Andrew Cuomo is not the real problem

Those who rush to condemn only the Governor would be well advised to take a long and honest look in the mirror. Op-ed.

Rod Flanders ,

Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo

"Poor" Governor Cuomo. He is a victim and a by product of his generation. Only a short while ago, he was a popular and well liked governor with presidential aspirations, and today he has become a pariah and laughing stock in the media and political establishment. The truth is that he is no better or worse than many of the media personalities and politicians who now mock him.

The only difference between Cuomo and too many ordinary Americans is that he had the money and power to do as he pleased and the misguided sense of invincibility that comes along with it. While politicians are generally thought to be corrupt, they are actually just a reflection of the people whom they represent. If Cuomo is morally corrupt, it is because so many Americans are morally corrupt. Those who rush to condemn the Governor would be well advised to take a long and honest look in the mirror.

While our generation suffers from a multitude of problems, perhaps the most dangerous is that we have lost all sense of honesty and self awareness. We don’t have the fortitude to introspect and realize what we have become. Without that, there is no hope to improve and get out of the morass in which we find ourselves. What morass is that?

We are a generation too many of whose minds and hearts have been flooded and poisoned by the most vile and humiliating forms of the pornography which has become a staple of our everyday lives, thanks to the internet. Children, young children, and old men have become addicts. Businessmen, doctors, teachers, plumbers, religious and community leaders, have all been or will be addicted to pornography at some point, on some level, despite easily available filters. In many cases these addictions lead to the natural next step which leads to marital infidelity and the destruction of families.

A simple perusal of for the top sites for internet traffic confirms that most internet users check their porn sites more often than they check the news, their bank statements, Netflix, and linkedin combined. Its not surprising that four of the top 20 websites worldwide are porn sites. Given how much pornography American society consumes, why is it then surprising when people begin acting upon the same things that they are thinking about and watching all day?

Some may argue that there is an obvious distinction between our actions in private versus those actions which have the ability to hurt others, but in reality they are interconnected. The things we do and think about in private will without a doubt effect how we interact with others, and will drive those interactions. Furthermore, pornography viewing can become an addiction very quickly, at which point it becomes almost impossible for the viewer to maintain a sense of boundary between himself and others. An addict's entire life is sadly and pathetically about feeding and giving in to his addictions, often tragically at the expense of other people.

While the pain of the victims is real and legitimate, the focus of our blame is misguided. Andrew Cuomo may be a public example, but he is not the problem, nor is he an isolated case.

Cuomo is what America has become- sleazy, narcissistic and porn obsessed. Instead of spending our efforts on exposing and shaming individuals for doing what everyone spends their time thinking about, why not attack the root cause - the destructive pervasiveness of internet pornography? The same media that frowns upon the mere discussion of internet censorship is the same media that jumps to attack anyone who acts upon the things that they absorb from the uncensored web. In our misplaced commitment to free speech, no matter how harmful and immoral, we our digging our own graves as a society.

Rod Flanders is a pseudonym for a researcher of patterns in internet consumption. His real name is known to the editor.