In a radio interview earlier this month, Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo discussed the state of the Republican Party in New York. He observed that Republicans are currently divided, with those who hold more moderate views battling those who hold more extreme views, and that the party seemed to be battling itself more extensively than it was battling the Democratic Party. While this may be an accurate observation, Cuomo’s following comments were unheard of in the world of politics. Cuomo asked the Republicans of New York who they are exactly, announcing that the answer to this question determines whether or not he believes they have a place in his state.
“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 extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”
First of all, there should be no label as to “who New Yorkers are.” The sheer fact that there are people in New York who hold these views, that there are people in New York that Cuomo feels the need to speak out against, proves his statement wrong. As long as some New Yorkers hold these views, then these views are part of “who New Yorkers are.” Whether your party, or your views within your party, holds the majority in a state should not be a determining factor in whether or not you can be included as a member of said state.
Since the interview, defenses have claimed that Cuomo was simply trying to make the point that New York tends to be a more moderate state for both the Republican and Democratic Parties, and that those who hold more extreme views will not find much support there. However, the fact having a conservative stance on the issues of abortion, gun control, and gay marriage can label someone as a radical is rather unsettling. In fact, the issues and stances that Cuomo listed are not all that extreme. They are issues that are relatively universal within conservative views and within Republican Party. While conservatives definitely have a spectrum of more moderate and more conservative views on these issues, it seems incredibly harsh to label those who hold even the most conservative views on the topics as extremists.
In these statements, Governor Cuomo put the conservatives of New York State under attack. They are being judged for their views, and being told that they are no longer welcome in a state that they have been supporting by paying taxes (some of the highest in the country, at that), working, and building their lives in. Even Cuomo’s choice of language was attacking. Pro-assault rifle is quite a damaging way to label conservative views on the Second Amendment, and his phrasing of anti-gay makes it sound like conservatives are out to commit hate crimes rather than to discuss the foundation of the institute of marriage. Not to mention his use of the word of “extreme” as a descriptor. At this point, New York is not a place that is accepting of various political views. It seems to me that the conservatives of New York should show Cuomo exactly who New Yorkers are, and how much he will miss them when they aren’t providing his state with their services any more.
The quote of Cuomo’s interview comments came from here.
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