Vox Populi: The O'Shaughnessy Files

By William O’Shaughnessy | Go to book overview

THOUGHTS IN THE SUMMER
OF 2006, BY MARIO M. CUOMO

His admirers, and I am certainly among them, persuaded
Mario Cuomo to reflect on all the great, pressing issues in
the summer of 2006. This amazing man produced this
wide-ranging essay. Many of the issues he addressed linger
to this day.


INTRODUCTION

For the last six years, and for most of the last quarter of a century, a Republican president and conservative politics have dominated the nation’s government.

They have created a bonanza for the top 1 percent of our taxpayers while the overwhelming majority of our workers struggle to avoid sliding backward. The number of poor Americans has grown to 37 million, more than one out of ten, and 13 million of them are children. That’s four times the number of all the children in Illinois.

They have squandered the nation’s wealth, burdening us with the highest debt and trade deficits in our history.

They have demonstrated an appalling incompetence in handling the machinery of government, a callousness toward people in need, and a shocking disrespect for the Bill of Rights and balance of powers enumerated in our Constitution.

At the same time, they have distracted us from the war on terror and the savage brutality of 9/11 by starting a conflagration in Iraq, preemptively and without adequate planning or resources. That catastrophic blunder has cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars with no apparent strategy for egress. It has also squandered hard-won respect and cooperation around the globe and increased the hostility of many who were already our enemies.

To win the next election, some Democrats believe these blatant failures should be proclaimed repeatedly without proposing policy alternatives. Even if that were true, Democrats would then lack a specific mandate once in office.

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