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Rudy Giuliani and a 16th Century Italian Painter Know the Secret to Saving Our Cities

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Giuliani

At the height of the hippie movement in San Francisco, a strange thing happened. Doctors couldn’t understand a new set of medical problems they began to see. Eventually, they learned that the “new” problems were actually quite old—long-forgotten bacterial infections like “the itch” and “the rot.”

It turned out that the hippies had rejected modern hygiene and medicine for ideological reasons. They wanted to live free from the “shackles” of Western civilization and had “liberated” themselves from our greatest advances. But as long-forgotten diseases crept back into society, the hippies were forced to confront the same grotesque realities that had spurred our ancestors to develop basic hygiene practices centuries ago. Tom Wolfe called this phenomenon the “great relearning.”

That term might sound familiar to anyone living in a city today where we are witnessing a great unlearning on another societal ailment that previous leaders had made great strides in curbing – crime.

Thanks to reformers in the 1980s and 90s, and their years of strategizing, experimenting, and proving, crime rates had been dramatically reduced and Americans once again felt safe on the streets of our greatest cities. Community policing, truth-in-sentencing, stop-and-frisk, and broken-windows theory became household terms. And previously unsafe areas, especially majority-minority neighborhoods, were the biggest beneficiaries.

New York City under Rudy Giuliani was a shining example of the success of proactive crime policy. The numbers still amaze. In 1993, the year before Giuliani became Mayor, New York suffered more than 1,900 murders and 85,000 robberies. By 2001, his final year in office, New York had fewer than 650 murders and 28,000 robberies.

Now, in the name of “social justice,” progressives are casting aside these reforms across America.

They say community policing “deepens criminalization and expands police power.” Truth-in-sentencing contributes to “mass incarceration.” Stop-and-frisk is “discriminatory.” And broken-windows theory “contributed to the violent and racialized policing that dominates our criminal justice system today.”

Meanwhile, the murder rate surges and businesses in places like San Francisco are left powerless to stop shoplifters.

Current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has blamed the state’s bail reform. He also blamed the COVID-19 virus. He even bizarrely claimed that “one of the things that is holding us back” is that New York City doesn’t “have a functioning court system,” drawing a sharp public rebuke from his own justice system, which has been hamstrung by new laws preventing them from doing their job.

When Rudy Giuliani was mayor, he took the opposite attitude, even down to the details of his office decoration. A sign on his desk read “I’m responsible.”

He also hung two prints of frescoes painted by Ambrogio Lorenzetti which have hung in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, Italy for almost seven hundred years. The dueling paintings, titled Effects of Good Government on the City Life and Effects of Bad Government on the City Life, rank among the masterpieces of medieval art.

Effects of Bad Government, with its dark depiction of chaos, death, and Satan himself, reminded Giuliani and visitors how ugly city life can be when leaders surrender to the worst impulses of human nature.

Effects of Good Government is a scene of tranquility and order. Its text below calls the viewer to “turn your eyes to behold” Lady Justice, who “guards and defends those who honor her.”

Lorenzetti didn’t ask us to see the indispensability of wealth or even freedom. He asked us to turn our eyes to the power of justice.

Giuliani, after a law enforcement career spent taking down top mafia bosses and drug-dealers, understood this.

But progressive leaders today fetishize “social justice” instead, thinking that the extra word harmlessly tacks on an extra ounce of balanced compassion.

Lorenzetti would have seen right through this. In the Effects of Bad Government, Lorenzetti humanized Division as a figure working to help a tyrant capture the scales of justice, much like today’s left-wing activists, who use identity politics to erode the rule of law by deepening divisions in our society.

Some problems, crime and infection among them, can be beaten back and subdued, but never fully erased.

As a victim of the bubonic plague, Lorenzetti probably wouldn’t have understood the hippies in San Francisco who turned down clean toothbrushes and penicillin. But he—and Giuliani—understood two wisdoms.

First, justice is a timeless solution to crime. Second, “justice,” as a single word alone, already requires balance. Individual rights must weigh against an orderly society.

But “social justice,” on the other hand, tips the scales. By definition, it subtracts far more than it adds, abandoning hard-won order and legal justice in favor of ever-shifting notions of a “racial reckoning” or “reimagined policing.” The effects of these disastrous ideologies are evident on the streets of Democrat Bill de Blasio’s New York.

It is unclear how much time will pass and how many more will suffer before this unlearning becomes another relearning.

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Paul
3 months ago

Rudy Saved NY from imploding back in the day.

JBrown
3 months ago

Good article. I believe that Mr. Giuliani is correct.

Henry Miller
3 months ago

For civilisation to survive, a very high percentage of the population involved has to be committed to that survival. I don’t have a good idea of what number that “high percentage” is, but it’s become obvious that America has fallen below it. We’ve become a “society” of “Me! Me! Me!” rather than a society of “Us.”

And that’s a self-perpetuating trend. Once any individual sees civilisation start to crumble, self-preservation is going to start to become a dominant motivation. “Civilisation” becomes no longer worth the effort to maintain it.

Sic transit gloria mundi. And it’s usually worse on Tuesday.

Dave
3 months ago

Once you understand that the left is destroying America as we know it, not out of stupidity, but ON PURPOSE, everything makes sense. A free people will not voluntarily choose to be enslaved under a collectivist system, so enough chaos has to be created and the existing system has to be destroyed to make that happen.

