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A New York State of Mind

Apparently we are no longer in welcome in New York, and we’re sorry to find that out. It’s a nice place to visit, a great place to play chess, and we’ve encountered many kind people there, but the governor has made clear that he doesn’t want our kind around.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently gave a radio interview that included a lengthy rant against “extreme conservatives,” and told his interlocutor that “They have no place in New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.” He defined “extreme conservatives” as “right-to-life, pro-assault weapon, and anti-gay,” which does not quite describe our views, but it’s close enough to suggest he might mean us. We’re not entirely “right-to-life” by Kansas standards but neither do we have the requisite enthusiasm for abortion to be bona fide New York sophisticates, so far as we can tell “assault weapons” are no more or less effective at killing burglars and commies than any other semi-automatic rifle, and we have far too many homosexual friends to be considered “anti-gay” even if we do sometimes disagree with them about what legal arrangements society should make to accommodate their sex lives, but otherwise we’re so extremely conservative that we know when we’re not wanted.
The governor has since objected to the New York Post’s headlining paraphrase that he said “conservatives should leave New York,” and emphasized that he further said it was “fine” to oppose gun restrictions, abortion on demand, and official recognition of same-sex marriages, but we note that he also claimed 70 percent of all New Yorkers are properly appalled by such insanity, and listening to the audiotape we noticed he spat out the word “fine” with the same bitter tone that peeved wives and girlfriends use whenever uttering it. Despite his efforts to placate the tourist market here in flyover country, we can’t escape the conclusion that he doesn’t much like us.
As disappointing as it is, we’re not really surprised. For all their fine qualities New Yorkers are often quite parochial compared to us prairie folk, and lefties everywhere tend to be intolerant of dissenting views. We remember Cuomo as the Clinton-era Housing and Urban Development honcho who came up with the novel idea of forcing banks to make subprime mortgage loans, even if so many New Yorkers have forgotten that unfortunate experiment that he somehow enjoys as reputation as a moderate, and it’s understandable why he wouldn’t want the likes of us around to remind anyone.
With New York City’s new Sandinista mayor poised to take the Big Apple back to the days of those dystopian ‘70s movies we weren’t planning any visits in the near future, and it’s a pricey vacation in the current economy, but it’s still sad to think that we’re not welcome back. There’s always a possibility that New Yorkers will embrace a new political leadership that is as open-minded as our leaders here in Kansas, where the governor is an extreme conservative by anyone’s standards but a welcoming fellow even to New York lefties, but until then we’ll be content with smaller towns.

— Bud Norman

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