Tag Archives: Tom Suozzi

Sliwa’s Protest: Why it’s Different

28 May

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I disagree with Curtis Sliwa on the substance of his protest / radio stunt yesterday at the 2010 New York State Democratic Convention. I don’t think Andrew Cuomo became Attorney General or the gubernatorial nominee solely by virtue of his father’s identity, nor do I think it’s a “coronation” – not like 2006 when Eliot Spitzer had a real, qualified, serious challenger in Tom Suozzi.

Suozzi, incidentally, was present for Cuomo’s speech, but declined to comment on it.

What I do agree with is the method in which Sliwa mounted his protest.

He was funny.

And that’s no small feat.

Oftentimes people who engage in political protest believe they need to be serious, earnest, and humorless. But I think that turns people off. Carl Paladino is “mad as hell” but has absolutely no sense of humor. Not about himself, not about the state, not about his campaign – about nothing (except, according to him, horse porn and racist jokes).

Curtis Sliwa came in character. He was funny. He got his point across. He made a splash. That’s how you protest – show people that you have a sense of humor. That way, even if people disagree with you, they’ll be laughing – not angry. And if they’re laughing, they’ll be more likely to listen.