I hope your Tuesday is going well. Welcome back to another episode of Ask Ash, where I interview WatchMojo Founder & CEO Ashkan Karbasfrooshan and ask him questions about various topics, ranging from covering the news to giving students & entrepreneurs career advice.
Today, Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State, resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment. In my opinion, this was a scenario that I could see eventually happening, but when it happened, I thought to myself: “Wow, he actually resigned!”
I wanted to get some of Ash’s thoughts on Cuomo’s resignation.
Today New York governor Andrew Cuomo resigned following allegations of sexual harassment. Given his leadership role during Covid last year, the news of Cuomo’s alleged misdeeds seems particularly harder to accept and reconcile. Do you have any thoughts on the news and his resignation?
First and foremost, if those allegations are true, then he should have resigned as such behavior is unacceptable. It had always been largely tolerated (overlooked at best, accepted at worse) but recently, victims, underdogs, and outsiders are finally believed and as a society, we are holding people accountable.
Sadly one of the many reasons why individuals crave success, fame, wealth, and power is to find themselves in these positions where they then exploit and abuse that power. That Governor Cuomo was viewed favorably by many just adds to the feeling of disappointment but it doesn’t change the reality that people in positions of power have frequently abused it. We want to hear victims and ensure that such behavior is not tolerated. Of course, when you then see someone like Bill Cosby walk a free man over a technicality, it gives victims less courage and confidence to speak up. That said, as a society, we are heading in the right direction.
What exacerbates things is that so many young people are drawn to individuals like Cuomo, to learn from, to develop their careers… so seeing Cuomo allegedly exploit those who trusted him represents a deeper form of betrayal. Unfortunately, we have all had people like that, people that we look up to, only to realize they were flawed individuals. It’s important not to idolize icons like this. We project onto people certain traits that they may not have — be it integrity, character, truthfulness and in this case, respect and empathy for others. To abuse power like that and encroach on others’ personal space is heartbreaking and betraying. It’s also a reminder that in the end, people will let you down. You really want to take your time to see people’s conduct and actions for yourself, before giving them the benefit of doubt. It’s a bit of a cynical take, but as you get older and judge people for what they do and not what they say.