A recent poll revealed that New Yorkers feel that our state legislature is the most corrupt in the nation, which is really saying something when you consider all the stiff competition in this 50 team league. We’ve also got an appointed Governor that inherited the job from his predecessor who was forced to resign due to outrageous hypocrisy. It wasn’t so much the hookers that bothered people with Governor Eliot Spitzer, that’s his own business, but the fact that he had largely built his career attacking the prostitution industry and demonizing its clients. So his Lieutenant Governor David Patterson got the job, a decent enough guy but dumb as a sack of Sarah Palins.
Next year is election time and even his own party is urging Patterson not to seek the nomination lest the governorship fall into Republican hands. His response was to call his opponents racists, and perhaps he’s right if you count discrimination against the incompetent as racist. Then one even dumber lady from the Assembly upped the idiot ante by attacking Governor Patterson for his blindness, saying he is ineffective because he can’t Twitter. So stupid and crazy is this woman that you half expected her to ask just how Patterson knew he was black since he cannot see. So Albany, always a rich repository of corruption, greed, malice and buffoonery, somehow just got worse and it’s anyone’s guess who will be our next governor.
At any rate, guess who smells blood in the water here? None other than the self-proclaimed America’s Mayor, the less-than-honorable Rudolph Giuliani. This is a man who’s career was made by the 9/11 attacks even though he did nothing but make matters worse by insisting that his emergency command post be located inside one of the fallen towers. He did so even after the 1993 bomb attack on the World Trade Center prompted all his advisors to insist that this was a huge mistake and would leave the city command structure vulnerable in case of another attack. Which is why he was stumbling aimlessly around downtown that morning dodging debris and directing exactly nothing while abler men implemented an incredibly effective rescue operation. They saved lives and gave their own. We buried many leaders afterward.
Yet somehow the worst day in New York’s history became the best day of his life. Rudy Giuliani was on the verge of leaving office a failed mayor, scorned for his autocratic, dictatorial rule and roundly condemned for betraying his wife and young children so callously and publicly. His carefully projected image of championing the common man and cherishing family values was a farce meant for lesser mortals to embrace while he did the opposite, like many a famous dictator. Unlike his apparent role model, he didn’t make the trains run on time, but he did claim to have restored law and order and prosperity to New York City. The reality was that he ruined many small businesses while kissing big corporate butt.
His idea of law and order was to lock a great deal of petty offenders like turnstile jumpers and beer drinkers behind bars, a heinous policy against our poorest citizens that continues to this day. His blustery pronouncements about crime were a huge contributing factor to a mindset in America that has led to the incarceration of 2.2 million Americans, the largest prison population in the world by some 700,000 citizens. This unconscionably huge prison population was built largely by cynical politicians like Giuliani using blatant scare tactics to get themselves elected, selling themselves as the new sheriff in town.
How much easier it is to lock people away than attack social problems and make progress as a nation, the way America was originally designed to do. Of these 2.2 million prisoners, relatively few of them are actual hardened criminals who deserve long prison sentences. To the Giulianis of this world, prison is the solution to complex social issues, as cruel and mean spirited an approach to leadership as can be imagined, and a surefire method of making things worse. How many young lives have been broken and corrupted forever so that megalomanic politicians too stupid or lazy to lead can claim to be effective leaders? For years Giuliani was the head of that hideous pack.
There was no infraction too small to avoid serious jail time in his eight years as Mayor of New York City, and no powerless pauper was safe from his unrelenting police sweeps. The only thing that prevented him from being a full blown dictator was the fact that this is America and that he lacks any personal courage, as evidenced by his aimless panicky flight on the morning of 9/11 while others tended to the grim business at hand unflinchingly. The fiction that he healed this city afterward is patently absurd. New York is a tough town. We rallied to the side of our own and healed despite, not because of this tired buffoon.
That he went on to great wealth and fame as “America’s Mayor” is a sad joke that most New Yorkers just don’t get. It wasn’t funny for eight years and it wasn’t funny on a September morning in 2001. Now he wants to govern our state. Great, not only is Albany a cesspool but now the smelliest of all New Yorkers wants to run it. That would pretty much guarantee that the corruption and inertia will continue while Rudy concentrates on his image, probably pushing for legislation that will condemn even more poor people to our overcrowded prisons. As far as doing the nuts and bolts hard work to tackle the state’s many pressing problems, forget it. For Rudy Giuliani, if it’s not about him, it’s not about to happen. And if he ruins lives and leaves fixing New York’s problems for the next guy, well, that’s the price to be paid for granting us the benefit of his exalted presence.
America is not the nation of criminals and bums that he and his kind think it is. America is a good nation of good people, generous, courageous and hard working. We deserve better leadership and better state governments. The cowards and psychopaths who dispose of people because they are inconvenient, or because their very existence reminds them of their own failings as leaders need to go away. These clowns spread fear, then ride in on a white horse promising to save us from that fear by any means necessary, constitutional or otherwise. No, thanks. Been there, done that, have the overcrowded prisons, high unemployment, homeless families and empty treasuries to prove it. We cannot afford to follow blowhard ideologues any longer. They always harm the many for the benefit of the few and always leave a huge mess behind. Let’s tell Rudy to stay on his America’s Mayor World Tour and keep the hell out of New York. He’s done quite enough.