This past week, we lost two former elected officials – Gov. Mario Cuomo from
New York and U.S. Senator Edward Brooke from Massachusetts – who led fairly principled careers. They often stood for what they believed regardless of how popular or unpopular it might be. Mario Cuomo opposed the death penalty even though it was not a popular stand and likely cost him many votes. He often used his keen mind and oratory skills during his 12 years as Governor to try to convince others of his beliefs rather than seeking the expedient way. Edward Brooke, the first African-Amercian popularly elected to the U.S. Senate, likewise stood for and fought for his beliefs. He ran and was elected as a Republican in the mostly Democratic state of Massachusetts and spent his 12 years in the U.S. Senate often seeking to work in a bipartisan manner for what he believed was for the good of our country, including civil rights. Regardless of whether your beliefs coincided with theirs, you cannot help but respect them for their abilities and approach. Our governments can use more people like them.