I haven’t made a secret of the fact I don’t like our governor, Andrew Cuomo. I’m still disappointed I missed my chance to vote against him twice back in the fall.
But the truth is I’m not sorry he won. My vote for the Green Party’s Howie Hawkins wasn’t entirely a protest vote. I want the Green Party to become a viable third party and their candidates need to show they can get votes for that to begin to happen. But my vote for Zephyr Teachout would have been. And I don’t waste my vote on a protest if it’s needed for a win.
I didn’t think about it too deeply at the time because there seemed no doubt she wasn’t going to defeat Andrew, but there were questions about her in my mind: could she win in the general election and if she did would she be an effective governor. My sense was that she might not have and she probably wouldn’t have been. If I thought she was bound to lose the general, I’d have voted for Andrew without a qualm. If I thought she might win but seriously doubted she could run the state and get things, progressive things, that needed doing done, I’d have probably voted for Andrew, no matter how much I liked what she said over some things Andrew did. But like I said, I didn’t worry about it then because I didn’t think I needed to and so I felt free to stick it to Andrew. Or would have if the polling place had been open when I got there.
Andrew Cuomo is nowhere near as liberal as I’d like him to be. I’ve said before, he’s too concerned with the care and feeding of millionaires. He’s a teacher basher. He doesn’t like unions. But George McGovern didn’t like unions either. Something else I’ve said before, the word for a Democrat who isn’t liberal enough isn’t Republican. It’s wrong. Cuomo’s still a Democrat and that makes him liberal enough that voting for him would not have been voting for the lesser of two evils. It would have been voting for Democratic governorship over Republican, an easy choice.
When Republicans want to stir up the faithful, they wave the flag or the bloody shirt. They appeal to resentments. They inflame angers. They identify others to fear and despise. They promise to punish THEM. When Democrats want to do it, they talk about people who need help and how to help them.
“The young girl who sleeps in a homeless shelter tonight is our daughter…The farmer in the Southern Tier who is struggling to make ends meet, that farmer is our brother. The child who lives in poverty in Rochester today is our child.”
Maybe it’s not as elegantly phrased as Mario Cuomo would have done it. But that’s a Democrat talking. Republicans can say things like it, some of them with straight faces and without their tongues snapping off their rollers. Paul Ryan has been trying. Even Mitt Romney is experimenting with sounding compassionate. But they don’t mean it and they always manage to let that show.
Sue me, I believe Andrew means it.
While Andrew’s no Mario, he loved, admired, and respected his old man and he’s still his father’s son.
And even if he doesn’t, we mean it. We Democrats. We liberals. We New Yorkers.
The quote’s from Cuomo’s State of the State address yesterday. Hat tip to Mrs M who read the passage to me this morning with tears in her eyes.
Have to admit, when she read it, I got a little choked up too.
Anyone who says this isn’t the real America. Let me ask you. Whose harbor does the Statue of Liberty stand in?