James Q. Wilson on Rudy Guiliani
Professor Wilson has an enorsement of Rudy for President disguised as a book review in the latest Claremont Review of Books.
Modern politics is often about little more than adding another government program'”or demonizing opponents in order to attract marginal voters. Yet from time to time a statesman comes to power who breaks the mold and tries to govern against the grain. Ronald Reagan did that in the 1980s for the nation. And Rudy Giuliani did it the 1990s for New York City.
Republicans should keep in mind that, more than four years after 9/11, Giuliani still commands Americans’ respect and admiration. His worst behavior as mayor leads me to suspect that he is only as domineering and publicity-driven as many of our presidents (good or bad) have been. His best behavior as mayor suggests many of the qualities a good president should have, such as honesty, decency, and a commitment to make government work better and to enable the middle class to live better. As the presidential primaries approach, Republicans concerned with the country’s moral character may want to ask themselves whether, in the present predicament, what the country needs most is a strong executive, unafraid of criticism, to prosecute the war we are in.
Be sure to read the graphs in between.