What happens when there’s no one left to speak?

Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat from New York, made remarks that set a new low for pro-abortion politicians. Cuomo referred to those he considers “extreme conservatives” – for holding the pro-life position, amongst other views – saying they “have no place in New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

As a New Yorker, I have conflicted thoughts about my home state.  While I love New York, I wanted to leave my pro-abortion home state for somewhere where my views were better represented. In light of Cuomo’s remarks, how am I supposed to feel, if not unwelcome and not accepted?

The state is making a new name for itself. Thankfully, the governor’s powers are limited. We are not in a dictatorship where the governor is allowed to kick out those who don’t agree with him. Cuomo has the privilege of being a democratically elected servant, and he holds the highest position in the state. But he does not have the authority to dictate who is a New Yorker and who is not.

Cuomo was able to win his governor’s race in 2010 at 61%, as The Washington Post documented. The Washington Post also listed him as the most popular governor in the country. A January 21 piece from the editors of National Review Online shows, though, that most New Yorkers do not hold the same views as Cuomo on late-term abortion.

The governor should never stop trying to better represent all in his state, especially if he has further political aspirations, and thus should not shy away from working across the aisle with his opponents.

Instead of working with Republicans, Cuomo blames them:

You have a schism within the Republican Party. … They’re searching to define their soul, that’s what’s going on. Is the Republican party in this state a moderate party or is it an extreme conservative party? That’s what they’re trying to figure out. It’s a mirror of what’s going on in Washington. The gridlock in Washington is less about Democrats and Republicans. It’s more about extreme Republicans versus moderate Republicans.

The governor provides an example of politicians who do not look to build unity with the other side, but rather point fingers. How can the governor expect to achieve common ground then with Republicans in his Assembly and Senate?

Kathryn Jean Lopez cleverly titles her commentary for National Review OnlineAndrew Cuomo Puts Up a ‘Catholics Need Not Reside’ Sign in New York.” While the governor’s comments affect Catholics, the irony should not be lost as to how Andrew Cuomo considers himself Catholic, a denomination quite vocal in its pro-life teachings.

Americans must not let this issue go quietly. We cannot let the governor get away with making his state such an intolerant one for those with opposing views. Those whom Cuomo considers “extreme conservatives” may feel unwelcome enough to leave, but how else are we to hold our public officials accountable?

It is one thing for an elected official to be pro-abortion. But this isn’t about the issue of pro-choice versus pro-life. This is the new low to which those in power will go to not only carelessly offend their opponents, but to demonize them. The unborn are already considered second-class citizens in our nation, especially in New York State. Abortion rates here are already double the national average of abortions, and triple in New York City. It would be nice if their defenders weren’t also regarded as second-class citizens. Most importantly, what will become of the unborn who are in danger of being aborted in New York State if there are not enough people left to speak in their defense?

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