December 7, 2018

New York State
Veers Hard Left

This is the New York State assembly chamber.

I live in New York State. My state is a politically liberal state. However, N.Y. State government has not been as liberal as it could have been. For example, N.Y. has not been as politically left as California, and this has been the case for one big reason... 

Democrats have pretty much had total political control of California for more than 20 years. But that has not been the case here in New York. For more than 25 years, the N.Y. Senate has been in the control of Republicans and the Assembly by Democrats. There was a two-year exception in 20009-10, when Democrats briefly gained power over both houses, but it was a tenuous hold and they couldn't keep it.

It has been Republican control of the N.Y. Senate that has prevented the very worst of liberal, leftist, and progressive legislation from being passed. 

But with the election last month, Democrats now have a large Senate majority, along with control of the other branches of government. They now have the power that California liberals have had for decades.

The reality of this hit me when I recently read a letter from New Yorker's Family Research Foundation, a Christian organization that lobbies NY legislators in an effort to influence political outcomes. I've financially supported their lobbying arm (New Yorker's For Constitutional Freedoms) for many years.

While other lobbyists seek to influence legislation for financial gain. NYCF lobbies to influence for righteous outcomes. What a novel idea. Do other states have this? 

Here is how the letter started...

There is no positive spin regarding this year’s election results in New York.

Across the nation, the “blue wave” didn’t amount to as much as many suggested it would. In the Empire State, however, it was a blue tsunami. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand won with over 64% of the vote. Governor Andrew Cuomo pulled in nearly 58%. Democrats swept the statewide races retaining control of both the Attorney General’s and Comptroller’s offices as well. The State Assembly remains virtually unchanged with the Democratic Party maintaining an easy supermajority in that chamber. The real change is coming in the State Senate, though. Election Day hit the Senate Republicans like a Nor’easter. Prior to November, Republicans controlled the chamber 32-31, but after the electoral avalanche, it will be a 40-23 Democrat-controlled State Senate when legislators return in January.

Our lobbying arm, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, has historically had tremendous success blocking legislation in the upper house, but with Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) at the helm in 2019, there will be little chance for these types of continued legislative victories. I don’t want to sugarcoat it. Legislatively, it’s going to be ugly in New York for the foreseeable future.

"Ugly in New York" is not a hopeful message, but the letter goes on to make the case for continued perseverance in the face of seemingly hopeless odds. 

All of which brings to my mind the dichotomy between Christian obedience and worldly success. Simply stated, Christians are not expected by God to be successful in every endeavor. They are, rather, called to be obedient to what God calls them to do. Such callings may result in utter failure from the human perspective, and that can be profoundly disappointing, but it is beside the point. The point being, that obedience is more important than success from God's perspective.

That's something to think about, and the letter concludes with something more to think about...

This Christmas, as I sit before the tree, I will look at the manger scene and take strange solace in the knowledge that human government will always ultimately fail. Yes, it is instituted by God for our good, but at some point, it will always disappoint. Why? Because government is led by people born with an inherent sin nature...

That quote illustrates a fundamental human understanding that all the founders of our American form of government understood very well. They did not believe for a moment that mankind was fundamentally good, especially when it came to government power. They knew that power was a corrupting force on sinful humans. And that is why they set up a government structure with divided powers, along with layers of checks and balances.

As New York state government takes a hard left turn, I'm holding on tight. 

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