- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledged in his inauguration Tuesday night that his state will lead the nation out of a “great social depression” brought about by the Trump administration.

Speaking at Ellis Island at his third inaugural, Mr. Cuomo said the U.S. is confronting “a cancer that is spreading throughout our society.”

“As our nation once confronted a great economic depression, we now confront a great social depression,” Mr. Cuomo said. “People’s frustration turning to fear and the fear turning to anger and the anger turning to division. It is impossible to overstate how dangerous, how malignant this condition is.”

He blamed Washington for promoting divisions within America.

“We reject the path of divide and conquer,” the Democrat said. “This federal government has sought to demonize our differences, and make our diversity our greatest weakness rather than our greatest strength.”

Mr. Cuomo, who has repeatedly said he won’t seek the presidency in 2020, mentioned President Trump only once as he spoke of Ellis Island and New York’s role as a beacon for immigrants.

“This is the harbor where Frederick Trump arrived from Germany, and whose grandson would become president of the United States,” Mr. Cuomo said. “Don’t you tell me Ellis Island isn’t real and true, and a promise that made America lives today, because it does.”

He pointed out that his father, the late Gov. Mario Cuomo, died four years ago, and that his grandparents all came through Ellis Island from Europe.

“My grandparents were the people at the southern border today,” he said, referring to the administration’s grappling with the problem of migrants at the border with Mexico. “My father may be gone. But … I can hear his voice, and I can imagine his pain and anger if he could see his beloved country today. He would say this is an outrage, this is un-American, it violates everything we fought for. He would implore us all, each and everyone, to stand against the tide, to fight back, and that New York should lead by example.”

Referring to the partial federal government shutdown, Mr. Cuomo said, “The federal government may shut itself down, but it will never extinguish the Statue of Liberty’s torch. It will never erase the words of her poem, they will never close our harbor, they will never close our hearts, they will never close this hall of dreamers. It is New York’s duty … to lead the way through the darkness.”

He promised “the most progressive agenda this state has ever seen” in his third term, including stricter gun control laws, a state abortion law modeled on Roe v. Wade, legalized marijuana and a state minimum wage that rose to $15 per hour on Tuesday.

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