Do all lives matter? And, is everyone equal?
Consider: a decade ago, if someone suggested that all lives didn’t necessarily matter equally or that one group’s humanity was held in higher esteem than others’, that person would’ve been branded the most heinous of exclusionists and summarily drummed out of culture town if not strung to the nearest available high-tech lynching tree. Literally since the beginning of time, different groups of humans struggled to enforce equality. And it hasn’t worked very well.
Americans have fought (at least) two wars over the notion. Back in the 1760’s and 70’s, British subjects from thirteen of Great Britain’s North American colonies protested over the mother country ruling authority’s (King George III and parliament) refusal to acknowledge their fundamental right as Englishmen to govern themselves on taxation and other local matters. Then the first sixty-or so years of the nineteenth century (post Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin), there was non-stop bickering over equal representation in Congress between the industrial and small farming northern and agrarian, cotton exporting southern states.
Naturally, the victors in the conflicts solved the political rights problem. Yet the greater dilemma remained. What did it mean to have all lives matter? What was it to be equal?
This isn’t a history lesson. Today, it’s an ethical conundrum, especially among certain classes of political and cultural leaders who can’t seem to get their minds straight on who should be treated equally and who should be judged by a different standard -- or to be granted special consideration because of who they are, not what they’ve done.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is one such fascinating example, and he’s been in hot water lately. Without completely rehashing his sorry tale, the Empire State’s top elected official was exposed for a policy he initiated last year that resulted in the deaths of 15,000 care facility patients who contracted COVID-19, more or less because Cuomo opened the door for it to happen. Then there’s the more current matter of a handful of women coming forward to accuse the governor of improper sexual advances and touches. Serious, yes, but compared with living and perishing?
The former scandal has raised eyebrows, even among the liberal media. But what threatens to bring down the heretofore untouchable New Yorker is actions and comments he allegedly made that violate the sensibilities of the “woke” crowd. And we can’t have that, can we?
“The problem is not just Cuomo's efforts to hide the number of nursing home COVID deaths after he had recklessly forced the homes to accept COVID patients -- although that seems bad enough to force a governor to resign. It's also Cuomo's handling of the virus in the early days of the pandemic.
“And then came the nursing home revelations. Last week, the [New York] Times published a story headlined, ‘Cuomo Aides Rewrote Nursing Home Report to Hide Higher Death Toll.’ Thousands of New Yorkers whose loved ones died in the pandemic wondered if Cuomo had told the truth about the circumstances of the deaths. He hadn't.
“Cuomo's COVID disaster was a matter of life and death. Nothing could be more serious. And yet, it was apparently not enough for New York Democrats to call for his resignation -- until the #MeToo allegations began. Now he must go, some Democrats say. Yes, the #MeToo allegations are a serious matter. Still, the situation has left some Republicans understandably baffled about political priorities in New York State.”
Yes indeed, baffled is a good way to put it. It seems like an eternity since Cuomo “starred” in his daily coronavirus briefing “show,” taking up weekday morning airtime to wax about topics and display graphics on a huge made-for-TV background. “Bush’s Brain” Karl Rove is famous for his “white board” and 1990’s independent presidential candidate Ross Perot had his display exhibits and a pointer-stick, but Cuomo established his own schtick by projecting (supposed) facts and figures on a screen, and, in his calm and reassuring New Yorker accented voice, assured that he was the right leader for the daunting crisis.
The snow job was real, and it was complete. Heck, my west coast-based mother once even told me she had to get off the phone so she could see Andy’s daily act. Trump had a “competing” version every day at about 5 o’clock eastern, but the president used a good amount of his time to spar with the media and jab at the government officials in charge of explaining it all. For Cuomo, it was about him and the ruse.
The funny thing was the media didn’t touch on the ballooning death totals or the fact Cuomo himself had ordered nursing home patients afflicted with COVID-19 to be admitted into facilities with no questions asked. And then he took it back a couple months later. Hmmm… let’s see. It was obvious from the beginning that the mysterious Chinese super flu was particularly lethal to those who would be susceptible to any kind of late-in-life ailment, particularly respiratory conditions. One plus one equals… four?
The New York Post brought the matter to the forefront. The establishment media ignored it, preferring instead to push Cuomo’s and California Governor Gavin Newsom’s narrative that the federals were at fault for the spread of the plague. Big Orange Man bad, remember?
What they were really telling us was that all lives didn’t matter -- at least not equally. But “Black” Lives sure did after the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis. The woke cause consumed the nation and led to sometimes violent demonstrations in cities and local towns alike. My wife asked a protester at one of them, “Do Black Babies Lives Matter?” and the college-aged white girl said, “Of course, all lives matter.” An older fellow activist interjected, “But Black Women’s Lives especially matter.”
Do the elderly simply need more volunteers to stand on street corners and hold signs that say “Old Folks’ Lives Matter”? And why is it that everyone seems so honked off at Andrew Cuomo because he (allegedly) made some tasteless and inappropriate comments about young female staff members’ sexual preferences and habits, yet aren’t nearly so animated over his killer policies and the cover-ups employed to mask them?
I don’t know for certain, but likely thousands of the elderly dead were black or brown. Didn’t their lives matter?
Would a squeaky-clean virtuous man with Cuomo’s same policies be free and clear under this nonconformity? Does this even say anything about the New York governor at all, or is it a statement about how valuable the #MeToo culture deems offensive speech? Democrats get defensive when they’re the ones being canceled, but again, it depends on who we’re talking about.
The number of Democrats calling for Cuomo’s resignation or impeachment is growing by the day; but they’re all apparently citing his personal flaws and sexual power-plays as the justification for it. Meanwhile, justice for the representatives of the now voiceless victims of Andrew’s official duties will have to wait in line to be heard.
To liberals, all lives don’t matter and not everyone is treated equally. Sooner or later Democrats will run out of ways to excuse themselves. After that, who knows? Something about a guillotine?
Care Facility deaths
Cuomo press conferences