Friday, January 2, 2015

Mario Cuomo - Untried Potential

Mario Cuomo is dead, a man I liked and agreed with about most things but who drove me up the wall with his indecision about whether or not he was going to run for president.   I'm unaware of him ever explaining his thinking on why he decided as he did, after years of media speculation that he was going to run and many Democrats asserting he was our anointed savior but it lasted long enough for me to yell during one of his many erudite, articulate speeches,  "Decide already" at the radio at least a half dozen times.

I doubt there would have been the media speculation if he'd been the governor of another state,  New York being the center of national media brings a decided New York focus with it, though perhaps more so then than now.  That the sleazy,putrid Rudy Giuliani ever gained national notice is probably an accident of the same geography, I'd guess one that works more for the sleazes than it does for the Mario Cuomos, as, unfortunately, may be tested by the current governor of that state who is decidedly not cut from the same cloth, even as they share half of their genes.  So much for the currently fashionable genetic determination of behavior, by the way.

Perhaps Mario Cuomo didn't run because he knew that his ethnicity would be used against him, as it would have been, or his geographic location, as it would not have been even by the New York based media, on behalf of the Republican Party they serve.  If a Republican emerges as a viable candidate out of New York, the media would make that origin into a non-issue in exactly the opposite of how they'd play it for a Mario Cuomo.   Neither would have been an issue if Giuliani had made it to the Republican nomination, though perhaps his Republican opponents for the nomination would have tried those as well.

It may have been a tragedy for our country and the world that Mario Cuomo didn't become president, he may have ended the Reagan-Bush era earlier and without the neo-liberal messes that the Clinton and Obama administrations have been.  He may have revived  a genuine liberalism that he probably understood and believed in even as his son proves he doesn't.  But we have no way to know that.  It is still a disappointment to a lot of us that he didn't choose to test that possibility.  He was the last major genuine liberal who may have stood a chance at both getting the nomination and winning.  We wait for another one.

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