There was a time, all too recently, when politicians got to hide their immorality behind a cloak of positive gains for their constituents. New York State’s Governor Andrew Cuomo’s downfall exemplifies the sea change society is experiencing, where rising to public office demands walking the walk as well as talking the talk.
American history is rife with immorality. For centuries, our leaders were lauded despite their extramarital affairs, bigotry, and other immoral/illegal conduct. Only a few short years back, the two leaders of the NY State Senate and Assembly, Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver, were both tried, and convicted of criminal charges. Two Governors left in shame, Elliott Spitzer and David Paterson.
I vividly recall the arguments between my mother and father at our dinner table when John F. Kennedy ran for President. His skirt-chasing was legendary, long before he was elected. My father argued that personal behavior had nothing to do with his ability to lead.
That was the time we lived in. For constituents with emotional empathy and conscience, those days are gone. We no longer close our eyes and separate the art from the artist.
Leaders must do more than provide gains. They set the standards of morality for our youth. They are the images that our children emulate. When their morality is flawed, they teach our children that bad behavior is acceptable, as long as you “get away with it.” In our techno-universe, information spreads like wildfire, unveiling personal character, and corrupting the character of the next generation.
No question about it…….
Governor Cuomo made monumental gains for New York. From building bridges, improving our commuter system, passing minimum wage requirements, creating marriage equality, and so much more, he was a champion. But he failed to recognize his responsibility to be a person our children could admire and emulate. By ignoring his obligation to secure consent from women who he found attractive, he showed that New York’s failure to correctly define consent in penal law, starts at the top, then trickles down throughout the ranks to legislative dinosaurs just like him.
It’s not only time to part with Governor Cuomo, but to ferret out the additional legislators with the same archaic mindset that prevents “consent” from being clearly defined in our laws!
We need to contact every NY legislator and ask, #WillYouCodifyConsent? Only re-elect those who respond #IWillCodifyConsent!
It’s way past time to make the transformational change that enables our growing generation to comprehend what CONSENT actually means, so we can hand them a world where we’ve conquered sexual assault!
Consent is freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement. #FGKIA! This definition should appear in every penal code across the US and around the world!
Sign our Change.org petition to enact Bill #A6540A, defining CONSENT in NY’s laws!