Monday, January 5, 2015

More Statesman Than Politician

With the passing of Mario Cuomo, this country has one less statesman to look to for inspiration and leadership. We have no shortage of politicians with no compunctions about pandering to special interest groups and putting their office up for bids. Statesmen are harder and harder to find. 

A statesman lives in the world of politics, but isn't diminished by the machinations of the political world. Politics is compromise, but should never be about compromise of principles, and Mario Cuomo never did compromise his principles while he successfully governed. 

What makes a statesman worthy of the outpouring of love and admiration that we see for Mario Cuomo, are the progressive liberal principles that he brought with him to the governor's office in Albany. 

His concerns were the concerns of common people, the middle class, the poor. He didn't use his position to do the bidding of corporate interests, nor did he succumb to the drumbeat of the mob that clamored for the imposition of the death penalty in New York. 

He never ran for president, and declined a Supreme Court appointment. It's too bad for this country that he made those choices, but he did give us what we get so little of from our elected leaders, integrity and statesmanship.

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