Giuliani's Six Principles of Leadership -- and One of Doublethink

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Giuliani's Six Principles of Leadership -- and One of Doublethink

by Ralph Shnelvar, April 7, 2005 (posted)

On the evening of April 3, I had the pleasure of being invited by my good friend, Jeff Erickson, to a speech given by Rudy Giuliani at the Unversity of Colorado, Boulder.

The speech he gave was quite good. He explained what he saw as his six principles of leadership. I won't bore you all with the details except to say that his leadership principles are ones I agree with; principles I use in my own business.

The principles he spoke about served him well in the 9/11 tragedy.

I can say that Hizzoner is a genuinely intelligent man of deep convictions. I can also say that he is not as much of a social liberal as the press makes him out to be.

Following the speech there was a question and answer period. There were a lot of cogent questions and an equal number of cogent answers.

I was lucky enough to be selected to ask a question. Just prior to my question, His Honor made a very libertarian remark. He said that freedom makes people stronger. That freedom is better than authoritarianism.

How wonderful, I thought. I then publicly asked the question to a crowd of about 2,000: Do you think that people should have the freedom to smoke marijuana?

After he repeated the question (I didn't have the benefit of a microphone), the crowd roared and applauded. Unfortunately, Hizzoner replied that he did not believe that people should be allowed to hurt themselves. He also mumbled something about clean air.

He was clearly uncomfortable with the answer. After the answer there was a smattering of applause. Maybe 10% of the audience.

How a person can one moment celebrate freedom and in the next breath deny it to a vast portion of the population can only be based on the principle of doublethink: the ability to keep two contradictory beliefs in mind at the same time without experiencing a sense of contradiction.

Someone else asked about whether he would have signed the same legislation that George Bush did in an attempt to save Terri Schiavo's life. His answer was yes.

These two answers were deeply disturbing to me. Rudy Giuliani worked as a drug warrior in New York as the U.S. Attorney. He graduated magna cum laude in 1968 from New York University Law School. He knows the law. He knows what the law should do yet he follows his religious and political convictions rather than the law. His answers to questions from the audience showed that he knew the history of this great country. Yet he deliberately mentally compartmentalizes freedom so that the word no longer means anything more than some sort of rallying cry.

It is clear that Rudy Giuliani values his political base more than he values the rule of law. His support of both the drug war and the meddling of the federal legislature and executive in a personal legal battle disturbs me deeply.

He was a man I thought I might respect for his leadership. Unfortunately, his principles of leadership do not mean that I respect his principles.

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