, 08.10.2021 02:20 PM

My latest: they will always break your heart

In the bleak, grinding, early days of the pandemic – when it felt like the world might actually sort-of end – I wrote this:


“When times are this bad, we learn things about ourselves. We learn things about our leaders, too.

For this writer, few leaders are as inspiring as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. No adjectives, no spin, no homilies: in that New Yorker’s brusque dialect, Cuomo sits there every day, no notes, and simply offers up the truth.

He emotes honesty. He tells it as is; he does not give false hope.  And he seemingly knows everything.

More than once, I’ve been driving my Jeep – to locate toilet paper, to pick up some canned food my little band of survivors – and I’ve pulled over to the side of the road to listen to Cuomo. In the way that my grandmother told me that she and her seven children would stop everything, and gather around the radio to listen to Winston Churchill during World War Two. Giving hope, giving faith, giving a path forward.”

Was I wrong? Was I ever wrong. 

And I quote those words, here, to provide a reminder – to myself, and maybe to you – that we should stop having heroes.

Or, at least, having heroes who are in politics. Because they always seem to end up breaking our hearts, don’t they?

Cuomo’s story is, by now, well known.  He resigned in disgrace this week, chased out of office by dozens of complaints of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct.

In the end, the Democratic Party establishment – of which he himself was once part – turned its back on him.  So, too, President Joe Biden, who said that Cuomo needed to resign for his appalling behavior.

And appalling it was.  He, a former champion of the #MeToo movement, felled by it.  A likely future presidential candidate, his career now in ruins. And deservedly so.

For me, Cuomo isn’t the only politician who fell from grace.  There was Sir John A. Macdonald, who I learned had called Indigenous people like my daughter “savages” – and who lamented the loss of “Aryan culture” in Canada. And who created residential schools to “kill the Indian in the child.”

There was Bill Clinton, who I once respected so much – so much so that a photograph of Clinton and I adorns the cover of my book The War Room. And who, I learned, destroyed the life and reputation of Monica Lewinsky, simply because he was a man and powerful, and she was neither.

And now Cuomo. Who I actually wrote “emotes honesty” – when all he emotes, now, is sleaze.

Who I said “gave hope, gave faith.”When all that he gives us, now, is an important reminder: to stop having political heroes.

Stop putting their names on the sides of schools.  Stop naming roadways and schools after them.  Stop regarding them as some superior order of human.

They’re not. They’re just mortals – and, sometimes, deeply flawed and dishonest ones.

Like Andrew Cuomo.

32 Comments

  1. The Doctor says:

    The American commentator Jim Swift put it perfectly today: Andrew Cuomo resigned because the Democrats are not a cult.

    • Gloriousus et Liber says:

      It’s clear that in the US, there is one functioning party and one personality cult. It’s sad because I admired Ronald Reagan and John McCain and used to think I would be a Republican were I a Yank. No more. And Cuomo’s resignation speech was awful. Basically said all the rules changed so suddenly and felt he always treated women respectfully. I guess fondling women was considered respectful until 5 minutes ago…

      In Canada, it’s clear that we have our own personality cult. When a “feminist” leader says a sexual harassment victim “experienced things differently” and his supposed feminist party doesn’t oust him, it’s clear it’s a cult.

      • Robert White says:

        The Trudeau Liberals not only have a Personality Cult, but they have Jonestown Kool-Aid too, and when Trudeau’s Government decided to shut down the DoD investigation into General Vance and his disgraceful conduct & behaviour, it became clear to all that Prime Minister twinkle-socks Feminist-in-chief had much to hide from public view.

        Interestingly, we now have Karen McCrimmon Chair of the committee bowing out of the federal level for health reasons. I would assert that she is leaving for obvious reasons of just plain old mental health in so far as she must be as disgusted with the Federal Liberals as we are now that PM Twinkle-socks wants to take us to election so he can attain a majority that will enable his corrupt government to shut down any inquiry made by opposition parties.

        PM Twinkle-socks wants absolute power, absolutely.

        MP McCrimmon deserves better than Trudeau so I wish her well in the future.

        RW

  2. Peter Williams says:

    Cuomo resigned. Now it’s time for the unethical gropenfuhrer to resign.

