Thingish Things

Empire State in the Balance

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Dec• 31•10

The New York Post’s Fred Dicker pretty much nails it today.  This may, indeed be the last chance for the Empire State.

He writes:

“The proud Empire State that produced such national-class governors as Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Al Smith, Tom Dewey, Nelson Rockefeller and Hugh Carey became a national laughingstock, and deservedly so.

“New York once stood as a national model of how to deal with pressing social and economic needs, but now stands as an example of what states must avoid.”

Dicker pins our hopes on incoming governor Andrew Cuomo and lays the blame squarely at the feet of the past three governors.  But others are to blame as well, not the least of which is the voters.  Too few have shown interest in state or local government, tuning in only every four years for sexier national elections, and re-electing the same local officials year after year, simply because a name on the ballot is familiar to them.  We live with the results.

The political parties are to blame.  They have relied on gerrymandering rather than ideas to win state legislative elections.  Once an election is won in a heavily gerrymandered district, that official stays there until death or criminal conviction.  In only the rarest occasions – think Pedro Espada – does an elected Democrat or Republican face a primary.

The political industry holds fault.  We spend far more time fabricating public fights and chasing news cycles for short-term gain than in thinking big thoughts or in educating busy voters.

The public service unions are to blame. They have done their job too well. Our elected representatives fear them more than they fear the voters.  And rightly so.

The business community erred in trusting career politicians to keep taxing and spending at a sustainable level.  It went silent for too long.

Dicker is spot on, though.  If New York is to begin turning the corner, Governor-elect Cuomo will be the key. But he will have to put his political career on the line – he’ll have to risk everything — to save this state from insolvency. He will have to confront the unions head-on, and he will have to do it with bought-and-paid-for legislators attempting to trip him up all along the way.

Governor-elect Cuomo’s ace in the hole is the public.  If he can rally the voters – like President Reagan 30 years ago – anything can happen.  The unions, the political parties, the political handlers, and the legislators are no match for 20 million scared and  determined New Yorkers.  They alone have the clout to save this state.

If they don’t show up, though, no one man can stop this downward spiral.  New York State will survive.  But the Empire State will not.

Every New Yorker of good will wishes Governor-elect Cuomo success in the New Year.

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One Comment

  1. Challutz says:

    Absolutely right on the money! I am angry and I am not going to take it anymore.

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