Why I Condemn Andrew Cuomo’s Extremist Rhetoric

Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York/Flickr/Creative Commons)

Imagine a right-wing politician in the Bible Belt saying that left-wingers who are pro-gay, pro-abortion, and anti-self defense have no place, say, in Alabama. What an uproar there would be! Media would be howling from every single rooftop, with blaring headlines about intolerance, lack of diversity and the like—and he’d be condemned up and down and forced to resign.

However, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo says conservative New Yorkers don’t belong in the state because "that's not what New Yorkers are." He continues by saying, "Right-to-life, pro-assault weapons, anti-gay—if that's who they are, they have no place in the state of New York because that's not who New Yorkers are."

As a born-and-bred New Yorker who pays taxes in this state, I am outraged at the governor's intolerant and arrogant statement. How can these so-called liberals claim to be tolerant when they tell people who disagree with them to leave the state? Is this the way of democracy? As William F. Buckley said, “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

Along these lines, a research report last year by Pew Research found that Democrats are often less tolerant than Republicans. And a 2012 Pew study showed that Democrats are far more likely than conservatives to disconnect from people who disagree with them.

"In all, 28% of liberals have blocked, unfriended or hidden someone on SNS [social networking sites] because of one of these reasons, compared with 16% of conservatives and 14% of moderates," said the report, titled "Social Networking Sites and Politics."

Indeed, tolerance is advocated only if it works one way. Liberals give a show of being tolerant, yet they brand people who oppose them as bigots and racists. They accept all views they agree with and condemn all those who oppose them.

Ronald Reagan once said, “The frustrating thing is that those who are attacking religion claim they are doing it in the name of tolerance, freedom and open-mindedness. Question: Isn’t the real truth that they are intolerant of religion? They refuse to tolerate its importance in our lives.”

Conservatives—and religious folks—have the right to their beliefs, like them or not.

Cuomo’s statement is radical, offensive, extreme rhetoric that must be condemned. He is saying, "If you don’t do it my way, and then leave my state." Why is it the media only uses the extremist label when it fits its liberal agenda? The governor must retract his words. Cuomo is not the ruler of this state—and last I checked, there was the right for people to have difference of opinions in this great republic.

Ronn Torossian is the founder, president and CEO of 5WPR, a leading independent public relations agency, and best-selling author of For Immediate Release.

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