Mario Cuomo and Other Hollow Men


by Gary Spina


Former New York governor Mario Cuomo died on New Year’s Day, 2015. He was a likeable man who loved his country.

But Mario Cuomo was a hollow man — a man who, as governor, kept a full-time pollster on his staff. That alone says much about the man and his leadership style. Cuomo was a man who never got beyond the populist propaganda he espoused, and never got beyond a love for an America that afforded him the opportunity to exploit a fanciful Utopia that feathered his own nest.

In fairness, there are equally as many hollow men on the opposite side of the political spectrum. It’s called politics – or more correctly, power politics.

Mario Cuomo was a defender of the separation of church and state. He was a Catholic who supported legalized abortion. He supported minimum wage and redistribution of wealth. In blind disregard of individualism, he engaged in class warfare and actively attempted to tax and punish individual success and private capital.

The many aspects of Cuomo’s political career hinged on his ability to project an image of thoughtful introspection and contemplation. He was a gifted orator with a voice of reason and pained empathy that came right up to the threshold of logic and truth. But always and inevitably, he would astonish many by his inability to cross that threshold.

Mario Cuomo was a hollow man — as most politicians are. And it’s not so much that such men are godless, but that their reliance rests on the intrigues of man and not the grace God to see mankind through the daily vicissitudes of life.

Hollow men fall under one of the following categories:

They are men without vision.

They are men with an agenda tied to personal power.

They are petty tyrants or absolute tyrants with an ideology tied to intimidation.

They are weak and dangerous men without moral courage.

They are ruthless men without honor and without an understanding of honor.

Hollow men do not understand that man and all he does and all he is born into and all he stands for are individually, not collectively, answerable to God. And the rights of all men come from God and have no price tag. The first ten Amendments to our Constitution – our Bill of Rights – are an example of the natural rights men are born with. The phony “rights’ that hollow men dangle before our eyes all come through new legislation and regulation that are granted to some at the expense of others.

I am truly sorry for the death of Mario Cuomo. He was a flawed man, as we all are. I am sure, deep within, he was a decent enough man. He was certainly likable.

Mario Cuomo had a way of always coming right up to the edge of intellectual honesty and stopping there. He could have been one of the great ones if only he had managed to cross the threshold into the realm of the authentic and the true.