In 1774, British Prime Minister Edmund Burke addressed his constituents in Bristol: “Your representative owes you not his industry only, but his judgment, and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”
For at least a quarter-century, New York’s Republican Party has betrayed the judgment of its constituents – a belief in limited government, sane tax and spend and American exceptionalism – by sacrificing it to the opinion of public unions, the media and any other anti-middle class lobby you can name.
Inevitably, the state GOP has lost virtually all there is to lose: the governorship, lieutenant governorship, attorney general, comptroller, Assembly, and Senate – numerically, if not yet reality. Each day the 2 .6 million voter registration canyon between the two major parties grows.
It is said that men enter politics to do something. Boys enter it to be someone. Recently, one of the GOP’s few men suggested a way to keep next year’s election from becoming Armageddon. First-year 133rd District Assemblyman Bill Nojay has rarely needed the “opinion” of any popular lobby – and he is not starting now.
As Nojay said in a memo, Andrew Cuomo deserves to receive the involuntary retirement he has earned. The governor opposes fracking – a lifeline for Upstate New York. He backs draconian gun control — poison to its culture. Cuomo resembles a corner thug lurching left and browbeating opponents — quoting Churchill, guilty of “terminological inexactitude.” He lies.
Vowing to be moderate, Cuomo has been more of a limousine liberal than his father. Yet, proving that you can’t beat anybody with nobody, no Republican of stature looms to oppose him for 2014 re-election. A Cuomo landslide would eviscerate what’s left of the GOP, Upstate’s economy and the two-party system. Nojay’s plan: Unleash The Donald.
I admit to having never been an admirer of Donald Trump: vain, narcissistic and celebrity-driven; also smart, intense and attuned to policy. First, he would lap GOP primary rivals who are weak of mind, meet weak of spine. Then, he would use wall-to-wall name identity and money to run a Jamestown to Jamaica campaign.
Nojay’s memo reviewed the sole recent statewide race Republicans almost won: 2010’s state comptroller. Tom Dinapoli (D) beat Harry Wilson (R), 52-48 percent. Only 39 percent of Upstate voters did, backing Wilson, 59-41 percent. Forty-seven percent of New York City suburbs voted: Wilson, 53-47. In the City, 42 percent voted, Dinapoli romping, 73-27. Arguably Dinapoli won because GOP voters stayed away, disgusted by Carl Paladino, their erratic gubernatorial nominee, who lost by a huge 1.4 million votes.
Projecting 2014 from 2010 results, Nojay thinks fracking and guns will mean a larger Upstate turnout – and that Trump will rout Cuomo there, 62-38. Consider New York’s 4 million gun owners, add Cuomo’s gun control SAFE Act, and 500,000 new anti-Cuomo voters may emerge. In suburbia, Nojay continues, Trump, a name and business brand, will contrast his tax-slashing with Cuomo’s tax and spend to win, 55-45 percent. Cuomo will tie Trump to the Tea Party, which likely won’t wash. Trump, his own label, is larger than Cuomo’s attack machine’s ability to smear.
Page 2 of 2 - Cuomo took office pledging to renew the economy. That vow crashed almost as quickly as Barack Obama’s vow that Obamacare would work. In each case, Big Government’s judgment has been spectacularly bad, due to the opinion of people imprisoned by ideology, not freed by fact. Cuomo’s endless press conferences in Albany won’t compensate for jobs destroyed and pledges smashed.
Nojay makes an intriguing case that perhaps only Trump can keep next year’s election from incinerating the GOP. I have a character flaw. I like to win. As Burke referenced, we will see if Trump betrays or serves us.
Curt Smith is the author of 15 books, a former speechwriter to President George H.W. Bush and Associated Press “Best in New York State” radio commentator. He is a senior lecturer of English at the University of Rochester. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org