“At the end of the day, we are one. We are upstate we are downstate but we are one. We are Latino we are African-American but we are one. We are New York City and we are Buffalo but we are one. We are democrat and republican but we are one. … It’s the promise that we inherited from our parents, and the promise of New York that we’re going to pass on to our children, and the promise, my friends, that we are going to make a reality in this great state working together.” — Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address
At a meeting a year or two ago, the Republican Party Chairperson argued that the GOP deserved support because it was the only barrier to submerging upstate interests in a flood of downstate concerns. This is the politics of fear, the politics of divisiveness. Are upstate and downstate interests really so different that upstate voters ought to support one party and downstate voters the other? I believe this idea serves the interests of politicians but not the people.
Many of us came to NY-23 from NYC or other cities; many of us moved to the NYC metropolitan area to find work. Did we change our stripes when we moved here or returned here? I think not.
On Friday, March 21, Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos abruptly left a meeting with Governor Cuomo and other legislative leaders complaining that others were concerned only about appeasing NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio. Skelos later said that someone–presumably Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver–was overly focused on NYC. Skelos may have a point, but he would do better to discuss his views openly rather than pointing the finger at others–the politics of divide and conquer.
New Yorkers have much in common. Surely citizens of NY-23 have more in common with other New Yorkers than we have with citizens of some red states, TX say. We should resist efforts to divide us. We do better when we make common cause rather than seeking to get the better of one another.
© William Hungerford – March 2014