Wednesday, August 29, 2007

America's Mayor...America's President?

Here’s an interesting article on Rudy Giuliani and his terrorism/security credentials…

Some thoughts…

In the aftermath of 9/11, Rudy Giuliani provided exactly what was needed. He remained calm and resolute, promising that the attacks would far from ruin the world’s greatest city, rather that New York City, and by extension America, would emerge stronger then ever. Rudy Giuliani became America’s Mayor.

He deserves credit for quickly recognizing the psychological component of the attacks and thus coaxing all who were listening to go on living their lives; to not give into the Al-Qaeda’s objectives. Based largely on his experiences of 9/11, Giuliani says he understands terrorism "better than anyone else running for President.” But as the article points out, “being a victim of terrorism, or the steely leader of a recovery, is not necessarily the same as understanding terrorism.”

He has been quoted on the campaign trail in reference to Islamic terrorists as saying, “They want to kill us” and “They hate you.” This is no doubt true, but it says nothing of how he would protect the country from future attacks. All it demonstrates is that now that he is running for President, Giuliani has embraced the proverbial anvil hanging over America’s head. While I recognize that a terrorism/security platform is essentially Giuliani’s only way to the White House, I find it very disingenuous to mount a campaign on a notion of fear when much of your national identity is based a refusal to give into this fear.

The problem with such a campaign, with respect to the voters, is that people end up voting not on the relative merits of candidate A versus candidate B, but instead on the fear of what might happen if they don’t vote for candidate A. It is an empty vote. We are now in the sixth year of the current war against terrorism. Shouldn't a candidate offer something as to what has worked and what hasn’t, what he or she would do differently. Obviously much of what is done is beyond the public eye and not up for discussion, but there has to be more than “they want to kill us” when, as with Rudy Giuliani, this is your defining issue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good post, I like your take on the fear- baiting that comes along with the "politics of terror." unfortuantely, i think fear has led our country to make some pretty terrible decisions.