Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Giuliani Dilemma

If Rudy Giuliani were the GOP nominee, I would have a difficult time pulling the lever for him. I'm totally creeped out by his personal life. There are those who would argue that the personal and the public are totally separate. I'd disagree with them.

Or maybe not. I've been watching the documentary "Liberty: The American Revolution" and I must admit that I'm not totally comfortable with all the things the patriots did and said. Benjamin Franklin is on our money, but fathered several illegitimate children. Would I vote for Ben Franklin if he were running today? I honestly don't know. I'm not sure where that leaves me with Giuliani either. I'll be watching and pondering.

3 comments:

Reach Upward said...

Franklin never ran for U.S. President. He did serve as President of Pennsylvania (i.e. Governor).

But bear in mind that Franklin only ever acknowledged one illegitimate son. Franklin was 26 at the time. He then 'married' a woman he had proposed to nine years earlier (common law marriage). She had married another man while Franklin lived elsewhere, but her husband had abandoned her and left the country. Legal divorce was not available to her. It is unknown if she was the mother of Franklin's illegitimate son, but she and Franklin had two other children together.

All of this was quite scandlous at the time, but it could be chalked up to youthful indiscretion rather than an ongoing way of life. Franklin openly advocated following 13 personal virtues, and admitted that he had failed to constantly uphold them. But these were mistakes, rather than refutations of the principles themselves.

Giuliani's case is as different from Franklin's as night is to day. He has many admirable traits, but on family management -- the area where success is truly important -- he's still making grand a mess of things. Also, in many areas of virtue and morality, Giuliani pulls a failing grade. Rather than Franklin's "I try to do right, but sometimes fail," Giuliani's approach is more like, "Well, that's not very important. There are lots of people who see it differently. At least I'll nominate constructionist judges. Etc."

I am dumbfounded by Republicans that once lambasted Bill Clinton's pecadilloes as essential leadership faults, but who can now support Rudy Giuliani under the guise that those kinds of things are simply personal matters. Either private virture matters in public life or it does not. If it does matter, that needs to be considered when choosing who to vote for.

Frank Staheli said...

I guess I haven't thought about it yet, because Giuliani is way down on my list:

1. Paul
2. Huckabee
3. Hunter
4. Romney
...
10(?). Giuliani

If Rudy is the Republican candidate, I will write in Ron Paul. Probably for anyone else but Huckabee and Hunter as well.

Bradley said...

Reach,

The example from Benjamin Franklin was just one that stuck in my head. Maybe I'll need to watch it again and see if I can pin down the other things that prompted this post in the first place.

Frank,

A friend of mine who is a Democrat says that presidential politics is just a spectator sport in Utah. I suppose there is something to that, especially in the general election. Writing in Paul wouldn't be a bad thing unless it causes a spoiler effect. I believe this is why we need preference choice voting.