Mario Cuomo: ‘Speech about fairness’ (4)



Mario Cuomo :: Mario CuomoThey would cut this nation in half, into those temporarily better off and those worse off than before, and call it recovery. We should not be embarrassed or dismayed if the process of unifying is difficult, even at times wrenching. Unlike any other party, we embrace men and women of every colour, every creed, every orientation, every economic class. In our family are gathered everyone from the abject poor of Essex County in New York, to the enlightened affluent of the gold coasts of both ends of our nation. And in between is the heart of our constituency, the middle class . . . The people not rich enough to be worry free but not poor enough to be on welfare. Those who work for a living because they have to.

White collar and blue collar. Young professionals, men and women in small business desperate for the capital and contracts they need to prove their worth. We speak for the minorities who have not yet entered the main-stream. For ethnics who want to add their culture to the mosaic that is America. For women indignant that we refuse to etch into our governmental commandments the simple rule ‘Thou shalt not sin against equality,’ a commandment so obvious it can be spelled in three letters . . . ERA! For young people demanding an education and a future. For senior citizens terrorized by the idea that their only security . . . their social security … is being threatened. For millions of reasoning people fighting to preserve environment from greed and stupidity and fighting to preserve our very existence from a macho intransigence that refuses to make intelligent attempts to discuss the possibility of nuclear holocaust with our enemy.

Refusing because they believe we can pile missiles so high that they will pierce the clouds and the sight of them will frighten our enemies into submission … That struggle to live with dignity is the real story of the shining city. It’s a story I didn’t read in a book, or learn in a classroom.

I saw it, and lived it, like many of you. I watched a small man with thick calluses on both hands work fifteen and sixteen hours a day, I saw him once literally bleed from the bottoms of his feet, a man who came here uneducated, alone unable to speak the language, who taught me all I needed to know about faith and hard work by the simple eloquence of his example.

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1 Response

  1. سلام زبان says:

    dismay
    to make someone feel worried, disappointed, and upset:

    The poor election turnout dismayed politicians.
    They faced with dismay an enemy force that was much stronger than they were
    He was shocked and dismayed by what he saw.
    We were dismayed by the way they refused our offer.
    She could not hide her dismay at the result.
    He looked at her in dismay.
    To her dismay, her name was not on the list.
    The news has been greeted with dismay by local business leaders.

    wrench

    To hurt a joint in your body by twisting it
    SYN  sprain :

    I think I’ve wrenched my knee.
    She fell and wrenched her ankle.
    A wrenched back

    another source
    to make somebody feel great pain or unhappiness, especially so that they make a sound or cry

    wrench (something) (from somebody)
    His words wrenched a sob from her.
    a wrenching experience
    wrench at something Her words wrenched at my heart.

    embrace
     to put your arms around someone and hold them in a friendly or loving way [= hug]:

    Jack warmly embraced his son.
    Maggie and Laura embraced.
    She embraced and kissed her son.
    They embraced and wept.
    Before my flight was called we stood and embraced.
    He jumped up and embraced his lawyer with both arms.
    Sarah ran to embrace her mother.
    Though they were alone they did not embrace or kiss.
    They embraced and promised to keep in touch.
    She embraced her son warmly.

    creed
     a set of beliefs or principles:

    Discrimination on the basis of race or nationality or creed
    Give everybody an equal chance, regardless of race, color, creed, or gender.
    Mother Teresa offered her service and love to people of every caste and creed.
    Our Church welcomes people of various races, colors, and creeds.
    The belief in Jesus as a prophet is a major part of several world creeds.
    When I attended Lois’s church no one asked me to sign any creeds.
    Breaking down creed and color, with broadside shots of laughter
    I am running for everybody in Britain, irrespective of color or creed.
    Marxism has never been weaker as a political creed.
    a religious creed
    people of all colours and creeds
    people of all races, colours and creeds
    What is his political creed?

    constituency
    any group that supports or is likely to support a politician or a political party:

    The trade unions were no longer the constituency of the Labour Party alone.
    There were ten thousand voters in the constituency.
    I’m voting the way my constituency wants me to, not the way the President wants me to.
    Students have never been the constituency of any single party.
    The governor will be visiting a rural constituency north Charlotte.
    Why is Clinton targeting that rather small constituency?
    A constituency operation in south-east London was begun at about the same time.
    There is a strong constituency of support for his proposal.

    welfare
    money that is paid by the government in the US to people who are very poor or unemployed [= benefit British English]

    on welfare
    Most of the people in this neighborhood are on welfare.
    Raising the minimum wage might make it more difficult for people on welfare to get job.
    The amount of money that the government spends on welfare has halved in the past decade.
    They would rather work than live on welfare.
     

