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    #1

    But I'm afraid not.

    In his Democratic National Convention Keynote Address in 1984, Mario Cuomo said, "Maybe -- Maybe, Mr. President. But I'm afraid not," after a succession of "maybe if" clauses. Does "I'm afraid not" here means "I don't think you would realize the real situation even if you did those things I just mentioned" or "I don't think you would do those things I just mentioned"? I'm not too sure which he meant.

    Thank you.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: But I'm afraid not.

    That would depend on the actual "maybe if" clauses.

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    #3

    Re: But I'm afraid not.

    Hi, MikeNewYork,
    The preceding sentence is: Maybe, maybe, Mr. President, if you visited some more places; maybe if you went to Appalachia where some people still live in sheds; maybe if you went to Lackawanna where thousands of unemployed steel workers wonder why we subsidized foreign steel. Maybe -- Maybe, Mr. President, if you stopped in at a shelter in Chicago and spoke to the homeless there; maybe, Mr. President, if you asked a woman who had been denied the help she needed to feed her children because you said you needed the money for a tax break for a millionaire or for a missile we couldn't afford to use.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: But I'm afraid not.

    Based on that, Mr Cuomo was criticizing the President for not doing those things. The meaning is closest to your second interpretation.

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