Andrew Cuomo’s resignation seems to have deeply divided camps when it comes to an elected official’s accountably and consequences.
With my own mixed feelings about his stepping down, one thing is clear it certainly isn’t black and white the way things were when I was a child.
Everything I learned about right and wrong behavior lead straight back to Goofus and Gallant.
Next to Romper Room’s “do-bees” and “don’t-bees,” that dynamic duo from Highlights Magazine served as the guidepost for common courtesy for baby boomer kids, offering them a right way and wrong way of interacting with others.
Long before I could read, my moral compass was set by a smiling Miss Louise who spoke to her virtual classroom on TV’s Romper Room. A popular character on the show was Mr. Do Bee an oversized bumblebee who taught the viewing audience manners.
“Do Bee a smiler… Don’t Bee a frowner. Do Bee a good listener… Don’t Bee a whiner.”
What self-respecting boomer didn’t want to be a Do-Bee!
Getting Along Well With Others
Once I began to read, the Do-Bees were replaced by Goofus and Gallant the recurring magazine cartoon twosome whose example of good and bad behavior offered a template for socially acceptable interactions.
Highlights Magazine was a fixture in every self-respecting dentist and pediatrician’s office.
While anxiously waiting to have a cavity filled, I would get a good old-fashioned morality lesson from those two illustrated characters whose purpose was to demonstrate acceptable and unacceptable social skills when confronted with the very same situation. “Goofus grabs a toy from others. Gallant asks politely.”
Gallant was always polite, kind, considerate, and mature. Goofus was rude, self centered, disrespectful irresponsible, and immature.
The rules on how to behave were as black and white as the drawings themselves.
The choices were clear. No one wanted to be thought of as Goofus.
Well, not everyone apparently.
If the world were based on Highlights Magazine, then the Democrats are perpetually the Gallants of the world when it comes to doing the right thing. They are the principled do-good niks who act on ethical rules, who hold themselves to a high moral standard taking accountability while the disrespectful and ethically bankrupt Republicans are the Goofus character mocking morality.
Democrats banish their bad, Republicans, circle their wagon.
“Goofus grabs women by the pussy, Gallant never touches a woman’s private parts without asking permission first.”
In a Trumpian world, doing the right thing is for suckers, and the right seems to agree as they skate scot-free from one sex scandal to the next, consequences be damned, full speed ahead.
It is an uneven playing field.
And You’re Out
Now against enormous pressure from every leading democrat, Governor Andrew Cuomo finally has agreed to step down. Yet the pussy grabbers still roam the earth unscathed, scorning and stomping on right and wrong.
Cuomo is an amalgam of both Goofus and Gallant.
He took the high road in his progressive policies and politics but was more of a disrespectful Goofus when it came to his sexually inappropriate behavior towards women.
Goofus creepily touches and gropes his employees without their consent. Gallant respects his female employees and the law and never speaks or touches them inappropriately
I take no pleasure in Cuomo resigning but it was necessary. The situation was untenable. In resigning he ultimately called on his inner Gallant in taking the high road. He sexually harassed female employees whether it was his intent or not.
He broke the law, willfully or not.
He did the right thing.
Now it’s time for the right to live up to their name. Of that I am certain.