Politics & Policy

Who New Yorkers Are

New York governor Andrew Cuomo, whose desire to be the Democratic nominee for president of these United States is embarrassingly palpable, has decided that those who do not share his views on abortion (Hooray!), scary-looking firearms (Horrors!), and the various political demands attached to organized homosexuality (Hand on heart!) are untouchables — “They have no place in the state of New York,” he says, “because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

The governor needs to meet some New Yorkers.  

Before moving on to the moral and political probity of the governor’s statement, first consider his facts and logic: It must be the case that people who are pro-life, pro–Second Amendment, and in favor of traditional family arrangements (he used the term “anti-gay”) are resident in New York — otherwise, whom, exactly is he denouncing? It follows that, to some extent, that is “who New Yorkers are,” even if the governor would prefer that that weren’t the case. Andrew Cuomo seems not to have received the admittedly disturbing news that he is the governor of the state of New York, not the governor of Barney Greengrass. Ignorance is bliss, after all.

#ad#But how prevalent are such views? This is who New Yorkers are: 87 percent of New Yorkers want mothers given information about abortion alternatives before undergoing an abortion, a proposal bitterly opposed by Governor Cuomo’s Planned Parenthood allies; 78 percent of New Yorkers favor a waiting period before an abortion, a proposal bitterly opposed by Governor Cuomo’s Planned Parenthood allies; 76 percent favor parental-notification rules for minors, a proposal bitterly opposed by Governor Cuomo’s Planned Parenthood allies; and 80 percent oppose an unlimited abortion license extended into the ninth month of pregnancy, the dearest thing to Governor Cuomo’s Planned Parenthood allies. According to the governor, seven or eight out of ten New Yorkers are not who New Yorkers are and have no place in the state. Perhaps New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan should be looking for an apartment in Greenwich, Conn.

It’s not much different on guns and gays: A third of New Yorkers oppose the governor’s ghoulishly opportunistic post-Newtown gun bill, and a third of them still oppose gay marriage — as late as 2009, a third of Democrats opposed gay marriage, too, including one Barack Obama, late of Columbia University.  

Governor Cuomo is the perfect example of the modern Democrat, who cherishes “diversity” and “open dialogue” above all things — so long as he never has to encounter anybody who is not exactly like him nor hear a point of view with which he disagrees. It is one thing to have strong political views, but another for a governor, the highest executive power in the state, to declare those who do not share his preferences to be personae non gratae. It is thuggish and backward, precisely the sort of thing that the struggling Empire State can ill afford.

On the issue of abortion, there was, once upon a time, another Cuomo involved in New York politics, who gave a famous speech on the subject, arguing that while his church and his conscience required him to believe certain things, he was not obliged “under pain of expulsion” to make of them a political platform. Mario Cuomo was much admired for the alleged suavity of his approach to the subject; son Andrew apparently got stuck on the word “expulsion” and now dreams of it, constructing in his mind some great Siberia in which to exile those who “have no place” in his struggling state.

Our suggestion: Ship them off to Texas, where they’ll find thousands of their former New York neighbors, and, who knows, maybe jobs, too.

The Editors comprise the senior editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

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