    Usage note: Unemployment

    Losing your job
    lose your job
    (British English) become/be made redundant
    be offered/take voluntary redundancy/early retirement
    face/be threatened with dismissal/(British English) the sack/(British English) compulsory redundancy
    dismiss/fire/(especially British English) sack an employee/a worker/a manager
    lay off staff/workers/employees
    (AustralE, NZE, SAfrE) retrench workers
    cut/reduce/downsize/slash the workforce
    (British English) make staff/workers/employees redundant

    Being unemployed
    be unemployed/out of work/out of a job
    seek/look for work/employment
    be on/collect/draw/get/receive (both British English) unemployment benefit/jobseeker’s allowance
    be/go/live/sign (British English, informal) on the dole
    claim/draw/get (British English, informal) the dole
    be on/qualify for (North American English) unemployment (compensation)
    be/go/live/depend (North American English) on welfare
    collect/receive (North American English) welfare
    combat/tackle/cut/reduce unemployment

    ethnic
    someone who comes from a group of people who are a different race, religion etc or who have a different background from most other people in that country:

    In that neighborhood of New York, we were all ethnics.
    ethnic Albanians living in Germany
    The country is divided along ethnic lines.
    The school teaches pupils from different ethnic groups .
    ethnic Russians in Estonia
    ethnic violence/divisions/strife etc (= violence etc between people from different races or cultures )
    ethnic background/origin
    The students are from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.
    plans to partition the republic along ethnic lines (= in a way that keeps different ethnic groups apart )
    Chicago is a diverse city teeming with different ethnic groups.
    Language is often one of the traits used to identify an ethnic group.
    Today, bookstore shelves brim with titles on ethnic cuisine.
    The range of eateries is vast and includes many ethnic cuisines.
    Exploring an ethnic food market is like digging for treasure.
    He’s giving the game a broader appeal, especially from the ethnic and race perspective.
    It is common knowledge that every American city has its various ethnic and racial groups.
    In the context of that glaze, I wanted to offer each fruit its own flavor wardrobe, a sort of ethnic dress.
    There are approximately 130 ethnic groups.
    African writers, divorced from their ethnic heritage, began to write in English.

    mosaic
    a group of different things that exist next to each other or together

    mosaic of
    The forest floor was a mosaic of autumn colours.
    the complex mosaic of world cultures
    His article is a mosaic of quotations.
    the novel’s quest-story takes us into a mosaic of texts, parodies, translations, allusions and fragmentary quotations
    A mosaic of fields, rivers and woods lay below us.
    a mosaic of borrowed ideas
    Abrupt topographic and climatic changes make Mexico a mosaic of natural diversity.
    It’s a kind of worldwide bulletin board of tiny — some say trivial — messages that form a huge mosaic of everyday activity.
    But the song is really about how the mosaic of history is pieced together from fragments of memory.
    The restored half-dome interior is brilliantly painted and features a large mosaic depicting the history of the area.

    indignant
    angry and surprised because you feel insulted or unfairly treated

    indignant at/about
    Liz was indignant at the way her child had been treated.
    an indignant reply
    I was very indignant over his behavior.
    He wrote an indignant letter to the paper.
    Eric was indignant at being told he would have to wait two weeks for an appointment.
    Grandfather’s always writing indignant letters to the newspaper.
    There were indignant shouts from the priests.
    Jess felt faintly indignant at the remark.
    He was indignant his comrades had not shot her on the spot.
    I began to dislike her, she looked sly and I felt indignant that she’d spoken to me like that.
    an indignant letter/look
    She was very indignant at the way she had been treated.
    They were indignant that they hadn’t been invited.
    indignant remarks
    an indignant expression on his face.

