It became clear last week that Rudy Giuliani intends to be our next president. Notwithstanding the possibility that a pro-gay rights, pro-choice Republican might not do so well in the primaries, it's worth noting that Giuliani is an absolute horror show with regards to crime and drug policy.
An adherent to the controversial "broken windows" theory of policing, Giuliani believes that aggressively targeting minor offenders will have a trickle-up effect in reducing the overall crime rate. Heâs widely credited with reducing crime in New York City by half during the 1990âs, and many people consider him an expert on the subject.
Yet Giulianiâs seemingly successful experiment with 'zero tolerance' coincided with similar drops in crime across the country that began prior to his taking office. Other cities achieved similar outcomes without mass arrests, and experts have attributed the big crime drop of the 1990âs to a broad range of external factors such as increased economic opportunity and even 1973âs Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.
But while Giuliani probably doesnât deserve much credit for reducing crime in New York, he certainly does deserve credit for this:
As the get-tough policy began to warm up, the stats soared. In 1993, there were 3,400 complaints of police brutality brought before the Civilian Complaint Review Board in New York. In 1994, 4,900. In 1995, 5,612. In 1996, 5,592. That's a 60 percent increase in those years.
Giulianiâs brand of 'zero tolerance' devastated race relations in New York. As NYPD excesses such as the sodomization of Abner Louima and the killing of Amadou Diallo began to occur with increased frequency, the Mayor remained smug and unyielding. Giulianiâs notoriety as an apologist for police homicide reached new heights when he released the sealed juvenile records of Patrick Dorismond, an innocent man killed by undercover officers, in a blatant attempt to discredit the victim only days after his tragic death.
Of course, the only thing worse than a Mayor who blames police brutality on the victim would be a President who does so. If George Bush hates black people, Rudy Giuliani dances on their graves for the cameras. And there are probably all sorts of horrible things he'd like to do that weren't possible as Mayor of New York City.
For starters, hereâs Giulianiâs idea for an international drug control strategy:
We need to call on the on the federal government after having done our job effectively [on crime reduction] to make [drug reduction] an important part of our foreign policy, rather than a secondary part. After all it has to do with the future of our children and it is just important as international trade. And itâs just as important as wars that may be going on in different parts of the world, because it has to do with how productive America is going to be into the next generation.
Sounds like a prescription for worldwide bloodshed and wasted billions to me.