    • Gary says:

      I’m just hoping that the other shoe will drop. Here’s to hoping that there is someone, somewhere who know something. I wonder what happened to good old Matt?

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Gary,

        The Liberals posted his so-called “real” first name and then proceeded to intimidate him online, especially after the apparent initials of you know who’s alleged mistress also became public. Did it work? Who knows for sure.

        • Gary says:

          Do you have the link? I’m intent to learn more.

          Were the initials M.J? B.C? K.G? Or (shudder) R.B?

          Was it a mistress or a “monsuir” (if you know what I mean)

          • Gary,

            In truth, I don’t recall. It was quite a ways back but I do remember there was an especially clever repartee posted when the initials were apparently “unveiled”. LOL.

          • Gary says:

            I wish there was a place where someone could post blind items for this kind of thing.

            I mean – how much control could Gerry Butts possibly have? Surely he doesn’t direct the mechanics of the internet FFS!!?

            And are the CPC such pussies as to sit on the affidavits and lose election after election, all the while consoling themselves on taking “the high road”? There is no honour in battle, only in victory. The only “High Road” is the one that takes you to success.

            The evidence had been right in front of our faces for years. No one seems to care.

            What a cruel world this is.

  3. Warren,

    It’s known as frailty of the human condition and unfortunately for all humans except bona fide saints on Earth, it comes with the territory. Almost everyone has at least one “something”. I try to always bear that in mind.

    As for Cuomo: this was a textbook example of a man who let ego and pride sit in the driver’s seat. I know plenty of people in politics and NOT in politics who do exactly the same whether they are in fact or not borderline narcissists.

    So, I’m relieved. Finally, he did it. But Joe ain’t exactly lily white in that department either. So let’s pray that his long ago indiscretions don’t catch up to him. We need him in the White House but destiny will call the tune, not yours truly or anyone else.

    • Gary says:

      ” I know plenty of people in politics and NOT in politics who do exactly the same whether they are in fact or not borderline narcissists”

      Anyone who sexually terrorizes young girls for kicks is a piece of shit and can be regarded as a Bernardo-lite. Those dudes you knew had issues far beyond narcissisim and their behaviour cannot be seen as an example of “human frailty” (whatever that is). 90% of guys I know agree with me.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Gary,

        This quote is about using one’s ego and self-centered pride as a justification for not doing something that circumstances strongly suggest you should do, in this case resigning your political office. Sorry for my lack of clarity.

  4. Gary says:

    One more political pervert bites the dust. Good. I despise those who use power for predation.

    I wonder when a certain someone we all know will take his tumble from grace for similar reasons….

  5. Mark says:

    Thanks for acknowledging that those we often put our trust in are fallen beings and capable of some of the worst types of atrocities. Sometimes we don’t want to believe it, and I myself have fallen victim to the idolization of political, faith and other leaders who have turned out to be been much less than the type of people I want to emulate.

  6. For starters, in the West we simply need to demand higher standards from those who would aspire to lead us. I don’t expect perfection, but I expect honesty, integrity, decency and character. But let’s be honest with each other, (and I think we can do that on this page), people like Mr. Cuomo get to where they are because somebody voted for them. Surely people in the Democratic Party knew what kind of guy he was. But the insiders saw him as a winner, somebody who could be elected. The electorate (at least those who bothered to stay informed) probably suspected what kind of a person he was, but maybe that wasn’t as important as making sure the other side didn’t win. At the end of the day, if you believe in democracy, you as a citizen are the final arbiter of who the leaders are. Not only should you expect better, you need to demand it. But as long as we have people who vote on the basis of identity politics, crass cynicism of what is in it for them (i.e the good old pork barrel) or just because “I’ve always voted this way”, don’t raise your expectations. Yes, it is good Mr. Cuomo stepped down (after a pretty good shove), but he should never have been there in the first place.

    • Phil in London says:

      SPOT ON! As the old saying goes when we are allowed to vote we get the government we deserve.

      With the exceptions of MAYBE Stephen Harper, and Lester B Pearson, can someone please name an elected prime minister in your lifetime that doesn’t owe at least a strong minority of his vote to being considered pragmatic and/or charismatic? More so to being the HOAG (hell of a guy) in the eyes of his base?

