Andrew Cuomo has announced he will resign August 24 as Governor of New York amidst claims that he sexually harassed numerous women who worked for him and sexually assaulted at least one of them. He will leave office and, perhaps, face criminal charges, after inheriting a political dynasty from his father, New York Governor Mario Cuomo. The elder Cuomo, of course, was a man of extraordinary oratory skills who captivated the nation with his brilliant speech at the 1984 Democratic National Convention and famously had a jet ready on a runway, waiting to take him to announce his candidacy for President of the United States. For reasons that remain unknown, the elder Cuomo never took that flight.
Andrew Cuomo stands accused of far more than sexual harassment or misdemeanor sexual assault. Many accuse him of making the ill-fated decision to send elderly Covid patients back to their nursing homes, not only limiting their access to better medical care, but also then infecting others in the nursing homes, some of whom died. Some say he made his decision to spite then-President Donald J. Trump, who had sent the USNS Comfort hospital ship to New York Harbor.
How can Governor Andrew Cuomo be the Pain-2-Power Person of the Week? Keep reading.
Mr. Cuomo already had a reputation as a bully who trampled on people in his way, as he ascended to political power. He wasn’t liked by many, many people on both sides of the political aisle.
Mr. Cuomo’s has also been accused of manipulating the MeToo and Time’s Up movements—endearing himself to them while making women who worked for him feel uncomfortable with his overly familiar words and his uninvited touching.
So, how can Governor Cuomo be the Pain-2-Power Person of the Week? First of all, it’s because he’s got to be in a world of pain right now. Secondly, it’s because I would tell him that, with everything being said about him and with all the mistakes he has made, even if those include letting politics and ego dictate public healthcare policy that ended up costing people their lives, that it is incumbent upon him to distill power from all the pain he is experiencing and even from the pain he may have visited upon others. It is his responsibility as a human being to find the most productive way to redeem himself as a human being possessed of no small measure of intelligence and no small measure of charisma and no small measure of political skill. I have chosen Andrew Cuomo as the Pain-2-Power Person of the Week to call upon him to not shy away from this challenge—perhaps the greatest of his lifetime.
Today, Governor Cuomo knows far more about many things than he did, say, three months ago, when he was the darling of liberal media outlets and the Left, in general. He knows what it is to be derided, to be described as a monster, to be spoken of as responsible for many deaths. He knows what it is to have to sit with his daughters and talk about accusations that he is a sexual predator. He knows what it is to have his brother Chris’ career as a television anchor at CNN stained by association with him.
I don’t know exactly how Governor Cuomo ought to proceed to turn his pain into power, yet I know it is possible. I know that the worse the pain, the greater the power can be. I know that it will not be easy to accomplish that alchemy, and I also know that the difficulty only means it is more important to make it happen.
Standing accused of putting politics ahead of public health, Governor Cuomo could announce the Cuomo Quest to End Cancer and use his notoriety to raise money to endow that effort. Standing accused of bullying and other insensitivities and indiscretions (and, yes, more than that) he could announce his determination to create the Cuomo Center for Compassionate Communication and seek to understand why our nation and the world has descended into such polarized recriminations between young and old, black and white, male and female, Republican and Democrat.
Shut out, perhaps forever, from elective office, he might decide to found Cuomo Capital Partners and raise funds to fuel the growth of third-world nations.
Of course, Governor Cuomo would be pilloried by much of the press for his attempt to contribute to our world. Of course, there would be innumerable cynics. That’s part of the inevitable pain of the moment at which he finds himself. But that pain can also be the fuel for an equal and opposite amount of power to do good in this world. And I, for one, am telling Governor Cuomo to get on with the work of burning that fuel. Today.
See, I don’t think there is anyone in this world or that there ever has been anyone in this world who is beyond redemption. And if Andrew Cuomo agrees (and he should), then he has no time to waste.
Dr. Keith Ablow
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