Opinion: Cuomo’s Ability to Compromise is Presidential Material
During the last election, I was an unabashed supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president, believing at the time that a bit of radicalism was necessary to give this country back to the people. But now that we have been thoroughly subjected to the disaster of Trump and the Republican Party’s best impersonation of the Evil Empire, America should welcome no radicals come 2020. A great unifier is coming, and his name is Andrew Cuomo.
You don’t garner a lot of hardline support when you’re a moderate like Cuomo. People have grown to expect their leaders to refuse compromise in favor of stagnation, if that means getting what they want. Towing the party line has become so ingrained in our collective zeitgeist that we cannot remember the last time our politicians were willing to compromise with the opposing party in order to better the country as a whole. Democrat or Republican, but not American.
Andrew Cuomo has been the governor of New York since 2011 after serving as the state’s attorney general before that. He has brought respectability and competence back to an office severely scarred by the previous administration of Eliot Spitzer and David Patterson. Whether it was to gain funding and approval for a major infrastructure project like the new Mario Cuomo Bridge or to make New York the first state to offer free tuition to in state college students, Cuomo has shown a willingness to compromise with the opposing Republican Party in the state legislature. This has resulted in New York getting back on its feet after being hit hard by the economic downturn that preceded his term in office.
It was through Cuomo’s efforts that New York finally made marriage equality a right, signing it into law during his first year as governor. Following the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, he secured viable gun control legislation — something the rest of the country seems utterly confused about. From the start, Cuomo has made infrastructure overhaul a top priority along with job creation, and he would no doubt bring a similar agenda to Washington.
Cuomo often receives criticism from both the left and the right due to the childlike reluctance of both parties to reach across the aisle and make concessions to actually get anything important done. Not too long ago, we would embrace a president who, like Cuomo, is willing and able to work with the opposition and demonize a leader who simply browbeats, threatens, or mocks his detractors. We need to get back to that way of thinking to recover from this great national embarrassment.
New York breeds great politicians. If you can handle the infamous brutality of the Albany Legislature, Washington D.C. can look like a walk in the park. Seven presidents have come from New York including the two Roosevelts (both served as governor before becoming president) and our current president. Perhaps this is because the same attributes that are necessary for political success — tenacity, inventiveness, big picture thinking and a thick skin — are also commonly thought to thrive at the heart of every New Yorker.
This administration has magnified the revolting parasite which has long made its nest on Capitol Hill: partisanism. Compromise is essential to the democratic process and we should expect our elected leaders to fight for us and not solely for the aims of their respective parties. A leader willing to face the masses with arms outstretched to both sides is one willing and able to stitch close the gaping and appalling wound that is killing us. A leader stuck firmly in their ways works to divide people. Andrew Cuomo can be that leader if elected in 2020.