I haven’t been writing much in recent months due to the many heavy challenges life has recently sent my way. Maybe one day I will explain further. Just be assured that I am not finished with political commentary as yet. Additionally, I have chosen to stay quiet lately, because I am totally disconcerted with the way ‘we the people’ (for the most part) have tacitly supported the non-representation that apologizes for representative government.
Surveys have perpetually shown that the will of the majority has continually given way to the self-interest of too many of those folks (predominantly male) who have been elected in pseudo-elections. We can surely blame lackadaisical voters for this; but it isn’t that simple. And yet that’s another column with some deep analysis to accompany it.
Given that my general observations on politics have been colored by my pervasive cynicism as I age, I still choose to offer up a major endorsement for the Dems primary elections next month.
Come next September, I definitely WOULD NOT be voting for Andrew Cuomo to a second term as governor of New York. I intend to endorse, support and vote for Ms. Zephyr Teachout: and I hope you do too.
If there is only one reason to vote against Mr. Cuomo (“AC”) it must be because of the way he mishandled the Moreland Commission on ethics in government. This was a disgrace. You don’t set up a commission to fail. You don’t bluff folks who are tired of all the corruption in politics in order to score cheap political points.
Anyway, eventually there will be a long list of reasons to vote against Mr. Cuomo. I will posit only a few today.
Over the last forty years, I have resided exclusively in NYC and I have been involved in politics here since day one. I can count at least five hundred convictions of elected officials, or their relatives, or their staffers, or their backers/supporters/cronies, or their attorneys, or their funders during this time. It averages out to at least one conviction per month. This is the cesspool that is -and has been for too long- New York State.
Look; before anyone suggests that I am picking on those (un-named) who are yet to be tried before a judge or jury, let me reiterate that an accused must be afforded the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. It’s the American way. Thus I have no single individual -currently under indictment- in mind while writing this piece. So let’s be clear on that and don’t get things twisted.
On the issue of political corruption Andrew Cuomo has flattered to deceive. He faked as though he was concerned about the corrupt state of affairs; but the fact is this: he is too deeply mired in the sewer’s sludge to even try to clean it up.
He smells just as much as it smells. Recent revelations show this. There are too many internecine connections to rotten developers, self-serving lobbyists, special-interest entities, the greedy rich folks, the myopic trade unions, the depraved Wall Street crowd, the narrow-minded power-hungry political whores, the exploitative capitalists, the immoral lawyers, and the like.
There is a long list of political players who have helped create this sorry state of political and economic affairs. Relative to the most corrupt states in the union, New York is definitely on all the top ten lists.
Under this ambitious governor, there will be no reform(s) to the ways we do politics and economics here. The rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer and the middle class will continually get squeezed. The power hungry will try to get more power: and most will succeed at it. The well-heeled and well-connected will stay well-heeled and well-connected; while the John Legend crowd of ‘ordinary people’ will stay as well as they can with no help from the higher-ups. It will be ‘dog eat dog’, ‘devil take the hindmost’ and ‘only the fittest survive’.
Name the issue and observe Andrew Cuomo’s behavior. Take education reform, hydrofracking, electoral and/or political reform, fair-taxation, redistricting, affordable-housing, equal opportunity in economic development, judicial reform, race issues, police brutality issues, legislative issues, party control (Dems) of both legislative bodies, you name it: Andrew Cuomo fakes left and runs right at reformers and progressives. He talks a good game but plays the self-aggrandizement angles. He hopes to one day run for the US presidency and that’s his main concern.
Expect that big apple-pie called the “state budget” to continue growing while businesses owned by minorities continue to get less than 10 per cent of the contracts dispensed. The only elected official to speak on this has been Charles “Chucky B” Barron.
Expect a deliberate silence from “AC”on race matters. From immigration, to education, to discrimination and bigotry, there will be no leadership by Prince Andrew Cuomo. NONE. The last four years have shown this.
All we can expect is another round of glib speeches from a man who is usually “talking loud but saying nothing”. He has the gift of gab no doubt. Obviously the fruit didn’t fall far from the tree. His father was a brilliant orator also.
Expect another disappointing governorship replicating his father’s tenure. At least Mario Cuomo made for enjoyable listening and had much more charisma. Expect AC’s deliberate silence on this prolific attack on Barack Obama by right-wingers in media. Expect no defense of democratic-party policies or principles. Expect no creative ideas for public policy approaches from this undeserving prince. Andrew is just another white-boy who has benefitted from white-skin-privilege in this society. He was born on second base and “swears he hit a double”. This is all part of the classic denial-syndrome which overwhelms true efforts to address the inequities of American society.
Come September we the people of New York State can send a message to the rest of the country: “we are sick and tired of being sick and tired”. Fannie Lou Hamer said it back in the sixties, and now we voters can become the embodiment of a solid political ideal (not to be sick and tired anymore) even though it’s almost half a century later. The power is in our hands. Don’t be fooled by unimaginative electeds sending you voluminous mailings exhorting you to re-elect Cuomo. They are just as inept.
Professor Zephyr Teachout is a bona fide progressive democrat. She was an organizer for Dr. Howard Dean’s presidential campaign. She has been lecturing at Fordham University in the Bronx for the past four years. She has studied this state and is ready to offer some solid policy ideas. I expect her to be loyal to her political principles and ideals. She is not tainted by the controlling/ blackmailing connections which in Albany, spells trouble with a capital T, for any reform-minded governor.
She isn’t inured by too many years of political frustration here. She is still fresh and energetic.
She is beholding only to her many grassroot supporters: not to the special-interest crowd .This in itself is as refreshing as smelling a bunch of newly-cut roses in this smelly NY city. It is time for new blood. It is time for new and bold ideas in NY government. It is time to cleanse this stench.
If regular folks join me in coming out to vote for this young lady, we the people will pull off the biggest upset ever seen in this state; and possibly this country. We cannot get real change by voting in the same people year in year out. Remember that when you make your way to the voting booth.
We should limit ALL elected officials to a maximum of twelve years in any one position: power corrupts; and too much power corrupts too much. Term limits should be universal throughout the land.
We the voters of this state have the power in our voting-finger to change things here. It is that simple. Democracy is not a spectator sport. Doing the same thing year in year out, while at the same time expecting some kind of change, is nothing but utter lunacy. It’s time to stop the madness. It is time to stop the whining and complaining: vote for a change. Take a relative or friend to the polls when you go.
Stay tuned-in folks.