New York Strong: A Progressive Defense of Governor Cuomo
By. Raimondo Graziano
There has been a great deal of talk regarding the Governor of New York State’s response to the current crisis that has gripped the world, and has rocked this country – economically, and politically. However, New York State has come a long way in its response to the crisis. Much of the country has looked to New York State for leadership during this time. Though there have been struggles. While the rest of the country, or large portions, deal with great increases in cases, New York State has been steadily working at keeping cases down, increasing testing, and ensuring for the safety of essential workers as well as driving hospitalizations down. New York State has worked feverishly to be an example for the rest of the country. At the helm during this, providing direction, confidence, and calm – Governor Andrew Cuomo.
However – there have been challenges. For one thing, the state’s response to the unprecedented unemployment of millions has been utterly flawed and has prohibited millions from collecting unemployment, though it has also exposed the great inefficiencies latent within our bureaucracy. But this in and of itself cannot be laid at the feet of the Governor. The Governor’s leadership during this time has been exemplary of decency and direction. This is a man who can reach across the aisle to pass legislation and push for reform – measured and with a pragmatic approach that is mostly all but lost in politics today.
All over the country, there are loud calls for radical reforms, which in truth may not be as radical as we make them out to be. However, the pace at which we are attempting to transform society is rapid. In some cases our desire to reform that which has been wrong for so long is pushing us to make changes, the gravity of which, we may not fully comprehend. The way to reform is through pragmatism and compromise. We need not compromise our vision when we come together to debate and form consensus on issues of grave importance. We must exercise prudence and display the characteristics of statesmen when it comes to the affairs of state.
The Governor of the State of New York has embodied these characteristics. He is indeed a progressive, he has progressed New York State forward. The Governor is perhaps one the most progressive Governors in the Union. Just because he has not pushed through more robust, and comprehensive reforms does not mean the title should be stripped of him. From bail reform and expanded workers protections, to lowering taxes for the middle class and for small businesses – the Governor has delivered. Is he the brash reformist and proponent of some of the most radical proposals on the left? No. But he has progressed New York State. That makes him a progressive in a realist’s eyes.