For those of you a little leery of him, perhaps this article from City Journal will shed some light on the character of Rudy Giuliani. Some Giuliani quotes from the article:
“Over the last century, millions of people from all over the world have come to New York City,” Giuliani once observed. “They didn’t come here to be taken care of and to be dependent on city government. They came here for the freedom to take care of themselves.”
Giuliani preached the need to reestablish a “civil society,” where citizens adhered to a “social contract.” “If you have a right,” he observed, “there is a duty that goes along with that right.”
Later, when he became mayor, Giuliani would preach about the duties of citizenship, quoting the ancient Athenian Oath of Fealty: “We will revere and obey the city’s laws. . . . We will strive unceasingly to quicken the public sense of civic duty. Thus in all these ways we will transmit this city not only not less, but far greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”
“The most fundamental of civil rights is the guarantee that government can give you a reasonable degree of safety.”
As a federal prosecutor in New York in the 1980s, he had vigorously hunted low-level drug dealers—whom other law enforcement agencies ignored—because he thought that the brazen selling of drugs on street corners cultivated disrespect for the law and encouraged criminality. “You have to . . . dispel cynicism about law enforcement by showing we treat everyone alike, whether you are a major criminal or a low-level drug pusher,” Giuliani explained.
As mayor, he instituted a “zero tolerance” approach that cracked down on quality-of-life offenses like panhandling and public urination (in a city where some streets reeked of urine), in order to restore a sense of civic order that he believed would discourage larger crimes. “Murder and graffiti are two vastly different crimes,” he explained. “But they are part of the same continuum, and a climate that tolerates one is more likely to tolerate the other.”
“The police started ignoring all kinds of offenses,” Giuliani later recounted of the [New York Mayor David] Dinkins years. They “became,” he deadpanned, “highly skilled observers of crime.”
“A city, and especially a city like New York, should be a place of optimism,” Giuliani later explained about his policing strategies. “Quality of life is about focusing on the things that make a difference in the everyday life of all New Yorkers in order to restore this spirit of optimism.”
[Giuliani's Police Chief William] Bratton replaced a third of the city’s 76 precinct commanders within a few months. “If you were to manage a bank with 76 branches every day, you would get a profit-and-loss statement from the bank,” explained Giuliani. “After a week or so, you would see branches that were going in the wrong direction, and then you would take management action to try to reverse the trend. That is precisely what is happening in the police department.”
Budget documents from the Dinkins years projected an eventual 1.6 million people on welfare. “The City of New York was actually quite successful in achieving what it wanted to achieve, which was to encourage the maximum number of people to be on welfare,” Giuliani later explained. “If you ran a welfare office, . . . you had a bigger budget, and you had more authority, if you had more people on welfare.”
A child born out of wedlock, he observed in one speech, was three times more likely to wind up on welfare than a child from a two-parent family. “Seventy percent of long-term prisoners and 75 percent of adolescents charged with murder grew up without fathers,” Giuliani told the city. He insisted that the city and the nation had to reestablish the “responsibility that accompanies bringing a child into the world,” and to that end he required deadbeat fathers either to find a private-sector job or to work in the city’s workfare program as a way of contributing to their child’s upbringing. But he added that changing society’s attitude toward marriage was more important than anything government could do: “[I]f you wanted a social program that would really save these kids, . . . I guess the social program would be called fatherhood.”
Although Giuliani didn’t start out as a proponent of school choice, his frustration in trying to turn around a huge school system where the teachers’ union and the bureaucrats worked to stymie reform made him into a powerful proponent of vouchers, which he believed would force the public schools to compete for students with their private counterparts. “[T]he whole notion of choice is really about more freedom for people, rather than being subjugated by a government system that says you have no choice about the education of your child,” he said.
Giuliani preached against New York’s lingering New Deal belief that government creates jobs, arguing that government should instead get out of the way and let the private sector work. “City government should not and cannot create jobs through government planning,” he said. “The best it can do, and what it has a responsibility to do, is to deal with its own finances first, to create a solid budgetary foundation that allows businesses to move the economy forward on the strength of their energy and ideas. After all, businesses are and have always been the backbone of New York City.”
“I felt it was really important the first year I was mayor to cut a tax,” Giuliani later explained. “Nobody ever cut a tax before in New York City, and that was one of the reasons I wanted to set a new precedent.”
“No one ever considered tax reductions a reasonable option,” Giuliani explained. But, he added in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Library, “targeted tax reductions spur growth. That’s why we have made obtaining targeted tax reductions a priority of every budget.”
[T]he mayor led visiting heads of state on tours of the [World Trade Center] devastation, because, he said, “You can’t come here and be neutral.” He addressed the United Nations on the new war against terrorism, warning the delegates: “You’re either with civilization or with terrorists.” When a Saudi prince donated millions to relief efforts but later suggested that United States policy in the Middle East may have been partially responsible for the attacks, Giuliani returned the money, observing that there was “no moral equivalent” for the unprecedented terrorist attack.
There is no one in America that has better credentials on American values, security, economic freedom, and personal responsibility than Rudy Giuliani. That's why he'll get my vote next year.