Cuomo has Right to Stand his Ground

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

The last I heard in America a person is innocent until proven guilty.

Which is reason enough to agree with Governor Andrew Cuomo that people should reserve their judgment concerning allegations of sexual harassment made against him until a thorough independent investigation is completed and a determination is made.

Cuomo made his case that people need to look at the facts before rushing to judgment at a press call today. He also inferred that the growing list of lawmakers calling for his resignation is doing so out of political expediency.

“The people of New York should not have confidence in a politician who takes a position without knowing any facts or substance. That, my friends, is politics at its worst. Politicians take positions for all sorts of reasons, including political expediency and bowing to pressure. But people know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture and the truth,” Cuomo said. “Let the review proceed. I’m not going to resign. I was not elected by the politicians, I was elected by the people.”

Having been to many political events myself, I can attest to the fact that these affairs are often an orgy of public physical affection. District leaders kiss electeds. Electeds hug district leaders. Men hug and kiss women. Women hug and kiss men. Men hug and kiss men. Women hug and kiss women. And everybody throws their arms around the shoulder or waist of someone else when scrunching together for a photo.  

Public affections aside, however, are a far cry from sexual harassment and Cuomo said as much today.

“Look, it’s very simple. I never harassed anyone. I never abused anyone. I never assaulted anyone. Is it possible that I have taken a picture with a person who, after the fact, says they were uncomfortable with the pose and the picture. Yes. And that’s what you’re hearing about,” Cuomo said. 

Cuomo has expressed his support for a woman’s right to complain about sexual harassment and apologized if he acted in any way that made these women feel uncomfortable, that it was unintentional, and he feels awful and embarrassed over it. That’s a sentiment that I, as a man in this day and age, can empathize with.

Now there’s plenty of political reasons, rightly or wrongly, for electeds to call for Cuomo’s resignation, but that’s an opinion for another day. Not on this matter.

If Cuomo thinks himself innocent he should stand his ground – for his own self-esteem and because it’s the right thing to do.

More from Around New York