Why Rudy?

I decided long ago that there is no way I could support Rudy Giuliani for president due to his sordid personal life and support for abortion rights. Yet he continues to gather support from otherwise conservative people and even many pro-life activists.

The reason for this is that Giuliani is perceived as "tough" on terrorism. He did a great job on 9/11, we are told. Because the nation is threatened with possible mass destruction, issues such as abortion can be overlooked in order to have a leader who will keep us "safe."

Leaving aside other issues for now, let's think about Rudy's so-called strength for a minute. Was he a hero on 9/11, and is he qualified to protect the U.S. from further terror attacks? What, exactly, did Rudy do on 9/11 besides appearing on TV to reassure people?

"Sure, he has no foreign or national policy experience, and both his personal life and political career are riddled with scandal," said Hammond. "But in the key area of having been on TV on 9/11, the other candidates simply cannot match him. And as we saw in 2004, that's what matters most to voters in this post-9/11 world." more

The above satire is not so far from reality. Again I ask: what did Giuliani do on 9/11 that qualifies him to be president? Answer: he went on TV and looked like a tough guy. He didn't make any presidential decisions because he didn't have to. Once the planes hit, the city's emergency response system would have swung into action no matter who was mayor.

In fact, one could plausibly argue that Giuliani's policies as mayor actually increased the risk of more terrorists attacks. He certainly did little to make New York a terror-free zone.

First, he made New York a so-called "sanctuary city" for illegal aliens. If, on 9/10/01, the NYPD had happened to stop any of the hijackers for traffic violations, they would have given them tickets and let them go without checking their immigration status.

Second, despite the fact that the World Trade Center had already been the target of one terror attack in 1993, Giuliani choose to locate the city's emergency command post within the complex. It was destroyed in the attack, which had the advantage of letting Giuliani say "I was there" but did not help facilitate emergency response.

Third, New York firefighters were operating on 9/11 with outdated radio equipment because their new radios - supplied by Rudy's political allies - would not work in tall buildings. Hundreds died because they did not receive warning the towers were about to collapse. Another problem was that the New York police and fire departments could not communicate with each other. A police helicopter observed the towers becoming unstable and warned police personnel to evacuate. Firefighters could not receive that message - so they died.

It is true that Giuliani talks tough about terrorism. So what? Bush talks tough, too. So does Osama Bin Ladin, for that matter. Talk is cheap.

All you conservatives who support Giuliani: what is it about him that justifies abandoning all your other principles? I have yet to hear a coherent answer to this question. It really does boil down to his TV appearances on 9/11. Admittedly, reassuring the country during a crisis is a big part of being president, and Bush was invisible for most of that day. Rudy filled the vacuum and did it well. Bill Clinton would have done it even better. Should either of them be our next president on that basis? No. We're not electing a consoler-in-chief.

I believe that even more important than defending the American Way of Life is making sure the American Way of Life is still worth defending. That means we have to stop the abortion holocaust and re-build a culture that respects life and liberty. Yet even if you believe that terrorism is the #1 challenge we face, Giuliani is no more qualified in that area than most of the other candidates.

There is nothing of substance about Giuliani's 9/11 leadership that justifies overlooking his many other faults. Yet many conservatives are doing exactly that. I wish I could think of a kinder word than "gullible" to describe such people but I can't. They are letting their fear blind them to the havoc a Giuliani presidency would wreak on the rest of their agenda.

Think again. Please. Giuliani is not the answer you are looking for.

1 comment:

Bro Robin said...

Very well put. Bravo!