James Madison, Federalist Papers #51:
“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
Mr. Madison, like many of the Founding Fathers, knew that combining human frailty with government power usually has bad results. Exhibit A: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Covid 19 was Cuomo’s opening. He declared a State Disaster Emergency on March 7th which he recently extended to June 6th. This gave Cuomo the authority to temporarily suspend or change ANY New York State law. He already had executive power; he then seized legislative and judiciary authority, making him a dictator. Please find the link below.
Any honest observation of Cuomo’s daily briefings reveals a man who loves power, is not shy in welding it, and loves the attention of a fawning media.
Cuomo’s playbook is on full display. He claims everything he does is rooted in “science” and “metrics.” Any opposition is branded as emotional, political or just plain mean. Next, he loses people in a blizzard of verbiage, charts and numbers. And of course, he always satisfies his political base. Cuomo never deviates from this.
In 2014, Cuomo ordered the DEC to ban hydrofracking. He used “dangers to health” as an excuse, citing dubious studies focusing on potential future health risks. With one move, he solidified support from his base and short-circuited any serious political opposition by making sure Upstate stays poor and economically weak. Cuomo is not to be trifled with. This is one ruthless dude.
The economic effect of Cuomo’s shutdown order has devastated Upstate’s already weak economy. We are always first into recession and last out of it. Businesses don’t easily start in New York State. And before the shutdown, census data pointed to further population losses in upstate counties.
Now Cuomo has a plan to re-open the economy, with “essential” businesses first in line – he decides what’s essential, of course. Cuomo promises to shut it all down again if his benchmarks (which he claims are based in “science” and “metrics”) are not met. That uncertainty is a job killer. Add to this the concentration of power in one man’s hands and his dislike of the private economy and you have a recipe for a long recession in upstate New York.
Cuomo decreed that nursing homes accept Covid-positive patients, which exposed vulnerable seniors to the virus. Everyone knew the elderly were the most likely to die from Covid, but Cuomo didn’t care. He didn’t even require increased testing for nursing home staff. The result: 5,000 seniors died. Tragically, this is what results from one-man rule.
Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph.D.