||I Probably Cannot Do It: Rudy 2008
by John Mark Reynolds [author,
York City before Rudy was an aging courtesan. Visiting New York City
was a trip to a third-world country that had become so by choice.
was disgusting . . . full of the sort of raunchy shops that the morally
stunted think are adult. Much of the city smelled of urine and I could
hear gun shots in the distance walking back to my rooms . . . not once
but often in my short trips to pre-Rudy New York.
John Mark Reynolds
Mark Reynolds is the founder and director of
the Torrey Honors Institute, and Associate Professor
of Philosophy, at Biola University. His
personal website can be found at www.johnmarkreynolds.com and
his blog can be found at www.johnmarkreynolds.info.
[go to Reynolds index]
was obvious why people stayed in New York City, even loved her, but it
was a dying, even fetid, beauty . . . and I was sorry to be too late to
fall for her. I remember thinking, “She must have been something once.”
When I visited New York City post-Rudy, I could not believe
the difference. Times-Square was fun again . . . and the entire City
was cleaner, vibrant, and was young. . . nor was the change cosmetic
surgery, because the City has continued to be vibrant long after Rudy
Obviously, Giuliani had not been responsible for all
this miracle, but leaders deserve credit and Giuliani led by making the
tough decisions. He led and the results were good for traditionalists.
He made the City better for families, of all colors, and the voters
have never looked back.
On the day of 9/11 and the immediate
after-math, Rudy Giuliani was masterful and he has been sound on the
War . . . the single most important issue of our time.
Mayor is smart, a great speaker, and will be able to raise buckets of
money. He can also win by putting many blue states in play.
Rudy is no Lincoln Chafee . . . he is the sort of “left-of-center” Republican I personally admire . . . up to a point.
this, I certainly will not vote for Rudy Giuliani in the primaries and
I am not sure I could do it in the general election. My presidential
vote just might stay at home (the Republic will survive!).
New York City is not the United States . . . as shocking as this news
might be to my friends who live in the Big Apple. The brash and
by-the-throat style that worked well in the tabloid consuming subways
is not the proper style for the White House . . .
times, when Rome was in a mess, they would call in a strong man . . . a
Roman dictator to straighten out the problems before sending him home.
New York City was rotting in the 1970’s and it need someone like Rudy
Giuliani, a Roman patrician and strong man, to save it. America is not
so badly off . . . the economy is sound and the War is still winnable.
is an ambitious man, all men who run for the Presidency are ambitious
men, but his is the sort of raw ambition that does not sit well with me
so close to power in war time. He wants to be president too openly . .
. to much. Rudy Giuliani does not have the personality to lead the
whole nation. I don’t think he would wear well and bluntly I fear such
ambition untempered by any ideology or religion so close to power.
Rudy Giuliani has a philosophy in his personal life that is
antithetical to the American tradition. Giuliani has secular-elite
morality . . . more libertine than conservative. Can traditionalists
trust his basic impulses?
What do I mean? Nobody can anticipate
the challenges a President will face . . . remember 9/11 and George
Bush. Gay marriage was not the issue it became in 2000. How will a man
react to new challenges? His personal life philosophy is a good measure.
Giuliani’s personal life indicates that in any new challenge his
deepest predispositions will be hostile to traditionalists.
he does not need our votes, he will forget us utterly. He has no
friends in our camp or memories that can stir him to sympathy with our
point of view.
A comparison with another blue-state Republican might help make what I am saying plain.
Romney is a Republican who has often taken “wrong positions” on
important issues. . . changed his mind . . . and grown as all statesmen
do. I don’t agree with him on all the “issues.” This I know about
Romney: he has friends who are very conservative, family who is very
conservative, and is a traditionalist in his religious view of the
world. His deepest and first impulse will be to understand the American
tradition . . . not to innovate.
Given the quick changes that
happen in American politics, a man’s fundamental view of the world
(secular/progressive or traditionalist/Burkean) is more important to me
than the way he answers issues.
Romney disappointed “liberal
Republicans” in Massachusetts by governing as a conservative . . . he
did not mean to deceive in his answers to the overly tight questions of
a campaign . . . it is just the actual demands of office are never like
the neat check boxes of campaign position lists. (”Are you for legal
abortion?” told us nothing of what Romney would do about stem cells.)
I don’t trust Giuliani to be our friend when the new issues arise . . . as they surely will.
Giuliani is on the side of what the blessed Pope John Paul the Great
called the “culture of death.” As a secularist (whatever his claimed
religion), he views life and death as in the hands of men. Instead of
our right to life being secured by God as our Declaration of
Independence says, he would negotiate it or leave it to the whims of
Courts. Rudy Giuliani will not even pretend to be in favor of
traditional American views on the sanctity of life . . . and if a
politician will not even pander on an issue, you know he means it . . .
really means it.
Rudy Giuliani would be the first open
culture-of-death candidate to receive the Republican nomination since
the Reagan Revolution. He would shatter the pro-life Republican
presidential monolith that provided key margins in so many states.
another pro-culture-of-death candidate (like Hilary!) perhaps Rudy
Giuliani would get my vote as the lesser of two evils, but without
enthusiasm and with little support.
Or I might stay at home, waste my vote on a protest candidate, and wait for better days.
The fact that a Republican such as I (in a family Republican since Lincoln) would consider this . . . is a bad sign.
realistic candidates for President on the Republican side at the moment
are Giuliani, McCain, and Romney. Only these three have the money,
broad support, and chance of winning to make it all the way . . .
unless someone else shows up or one of them falters there is simply not
room in the media mind for more than three candidates.
is faltering . . . aging before our eyes and struggling to raise money.
I know of nobody who wants him . . . and his polling may simply be name
recognition. I think him the most likely to vanish in a puff of smoke.
he fades, then who? Nobody has the money to fill the gap . . . or the
charisma. I challenge anyone to name an electable Republican with money
raising prowess who in now in the race outside of the Big Three.
Newt? Get real. Democrats might as well nominate Ted Kennedy.
may be popular with some Republicans, but my wife turns off the
television any time he appears. She really, really dislikes him. If you
cannot carry Hope’s vote, then you cannot win!
much dirty linen, but the media likes his kind of secret and will
protect him (as it can) the way it protected Clinton. He will be a
player to the end.
Romney? He is far and away the best of the
three . . . and it may be coming down to voting for the traditionalist
of the heart who swears he has learned some things over time over two
men (Giuliani and McCain) who lack the temperament to be in the White
2007 John Mark Reynolds