I have made up some letters that reflect the kind of mail and comments I have been getting lately. Here goes:
Dear Doctor Chartock: I keep hearing that Andrew Cuomo is gearing up to run for president. He can’t win, can he? Sign me, Kate in Kingston
Dear Kate: Of course he can win. Consider who the current president is. If that fool can be president, anyone, including Andrew Cuomo, can. He is dedicating himself to the project. He has been appropriately attacking President Trump for his many foolish mistakes including programs that could break Blue State New York. In doing that, he helps himself both with his campaign for governor in 2018 and his presidential ambitions.
At this point he has no real opponents in his gubernatorial race and at last $26 million dollars in campaign funds. His big problem is that it is hard to find anyone who really likes him. A defeated State Senator named Gipson with close ties to Mayor de Blasio is gearing up to run. He has almost no money in his campaign coffers. Perhaps Gipson is counting on de Blasio help or expecting all kinds of political fallout as a result of the trials of some of Cuomo’s closest friends on terrible corruption charges. Of course, if Cuomo is damaged in his run for governor, his chances for a Democratic presidential nomination will plummet.
Finally, Cuomo’s relationship with the political left in New York stinks. He has done some good things but he is hardly the kind of stuff that political heroes and made of.
Dear Alan: I admit it. I think you’re a jerk. The thing that gets me the most about you is your never ending, pro-elitist ranting in favor of gun control in New York. How do you expect us to protect ourselves if we can’t keep our guns under our beds in case of home invasion? Signed, Peter in Plattsburgh
Dear Peter: I am sorry that you don’t like me. I really do care about that. My feelings are hurt. On the matter of gun control, I cannot say, “Are you kidding?” There are very few cases of people grabbing their guns in the middle of the night to ward off home invasion. In fact, there are plenty of cases of children grabbing an unsecured gun and maiming or killing themselves or someone else.
I am not a huge Andrew Cuomo fan but I think he deserves a lot of credit on gun control. Anyone who saw the massacre of all those children at Sandy Hook can identify with the governor’s heroic stance. He used up considerable political capital that will cost him a lot of upstate votes, even though polling demonstrates how many Americans agree with Cuomo on the issue of guns.
In any case, thanks for letting me know of the contempt in which you hold me. I write these columns to get people thinking about the issues of the day and I try to stay true to my own values. At the top of the list is the need for gun control.
Go in peace! Alan
Dear Chartock: What in the world are we doing to rein in the lobbyists in this state? I am Tessie in Troy
Hi Tessie: The problem is that the lobbyists often control the spigots of money these politicians rely on. Instead of making it more difficult for lobbyists who often cooperate with their employers in legally bribing politicians, the various commissions that have been set up to do this have hardly distinguished themselves.
We all know what this is all about. These lobbyists and the complicit politicians know the informal rules of the game and since it is all about winning, there is no appetite to change the rules. We have to say no to our politicians, otherwise they will continue to do what they are doing.