Gov. Cuomo Should Focus On Making New York Great Again

Most have heard by now of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s political faux pas last week.

On Thursday, Cuomo suggested, during an attack on President Donald Trump’s oft-repeated refrain to make America great again, that “We’re not going to make America great again — it was never that great. We have not reached greatness. We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged.”

It was not the type of performance one would expect from a two-term incumbent with political bloodlines who, by the way, has been mentioned as a possible contender to run for president. It was a rookie mistake that will come back to haunt Cuomo if he does, indeed, run for president. It is also symptomatic of something we have long thought — that Cuomo’s preoccupation with President Trump is coming to the detriment of New York state. What does the president’s Make America Great Again slogan have to do with New York state? Why, in the midst of primary challenge from the left and a re-election challenge from the right was Cuomo again taking pot shots at the president while signing a bill dealing with sex trafficking? Why is it Cuomo felt the need to reach for the cheap political point, a decision that ended up hurting him and making people forget his message?

One can make a solid case that Cuomo shouldn’t worry about the past or present state of America’s greatness — the governor can’t even make New York state great.

His economic development programs have created an environment in which rural counties struggle to gain jobs and, typically, lose jobs each year while simultaneously creating an environment that breeds corruption. Officials from both sides of the political aisle are convicted of political corruption, including several who have had close ties to the governor, yet Cuomo can’t lead an ethics reform effort that garners bipartisan support. Many schools are perpetually under-financed because the governor can’t bring himself to make tough choices regarding state school aid and the structure of education in New York state and then bring the state Legislature to approve school reform. For Cuomo, reform can only happen if Republicans are voted out of office so that Democrats control the executive branch and both houses of the state Legislature. Cuomo’s message of inclusion ends up reeking of exclusion for nearly 32 percent of registered voters in New York state and the millions more conservative-leaning state residents who find themselves struggling to make ends meet in the high-cost, high-tax New York state over which Cuomo presides.

Before Cuomo concerns himself again with the president and America’s greatness, perhaps he should concern himself with making New York liveable again for all of its 19.85 million residents and its businesses.