A Tear for Andy Cuomo by Austin Isikhuemen

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I love New York. I love Andrew Cuomo. The Governor of New York. I got to know a lot about him during the Presidential campaigns to dislodge the buffoon of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and restore the soul of America. Join our Content Creation Academy

With the Democratic party’s candidature settled via well fought primaries it was time to go to the soapbox and sell Joe Biden. This was after Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and others left the field to Obama’s Vice President who the incumbent derided as Sleepy Joe. Andy was in the trenches for Joe.

There were actually two simultaneous campaigns. The political one to save the soul of America and the pandemic campaign to save the lives of Americans from the invidious coronavirus.

On this second fight, which was critical and existential, Andy Cuomo was a knight in shiny armour. He was the poster boy of the Democratic party on how to manage a state and put the lives of the people at the forefront.

Andy Cuomo demonstrated competence and impeccable capability for the ten years he has been governor. New York’s management of the pandemic – through superb preparation, mobilization of resources, energetic galvanization, effective communication and coordination left many of his peers at catch-up station, in a manner of speaking.

Trump’s bumbling on the management of the pandemic and his antithesis of communication that went against science and rationality only helped to accentuate Andy’s dazzling performance. Andy acted more Presidential than the President.

He challenged the White House occupant vigorously when necessary and left the man mumbling meaningless Twitter lingo on podiums making folks like me wonder how the incumbent became President in a country that had a Cuomo.

His rolled sleeves while inspecting and even supervising the construction of massive isolation centers reminded one of the roles Guiliani played after the catastrophe of 9/11 as Mayor of New York. That was years before the dye started running down his face.

Andy should be justifiably proud of his achievements and leadership of New York State and the majority of New Yorkers should be happy with him. His star should undoubtedly continue in its upward trajectory.

He is unbeatable. Or so I thought. But I missed a vital variable in the equation. I did not consider whether he can win against himself! The unraveling that is unfolding before our very eyes proves that I was wrong. Governor Cuomo has capacity and capability in abundance but it does appear, by American standards, that character flaw may be his undoing.

Sexual harassment accusations, mainly of the inappropriate touching/kissing/talking variety have been leveled against him by multiple women. The report of the panel set up by the state Attorney General has stated that Andy Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women.

While Cuomo denies the allegations explaining that his touches and kisses may have been misinterpreted, members of the state legislature, the Mayor of New York as well as the President have called on him to resign. Cuomo has refused to resign and appears to prefer the option of legal fireworks. Impeachment looks very likely if he does not resign shortly.

This is a sad outcome indeed. Even though these are still allegations because he has not been found guilty by a court of law, his position has obviously become untenable. Even if he wins in a law court, his diminished political capital is sure to make him a lame duck.

The legislature would take him out of office anyway. Andy Cuomo’s bus stop is now as close as the distance between the White House and Capitol Hill. I will shed a tear for him. Such a performer that a character flaw let down.

The whispers about the care home allegations do not help matters. Even those not qualified to cast the first stone are now looking for networks and late shows to grant interviews. When walls fall, goats climb on top.

I know for sure the Don of Mar-a-Lago would be suppressing a guffaw anticipating the imminent fall of his nemesis. But he would be a shameless simpleton if he dare raise his voice on this matter in which he is a grand patron.

His celebrated $130k-for-silence porn-star would be disgusted and could be tempted to call him out. Same for those anti-vaxers and insurrection-denying horde who shamelessly worship their god with a shrine in Florida.

Before you pop champagne to celebrate the Governor’s fall, please remember that what Cuomo is accused of is a libation to your own god.

The Democrats must manage the fall-out of this unsavory episode very carefully and not let the unruly republican supporters of insurrection benefit from it.

They must deftly manage the accompanying outcry and their distancing themselves from the culprit (alleged) and calling on him to resign is a necessary first step. But the man must not be thrown under the wagon and torn to pieces for, to err, is human and to forgive, is divine. Andy can help himself by resigning. For him, the horses have bolted. Closing the stables now would be pointless.

We must not lose sight of the emotional trauma of the ladies who are alleged to have gone through these unholy encounters. They deserve our consideration and sympathy.

No parents would want their child to go through this – a boss sexually harassing them at the workplace as alleged. To avoid a multitude of long-drawn legal battles that may turn out more messy than this investigation, Andrew Cuomo should opt for out-of-court settlements.

Costly as those may be, they would be cheaper in the long run if the cases are lost and the courts are left to pronounce on damages.

I hope my Nigerian brothers are listening and watching CNN and social media on this issue.

The “me too” revolution has not caught on here and many would be feeling smug that this is America and not Naija! Some would even add no shaking. Those who would claim that, because of poverty and predilection, it is the hen that pursues the cock here, miss the point.

Sexual harassment takes place here perhaps even more than in New York. However, the environment, culture, religion and the judicial system, may account for the unwillingness of the victims to call our own Cuomos to account. Times are changing and America was not always like this. Let the wise take heed.

Benin City, 4th August 2021 – Austin Isikhuemen

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