Rudy Giuliani and the Power of the Voice
Donald Trump informed us on Sunday, December 6, that Rudy Giuliani tested positive for COVID-19. Within hours, we heard about Mr. Giuliani being hospitalized.
I shared some thoughts on Facebook. I mentioned the preciousness of human life and how challenged I was to conjure up empathy for Mr. Giuliani. Specifically, I referenced Mr. Giuliani’s outrageous behavior in the past couple of weeks. No mask. No distancing. Spouting nonsensical absurdities about fraud. Appearing in court while he was under the administrative suspension for failing to pay bar dues. And, most of all, explicitly and implicitly telling people they need not worry about COVID-19, and that The Other stole a Presidential election.
My post is gone. Deleted. Words are words but platforms matter. For me, at least, blogging represents a place where I can better explain my thinking.
What’s happening in America troubles me deeply, to my core. I don’t understand why or how we got to a place where not wearing a mask represents freedom. Where Republican leaders directly and indirectly encourage people to not wear masks, not distance themselves, and walk around with dirty hands. Where, somehow, honor exists in blowing off public health entreaties.
The postelection nonsense bothers me less and more. No one will likely die because POTUS and his disciples act like crybabies and sore losers. On the other hand, the last month has deeply injured our democratic institutions. For sure, Mr. Trump can sue and sue and sue and sue and sue, etc. He will lose, seriatim, because he lost the election. Not because anyone defrauded him or his voters. Not because people make mistakes. And not because he has not gotten a fair hearing in 50+ courtrooms. He lost the election because more people voted for the other guy!
To those who think we need to investigate every possibility I say, get a calculator. If you don’t have a reasonable basis for reaching the conclusion that fraud will change the outcome of the election, you’ve got nothing to talk about.
To those who say, how can it hurt, I say, let us count the ways. Without doubt, the new president does not take office until January 20, 2021. However, we have a system that has worked for more than two centuries, in which the new administration prepares, in the period between the election and the inauguration. Just because a bunch of you woke up in 2020, does not mean these traditions mean nothing.
The process matters. If you don’t think so, read The 9/11 Commission Report. (I read it years ago. It’s 585 pages, but it reads pretty easily.) The Commission saw a direct line between Bush administration start-up delays – occasioned by the legitimate questions about who won the 2000 election – and the failure to connect the dots. Certainty that the slow start prevented anyone from stopping the 9/11 events? No, obviously. But, did the Commission think getting going right away matters, and that not doing so can have catastrophic consequences? Absolutely. (By the way, stalling appointments in the Senate – the sort of blood sport that Leader Mitch McConnell and the majority he leads thrive on, and many expect – will have the same potentially devastating impact on our nation.)
Tens of millions of people listen to Mr. Trump, Mr. Giuliani, and others who share their views. Their irresponsible and outrageous comments and actions threaten all of us. Fortunately, though, in this nation the First Amendment prevents the government from telling you, or me, or anyone else, we cannot speak on the issues of the day. That right matters greatly!
I choose, from time to time, to exercise my right to speak on the issues of the day. I write, for I think hope I possess some gifts when it comes to expressing myself. My decision to express myself offends some people, and that I have expressed offensive sentiments from time to time. Oh well (and ignore me), and I deeply apologize for the offensive sentiments I have shared recently. I am trying hard, in these very challenging times, to my mind my manners.
One more thing. About Mr. Giuliani. I am sorry for his health problems, truly. Based on everything I have read, and from conversations with people I know who have survived COVID-19, no one deserves a bout with this virus. But one does wonder about America’s Mayor, and others like him: Where are the people in their lives who can tell them they are wrong? Where is the someone, somewhere, who tells Rudy what he needs to hear? Like, wear a mask. Don’t travel. And, most importantly, You’re a leader, so set an example.