Andrew Cuomo Needs a Civics Lesson

I guess we should never be surprised by what politicians say, particularly in the heat of a campaign. But on occasion, a politician’s statement reveals something very fundamental about his or her view of our political system, and the citizenry itself.

So with Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York. I understand that in his recent radio interview with WCNY’s Susan Arbetter the Governor was speaking only about politicians who seek office when he said:

“Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives, who are right to life, pro assault weapon, anti-gay, is that who they are? Because if that is who they are, and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York. Because that is not who New Yorkers are.”

Does the Governor not realize we are living in a deeply divided country? Does he not understand that people of good will take differing positions on issues? Does he not realize that these viewpoints deserve representation, and that all citizens have a right to seek and vote for candidates that support their positions? Democracy only works well when all viewpoints are respected, debated openly and respectfully, and voted upon as part of the process.

Who is Cuomo to say who does and does not “have a place in New York”?

I am personally right to life, but certainly not anti-gay. I suspect many others fit this profile, including many who live in New York. Maybe they only belong in New York for six months of the year.