Mario Cuomo and the Tale of Two Cities

Mario Cuomo passed away on New Year’s Day; the day of his son’s second inauguration as Governor of the State of New York. Mario was the three-term Governor of the state from 1982 – 1994. Mario was a relentless campaigner, a tenacious executive, a skilled politician, and a progressive icon. This speech sums up the thoughts of many who didn’t like how reactionary Americans became in the 1980s.

Here is a Tale of Two Cities, which Mario Cuomo delivered to the 1984 Democratic National Convention.

“Maybe, maybe, Mr. President, if you visited some more places; maybe if you went to Appalachia where some people still live in sheds; maybe if you went to Lackawanna where thousands of unemployed steel workers wonder why we subsidized foreign steel. Maybe — Maybe, Mr. President, if you stopped in at a shelter in Chicago and spoke to the homeless there; maybe, Mr. President, if you asked a woman who had been denied the help she needed to feed her children because you said you needed the money for a tax break for a millionaire or for a missile we couldn’t afford to use.”

How little things have changed in 30 years.


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