Thursday, August 16, 2007

Why I'm not a fan of Rudy Giuliani

Rudy might have once been seen as a heroic 9-11 character, who displayed bravery, leadership and integrity. He refused to accept a $10mil donation from the Saudi theocracy after 9-11, and he has been talking tough against terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism.

But this toughness, this need to put terrorism as the #1 priority, has overtaken his regard for liberty and caution. When it comes to getting a big and powerful US government to fight "the war on terror", nobody is tougher than Rudy.

I've got no problem with anti-terrorism, but not at the expense of liberty and freedom. After the inarticulate clumsiness of president Bush, I would hope to see the next president as a consistent and predictable statesman, able to articulate and defend a policy.

Here is a ghastly example of doublespeak by Rudy:

We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don't see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

This is just so wrong. Its as bad as any other Orwellian inversions of reality, such as war is peace, freedom through strength, and slavery is freedom. Not only is the doublespeak terrible, but he is using it to advocate a strong government which "has a great dealof discretion about what you do".

Ron Paul is a much more sober candidate. His love of liberty does come across as radical, because it leads to policy solutions which unwind and dismantle many massive government institutions and bureaucracies. But he was spot on when he said that 9-11 could have been prevented through preserving liberty and the upholding the 2nd amendment.

If airlines were allowed to arm their pilots and security stuff, then a bunch of maniacs with box cutters would be toast. I have little doubt. It would have been miraculous for the crazed Saudi hijackers to even crash a single airplane if the US government upheld the right to bear arms. Now this does not.. I repeat, does NOT, mean that every passenger gets to carry semi-automatic rifles.

It means that the private enterprise, the airlines and airport, get to set the rules and screen passengers for firearms. But they get to train and arm their pilots and security staff with firearms if they perceive a security threat.