      I am guessing some of Cuomo’s votes came from being the guy you’d want to have a beer with more than the guy who shines as a leader

  7. PJH says:

    I think the Rt. Honorable Robert Stanfield airport is safe for now…..

    I think the Halifax Robert L. Stanfield Airport is safe for now……

  8. Robert White says:

    I think that politicians that molest people are absolute text book Psychopaths, and text book Psychopaths are extremely difficult to detect especially in politics where everyone is thoroughly vetted.

    When I see them in the news periodically I wonder if they even understand that they have sisters, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers. As one that has a fraternal twin sister and an older sister I, for one, have nothing but contempt for the losers that do this sort of thing.
    Moreover, it would seem prudent to vet the entire lifespan of any potential candidates now that this sort of behaviour has become endemic throughout the political sphere.

    Behaviour of political gropers is dragging politics down to a level of debased antisocial immorality that is a complete turn off for people like myself that want to study politics as subject matter.

    I know people are not perfect beings, but politicians should at least be half way socially acceptable people IMHO. Politically, I’m really obnoxious, but socially I’m not. And all of my old girlfriends still like me today too likely because I was respectful and a caring person.

    The vetting process is failing us time and again lately IMHO.

    RW

    • Gary says:

      What is a good sentence for political gropers? I’m thinking 6 years, 10 for serial offenders who use sexual blackmail.

    • Sean says:

      The vetting process isn’t about weeding out bad candidates anymore. Its about preparing the legal defenses for after they get elected.

  9. Douglas W says:

    Until the party turns on him, the Groper is safe.

    Because nobody on the outside is going to lay a glove on him.

    Not the RCMP.
    Not the media.

    He’s laughing at us.

  10. Derek Pearce says:

    This was a good personality trait that the recently-late Bill Davis had: not wanting his name on anything. Bob Rae’s column a few days ago eulogizing Davis noted that he had to have his arm twisted into accepting anything being named after him.

  11. A. Voter says:

    In the post-Clinton era, the women in the Democratic party don’t seem to have any time for the “stand-by-your-man” mentality of the Liberal party. Big names like Senator Al Franken and Governor Andrew Cuomo have been shown the door.
    Compare that to the women in the Liberal party, where bullying and harassing women is accepted behaviour. When Justin Trudeau breaks federal guidelines over how public servants can be treated, screaming at and berating Celina Caesar-Chavannes, no one in the Liberal party cares.
    When the Liberal party sends out the narrative that a privileged white millionaire who has worked as a snow board instructor knows more about the law than an aboriginal women with a law degree and experience as an attorney-general, only two women in the Liberal don’t go along with it in public.
    When it is revealed that Justin Trudeau groped a woman and Trudeau states that he thought it was ok because he believed she was an unimportant worker, that’s ok with Liberal women. When Trudeau tries to portray his accuser as addled, saying women experience things differently, no one in the Liberal party stands by the believe the accuser theme of the #metoo movement. It would be great if women made the Liberals pay a price for Trudeau’s actions.

  12. I’m not sure what kind of world you live in good sir, or would like to line in, but the Canada I love and believe in is democratic, meaning the citizens get to have a say through their vote. There are millions of people around the world who have no say in their governance. I’m glad I can vote, and it is a sacred trust that our citizens have fought and died for.

  13. Lukas Klein says:

    See also: Jian Ghomeshi

  14. Jeff says:

    Couldn’t have said it better!
    The fake feminist has to go!!

  15. In short, when this Prime Minister goes to Rideau Hall on Sunday, that will be the beginning of the end. On September 20th, this government will be no more and thank God for that.

    All those who should have taken the decision not to run again — and didn’t — will have to at least wrestle with their conscience post-election defeat.

    • Sean says:

      One thing I’m hearing is that the PMO wants to get the election over with before the pensions roll in. The thinking is the 2015 class of MPs are more likely to work harder at campaigning when there is serious, life changing money on the line.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Sean,

        Hum. Work “harder” at campaigning? CW says Trudeau has already got this one in the bag so why would they HAVE to work harder???

        CW is dead wrong, again…they are scared shitless but they’re going anyway.

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