Art on the street may have foretold this old tale; men using power and pride to let their hands and words wander.
We aren’t gloating with this news, simply adding it to the very contemporary list we all have; full of gruesome details of aggressors and victims from the last few years, from Dr. Larry Nasar abusing gymnasts to Jeffrey Epstein luring underage girls to his private island for his pleasure and the pleasure of his famous guests to the movie producer Harvey Weinstein insisting on sexual favors in exchange for movie roles, to Scott Rudin verbally abusing his assistants, to Roger Ailes demanding to sleep with newsreaders, to a certain former president boasting about grabbing “pussy” and getting away with it.
Now it’s Governor Cuomo of New York State who resigns; damaging to his father’s name no doubt, and to his three daughters as well, tainting the legacy of his own accomplishments.
Faced with the mounting possibility of getting impeached by the State Legislature today he opted to give us a lecture about the government’s role on behalf of its citizens, then resigned matter of factly.
He didn’t mention what men in power are not supposed to do; harass and intimidate and fondle, as he is accused of. Instead, he mentioned cultural boundaries and norms that are all too new for him to be hip to. And no one buys it. In a stilted and uncomfortable manner, he appeared to blame everyone and everything else in the universe, this fearless leader.
The system shouldn’t protect predatory behavior, and from accounts of people in his circle, there were many in positions of power who didn’t speak up for years. If that is true, then that is part of our problem that we collectively need to improve and in doing so the victims who bravely come forward will hopefully be protected and supported as well. We’ll leave it to the professionals to dissect his character but we wonder how often men lose their moral compass in part because of the people they surround themselves with.
When we were kids some peoples’ mothers warned, “Tell me the company you keep and I’ll tell you who you are”.
If the multiple and varied accusations are true, Cuomo has no excuse for his behavior, and resigning was the only option – at least to preserve the dignity of the office we granted him.