    etch
    if an experience, name etc is etched on your memory or mind, you cannot forget it and you think of it often:

    The island remained etched in my memory.
    My mother’s face is forever etched in my mind.
    Our last conversation is etched in my memory.
    the event was etched on her memory

    thou shalt
    (old use) a phrase meaning ‘you shall’, used when talking to one person

    greed
    a strong desire for more food, money, power, possessions etc than you need:

    people motivated by jealousy and greed
    His actions were motivated by greed.
    Nothing would satisfy her greed for power.
    had another helping of ice cream out of pure greed.
    greed is one of the deadly sins
    The most pressing issue facing the world is greed.
    Well, with all our greed we are going to doom ourselves.
    In normal times, it runs on a healthy mix of fear and greed.
    Again greed triumphs and human life is sacrificed on the front line.
    You’ve gone over to the powers of selfishness and greed.
    Is greed our only driving force? Let’s choose wisely.
    Nor does the word “ greed” appear in the way that the dissenters imply.
    Too many people are simply guided by greed.
    One of the core principles of capitalism is greed.
    Corporate greed has no conscience.

    stupidity
    behaviour or actions that show a lack of good sense or good judgment:

    all the horrors and stupidities of war
    I couldn’t believe my own stupidity.
    the errors and stupidities of youth
    The police were astonished at the sheer stupidity of drivers in going so fast in the fog.
    He faked stupidity to try to escape punishment for the crime.

    macho
    informal
    behaving in a way that is traditionally typical of men, for example being strong or brave, or not showing your feelings – used humorously or in order to show disapproval:

    He’s sick of being cast as the hard macho man in films.
    a car with a macho image
    He’s too macho to ever admit he was wrong.

    intransigence
    unwilling to change your ideas or behaviour, in a way that seems unreasonable [= stubborn]:

    an intransigent attitude
    owing to their intransigent attitude, the ceasefire agreement was not signed.
    No agreement was reached because of intransigence on both sides

    pierce
    to make a small hole in or through something, using an object with a sharp point:

    Steam the corn until it can easily be pierced with a fork.
    Rose underwent emergency surgery after a bullet pierced her lung.
    pierce a hole in/through something
    Pierce small holes in the base of the pot with a hot needle.
    The arrow pierced his shoulder.
    He pierced another hole in his belt with his knife.
    She was pierced to the heart with guilt.
    The knife pierced through his coat.
    she pierced my daughter’s ear lobe with a needle
    the arrow pierced his side
    the bullet pierced the wall

    dignity
    the ability to behave in a calm controlled way even in a difficult situation

    with dignity
    The family faced their ordeal with dignity.
    an appearance of quiet dignity
    She accepted the criticism with quiet dignity.
    the dignity of his rank
    all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights
    You have nothing to lose but postage and dignity.
    Increased immigration of workers of all skills levels will help allow retirees to age and die with dignity.
    The word gaman means to bear the seemingly unbearable with dignity and patience.
    Strapping on a Bluetooth headset doesn’t have to mean casting off dignity.
    The revolution promised women dignity, as well as equality.
    Just stop now while you only look a little foolish and can salvage some dignity.
    The pine tree symbolizes longevity and dignity.
    This is a tragedy, focusing attention on real people who lose not just necessary wages but dignity, self-respect and hope.
    Anyone with even a hint of any kind of dignity and self respect would refrain from this sort of behavior.
    And these feelings are intrinsically woven in with a sense of dignity.

    calluses
    an area of thick hard skin:

    the calluses on his hands
    The calluses on her palm showed how hard she had had to work.

    eloquence
    able to express your ideas and opinions well, especially in a way that influences people:

    an eloquent appeal for support
    Molavi’s intellectual depth and Sa’di’s eloquence
    It seems your eloquence and brilliance know no bounds.
    In public, he often lacks the necessary eloquence.
    He was able to, with his eloquence, inspire a great number of Americans.
    There is beauty and eloquence in the spoken word.
    While you write with some eloquence, your words bare little content.
    His eloquence was real because his words gave definition and meaning to the major issues of our time.
    Upon the silent eloquence of night.
    In politics, all too often, eloquence trumps accuracy.
    Your eloquence and precision were stunning.
    What the novel loses in authenticity, it gains in eloquence.