Opinion: Cuomo’s comments spur outrage

January 29, 2014


Everyone “knows” it is conservatives who are mean-spirited, intolerant, censors of speech with which they don’t agree, anti-gay, anti-black and anti just about everything else, right? We know this because the left keeps telling us so.

Which is why in this era of increasingly corrosive language — note the overuse of the f-word in the film “The Wolf of Wall Street” — and acidic political discourse, recent comments by Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ought to shock and outrage everyone, regardless of party affiliation or ideology.

In a radio interview on WCNY, Cuomo commented on the battle within the Republican Party between conservatives and moderates: “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.”

After the New York Post ran a headline that read, “Gov. Cuomo to Conservatives: Leave NY!” the governor’s press office issued a statement claiming his remarks were “distorted” and “taken out of context.”

Conservative radio and TV host Sean Hannity said he might take Cuomo up on his directive and probably move to Florida, depriving New York of the considerable taxes he pays.

The attempt to marginalize conservatives smacks of dictatorial behavior clearly evident in President Obama’s dealings with his political and ideological opponents. It’s as if he’s saying to Republicans, “I won. You lost. Get over it!” Whether its taxes, the debt ceiling or spending caps, Obama appears to rule with no need to negotiate, as though the last election, which put Republicans in the majority in the House, never happened.

If either of these statements had been made by a Republican, the reaction from the left would be predictable. There isn’t enough space to list the names that Republicans would be called. At a minimum, there would be demands for an apology and at a maximum calls to resign from office.

Winning an election doesn’t mean the victor owns the state or country. It means voters have temporarily placed their faith in a person to perform a job that benefits the general welfare.

In his radio interview, Gov. Cuomo praised “moderate” Republicans for helping pass his legislative agenda. Conservatives believe that agenda, and President Obama’s, are harmful. Should they not be allowed to say why? Should they not be allowed to argue for a better way? Where are the liberals who are so dedicated to preserving the First Amendment that they defend pornography, offensive language on television and in films and even the burning of the American flag as a price we must pay for all to enjoy freedom of expression? What about conservative speech and expression?

During the Vietnam anti-war protests, conservatives developed a slogan that appeared on some car bumpers: “America: Love it or leave it.” Liberals responded that loving America also meant opposing policies of the Johnson and Nixon administrations, which they believed harmed the country. They were right.

Conservatives were wrong then to suggest people who disagreed with them should leave America and Gov. Cuomo is wrong now when he says — in or out of “context” — there is no place in New York for conservatives who oppose his social and political positions.

— Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Content Agency.


William Enick 4 years, 1 month ago

Florida or Texas for conservatives would be a good start. Might as well throw Kansas in there as well. Time for me to move anyway. Shouldn't have stayed in this 98% - off the wall- red state this long. There really, really is a difference people....

William Enick 4 years, 1 month ago

Remember Mirecki..the chair of the KU religious studies dept.? " I didn't know them but they knew me..." he had got beaten up for posting online that he was going to "... teach intelligent design as mythology in an up coming course..." among other such satirical and not so satirical online posts. Remember the guy who went to see a relative play a LHS football game in town? Hadn't been to a game in years...didn't remove hat (forgot too) during national anthem and was grabbed behind the neck and was told ; around here we take our hats off during the anthem...(that's pretty close to being in quotes). The people involved were prosecuted. Times change. The smart ones change with it. Like Bill O'Reilly used to say to the liberals.."JUST...SHUT UP! SHUT THE HELL UP!...some people are completely incapable of changing their minds...

Paul R Getto 4 years, 1 month ago

Settle down, Cal. It appears your side's lies will win out in the end--then we will all lose.

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