Mario Cuomo, who was a fixture of 80’s anti-Reagan liberalism, died yesterday. I don’t like to post memorials unless I have something nice to say. I’m of the opinion that Cuomo was massively over-rated. His much-revered 1984 speech, which you can read here, has not aged well and looks almost quaint in its faith in big government and offensive in its portrayal of Reagan. Its wooly sentiments and aggressive rhetoric were a big reason why I came of age as a political conservative. His dallying with a Presidential run was the only reason he was in Ken Burns’ Baseball documentary. And his ultimate legacy was being ousted in the 1994 election.
Still, at least he was honest. He didn’t pretend to be “moderate” or “practical”. He was a big-government liberal who fundamentally believed government could make us better.