted his sister Eileen to build the women’s business, which she succeeded with great aplomb.
Over four decades, his brand has grown to become a prestigious name, successfully building Women by Peter Elliott and Peter Elliott Blue, womenswear and menswear stores in NYC. His signature Peter Elliot Navy Blazer, in addition to his Southern-boy business etiquette, has indeed found him a lifetime of loyal fans, especially since “The quality remains long after the price is forgotten.”
Upon her retirement a few years ago, Eileen is now a full-time grandmother. Ever the gracious associate, Isabelle took on further duties to continue Eileen’s successful enterprise. Without these two strong-minded women, Eliot would not have been able to embark upon his patriotic journey to become the next Congressman who represents these three boroughs and the United States.
As a distinguished veteran with 40-plus years of entrepreneurship in Manhattan, Eliot has unique insight into the numerous challenges and problems that those who have the fortitude to face the daunting task of living and doing business in this city. Quite a notable figure in the community, Eliot is a non-politician who will fight for what we need without any regard for personal gain or higher political aspirations. When asked to run, he decided to start a tributary line – the Common Sense Party – “because common sense makes sense.”
Exceedingly high rent taxes, which burden businesses and individuals, are at the very least discriminating and at most unconstitutional. Additionally, these inequities have left more than 2,000 stores empty in NYC and the employer working for the employee.
Quality of life, in particular, has greatly diminished, and could and should be better for everyone, regardless of background or socioeconomic status. Society has broken down to where people are lying in the gutters due to being drugged-out on opioids, and homeless people are sleeping on cardboard beds inside subway stations. The New York City Housing Authority, like other bloated bureaucracies, seem to have no clue how to fix these issues or just do not care; it’s moral decay, and not just in New York. NYC streets are unsafe, not to mention overly congested with traffic.
He opposes projects such as the closure of Rikers Island for the installation of smaller correctional facilities throughout the boroughs, which would create another wasteful bureaucracy and solely appease real estate interests seeking to capitalize on the development of “waterfront property” and coolness in the form of Rikers apartments and condo complexes.
Working from the ground-up in every part of each career tack, this foray into politics has been no different. Eliot argues against usurious interest on student loans and proposes a merit-based education program where students are rewarded for success and achievement in order to stimulate a massive upgrade in school performance and graduation rates. The caliber of education has diminished in this country, leaving our youth at a worldwide disadvantage. In addition, teachers should be graded on work performance, not tenure.
Eliot’s primary goal is unity, tolerance, camaraderie, and compromise – to end the divisiveness in these United States. He seeks to end discord and conflict among neighbors, and instill a sentiment of harmony, tolerance, understanding, and compassion throughout all communities. This problem could not be tougher to solve in an America that is, truly, the only heterogeneous country in the world.
One possible solution to this divisiveness, which will help level the playing field, Eliot suggests reinstating the draft, regardless of gender or background, but not just militarily. In addition to the three main branches of military, he suggests two-year service corps: the Youth Reaction Corp and Domestic Peace Corp, both obvious in their missions. Addressing the immigrant situation in the same manner, they will serve, but only in the military for four years. They will learn English (which should be the national language by law), patriotism, a trade, and, as a result, they and their immediate family members will receive citizenship.
It’s important to respect the basic assessment that all of us are different despite having so much in common. Diversity is overused so often in today’s society, and the term has become a crutch and excuse for lame thinking. As long as we are different, there will always be some level of divide. Tolerance comes from the knowledge of our roots and our ambitions, and always having consideration for those around us.
Tolerance allows us to seek compromise, which is currently missing in our public discourse and private lives. Those making our laws are without compromise. They are bitter, selfish, and their oration is filled with vitriol!
TOLERANCE IS THE KEY, CIVILITY IS THE LOCK
Eliot feels that tolerance and compromise are the most important avenues in healing our great country. Our Constitution and Bill of Rights are genius documents that give us incredible guidance. These timeless words were written by men who understood intolerance and produced classic chronicles of intellectual genius that exemplified how compromise and tolerance allow us to demand from our elected leadership the moral courage that was Washington, Lincoln, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Ike, and Reagan. This will reunite us as one American melting pot.
Let’s send Eliot Rabin to Congress to be New York City’s “American for Everyone in America” on November 6, 2018! Ya mon!