What is our Salt March?
Where is our Edmund Pettus Bridge?
What public pressure can we bring in New York to humble an oppressive and ruthless state government? What tool of civil disobedience can bring our tyrant to his knees?
Gandhi and those fighting British oppression in India marched, some 60,000 strong, to the sea, in defiance of their evil overlords. They ended up arrested, but they ultimately ended up free. In crossing a Selma bridge named for a Confederate Ku Klux Klan wizard, men and women were beaten and set upon by dogs. But their moral authority and the evil of their oppressors were shown to the world, and that world changed.
Just as our world must change.
As New York suffers needlessly under misguided and overreaching dictates, as the liberties of its people and the prosperity of its society are stamped upon by a megalomaniacal governor, we need relief. We need this boot off our back and this man out of our lives. We need to be allowed to live as we wish. Not dangerously with a virus in our midst, but intelligently and reasonably, with that virus not exploited by a monster as a pretense to dictate capriciously in every part of New York life.
We have no conventional options.
There is no balance of power in New York. The Democratic legislature is the governor’s servant and lapdog, the state courts are overseen by his minions. The federal courts are cowed, and when one recently ruled against the governor in the matter of two weddings, he savagely denounced it and threw the resources of the state into overturning it, and bankrupting his adversaries with legal fees. The press, unwilling to let a tiff with a Democrat get in the way of their progressive march, are silent or seduced, good at editing worshipful video clips but toothless in challenge and oversight.
And there is no recourse to the polls. The governor’s stranglehold on the all-powerful Democratic Party means he holds office as long as he chooses.
As he ruthlessly destroys anyone who challenges him, at the ballot box or in the public square. Businesses lose licenses and state enforcers come auditing, cries for mercy are met with further crackdowns. Regulations are issued randomly and capriciously, without consultation or consideration with or for those whose lives and businesses will be impacted or destroyed by them.
And he is destroying lives and businesses by the thousands.
Bars without music, gyms without patrons, restaurants with capacity caps, movie theaters forever dark, all needlessly imposed or maintained in the name of a disease which he mismanaged to a greater degree than any leader on earth. When the waitressing profession is gutted, and small businesses have to fold, orchestras cancel their seasons and historic stages go dark, those are real lives which are being impacted and destroyed, creating economic disadvantages for individuals and families that may linger for decades.
When your restaurant goes bankrupt – as the governor’s restrictions will cause at least a third of them to do – your life’s work and savings are lost, and your family is impoverished. The same is true for every other business laboring under life-choking restrictions in a state where covid is now at background levels – about where it will stay for years and years, even after vaccines are approved.
He chokes our lifeblood not because he has to, but because he wants to. Because he takes some sick pleasure in it. Because his broken psyche deifies him and wraps him in omnipotent robes.
So what do we do?
What large scale act of civil disobedience can haul off and kick his kingdom right in the crotch? How can the all-powerful Cuomo be humbled? What will impede the function of his state, or embarrass his vaunted reputation, to such an extent that our voices can be heard? What will bring him to the table and pierce the arrogant disregard he has for the opinions and interests of his subjects?
Where is the harbor we throw the tea into?
Who will listen to our dream and see us march for freedom?
What effort of popular will and sovereignty can take the Empire State back from the emperor?
I don’t know. And I don’t know anyone who does.
But I do know thousands and thousands are thinking and talking about it.
And we’re going to figure it out.
We’ll find our Salt March.
We’ll cross our Edmund Pettus Bridge.
We will make this state free again.