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We need liberty and justice for all

We need liberty and justice for all
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My roots run rather deep with the family of Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCNN's Lemon, Cuomo to host new podcast 'Hamilton,' 'Wicked' among Broadway shows reopening Sept. 14 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Infrastructure, Cheney ouster on deck as Congress returns MORE. I got to know his father Mario Cuomo in the early 1980s during his first run for governor of New York. At the time, he was a little known lieutenant governor toiling in the shadow of Hugh Carey, the man who saved the city. My brother and I first met privately with Mario at a small diner in Queens. We walked away so fascinated that we decided to support his fledgling campaign.

We then held a breakfast for him along with the president for Citicorp, at the private dining room of the building and no one came. Yet I knew that Mario would be governor, even with that poor showing because he was a man of the people. As a lifelong Republican, it was rather unusual for me, but I knew almost instantly that he had the makings of a great statesman and a great governor of New York, which he clearly proved to be.

In those early years, Andrew was a constant presence next to his father. During that time, I came to know and respect him. Since he was elected governor on his own right, I have had my fair share of policy differences with him. But never in the 40 years I have known him have I witnessed or been made aware of actions that were disrespectful toward women. But that is not why I am urging patience. Friendship, family ties, and history are not why I believe Andrew deserves due process. I believe in fairness which our country was founded on. We are innocent until proven guilty, one of the most sacred principles we have in our justice system.

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The fact is we should all take a breath. I fear we have become a nation so divided that our passions are ruling our virtues. Too many of our elected officials and the media, on both the left and right, act as a virtual mob. A decade old photo of Senator Al Franken chased him out of office without so much as even the hearing. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanagh was tarred with charges of sexual assault on the basis of a murky high school accusation. Too many politicians, including Governor Cuomo, have taken the practice of making an enemy of the other side to new levels.

This mindset has become pervasive. Over the past year, our differences have often been shown in uncivil or even violent ways. Whether it is the antifa movement or the “stop the steal” protests, in many cases, rancor and vitriol has manifested itself in ways that block out all the causes for which they seek redress. The mob mentality which rushes to judgment and could force Cuomo from office subverts our values and principles. Moreover, it allows for the passions of the day to undermine the will of millions of New York voters who have cast their ballots for him.

President Biden has said he wants to see what comes of the investigation into these allegations. I agree we should. Our society has denied women the support they need to safely come forward with accusations of sexual harassment and, while we still have a way to go, we have made progress. These women must be heard. Due process does not threaten justice but will instead ensure it. Maybe Cuomo is innocent. Maybe he is not. But he deserves the opportunity to answer the charges that have been brought against him. It is why he should not resign unless proven guilty.

Earle Mack is a partner with the Mack Company, a real estate development and investment firm, and is  a former United States ambassador to Finland.