The Governor of New York visits Eastman

Bradley Halpern, Senior Staff

Last Thursday, Feb. 21, Governor Andrew Cuomo came to UR’s Kilbourn Hall to present his “NY Rising: State of the State” address. While his budget plan is detailed, on track to be on-time, and fairly comprehensive while adding no new taxes, his method of delivery left much to be desired from a research standpoint.

Wrought with cliché buzz words and lacking well-demonstrated rationale or substantial evidence, save for a few lone statistics, his presentation was just that — a presentation.

As college students, it’s our job to think critically, argue rationally, and discuss logically. We emphasize research, intellectualism, and factual evidence, not out of pedagogy, but out of necessity. If we don’t demand proof, who will?

Many of Cuomo’s plans sounds reasonable, but even the glossy, colored brochures that accompanied his speech lacked logistical details and substantial support. While we understand that Cuomo was not presenting to the New York legislature and therefore logistics may not be necessary, he was still presenting to a group of well-educated and well-informed citizens who deserve more than just flashy cinema clips to justify a women’s equality act, only flashing dollar amounts to explain a minimum-wage hike, or solely staged classroom photos to rationalize a longer school day. In fact, we don’t just deserve it, we should expect it.

Cuomo’s address, along with the excessive applause and frequent standing ovations from the audience is exactly what is wrong with how we discuss public policy. It’s not about whether it’s the best decision, the right decision, or even the most well-supported decision. It’s about what will get the most clapping. And most of us condone it, but we shouldn’t. Cuomo may have great ideas and the best plan possible, but we won’t believe him until he proves it.

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