JOEL T FRIEDLAND
3 months ago

What caused crime to declin in nyc in the 1980’s and 1990’s?
1 Aging out of baby boomers. Men likely to commit crimes o longer had the energy to do so.
2 Availability of abortion in the 1970’s resulted in far fewer unwanted children being born.
3 Koch and Guiliani policies of letting junkies with aids to die as quickly as pos sibe.
4 Technology advances .. Cell phones

Karen
3 months ago

Bravo! Great report! Thanx……

Jane
4 months ago

Excellent!Everyone should read this! Thank you!

JohnH
4 months ago

History supports that the changes by Rudy in NYC worked & made this a safer city. What changes happened since Rudy years. It is a no-brainer to me that de-fund the police is the number one thing that criminals want + let me out of jail/prison early + let me out with no bail. The hoodlum beating up 68-year old man & mugging him last week was one of the most despicable videos I have seen. And the police are not respected when they prevent muggers like that idiot.

Denise
4 months ago

Oh, P.S. and the below should explain in frightening detail why the left is so maniacal to disarm this nation….as George Washington so rightly said: “Firearms are the liberty’s teeth.” The Jews were first forced to register their firearms…and the Gestapo knew right where to round them up. P.S. again; The Holocaust didn’t begin with the gas chambers….

Denise
4 months ago

America was brought together by strong, principled God fearing men and women. Sadly this nation with few exceptions, has rejected that. Samuel Adams said it best: “When a nation forgets it’s God, tyrants soon forge it’s chains.” We the people have also blindly allowed politicians to do as they please, never taking the time to research what they really are….we the people have either forgotten our history or just plain ignored it. This government was instituted by men to be “of the people, by the people and for the people.” For those who’ve chosen to ignore our history and the brilliance of the men who pledged “their lives, honors and fortunes” our history is now being re-written, expunged, destroyed, perverted and just plain stomped into the muck.
The government was set up to be accountable to WE THE PEOPLE. Politicians have gotten away with literal murder for decades because of the lack of participation BY THE PEOPLE in OUR government.
It takes time and effort to be involved in government, but we the people have been to busy enjoying the freedoms so many fought and died for to be bothered. So we’ve left it to self serving, money grubbing, power seeking politicians to make our decisions for us. ” We now have a fraudulently “elected president” determined to tear down the last vestiges of our liberty and freedom. He has, with the “help” of a communist, who once illegally occupied our White House, who promised to “fundamentally change America”; has destroyed everything Trump did in four years enduring constant threat and harassment, destroyed this nation’s economy, “encouraged” people to stay home and collect their “stimulus checks” while our businesses are being systematically destroyed.
We the people have allowed Marxist enemies to infest our schools, drag queens to tell stories to young children, our justice system to be deliberately weakened by leftist “judges”. Then “president” Slick Willy Clinton in ’93 fired 93 U.S attorneys and replaced them with leftists. Our criminal justice system is a sick joke…by design.
Bottom line: America is being destroyed from within! Begun by the lack of participation in our local and federal government by we the people.The left is determined to turn America into another dictatorial caliphate ruled by the godless left…think not? Lets start with this almost maniacal insanity to force Americans to get a shot that is already showing adverse side effects…and not just one shot but now pushing for 3!! Forcing American’s to “mask up” when the unelected self proclaimed expert Fauci has changed his alleged mind at least a half dozen times on masks! Can we spell “Divide and Conquer?”.

Carol
3 months ago
Reply to  Denise

This is well said. I have tried for years to make those people (lemmings) really understand what I have seen with my own eyes in other countries where I have worked in health are. Denise I do not know where you are or what your background is but thank you for so eloquently explaining how it is exactly in this country. The “useless idiots” (I believe lenin called them useful?) have taken our God given rights and given them them to their gods POWER and CONTROL. You are one of the brave and a patriot! Carol

PaulE
4 months ago

Lets cut through all the politically correct dancing around the issue that so many of these type of articles seem to do and just lay lay out the reality of what is happening in NYC. I worked in NYC both before and after Mayor Giuliani was elected, so I saw the sharp contrasts first hand.

NYC had literally descended into being an open cesspool that was unsafe to either travel to or work in by the time Mayor Giuliani was elected. NYC before Rudy had become a dirty, crime-ridden, economically stagnant city with a string of ineffectual Democrat Mayors all promising to “turn the city around”, but ultimately doing nothing but repeating the same failed Democrat policies over and over again. NYC has been and still is an overwhelmingly Democrat city by wide margins for decades. Which should tell you something right there as to why the situation was allowed to deteriorate to the levels that it did.

That’s not to say everyone in NYC was upset or concerned with the trajectory the city was on at the time. If you were a rich, upper east side liberal (they used to be called limousine liberals back then) and were politically connected to high-ranking Democrat city or state officials to afford private, armed security, you were fine with the status quo. The other 99.99 percent of the population was essentially left to fend for themselves.

NYC had some of the highest crime stats in the nation before Giuliani. Decades of Democrat rule tend to deliver that outcome in most of our larger cities. So things had deteriorated enough that the average New York City resident was finally desperate enough to try something most swore they would never do: Vote for a Republican that was very pro law enforcement and economic growth. With strong support from the people, Mayor Giuliani was able to do away with enough of the old status quo Democrat policies and enact new effective anti-crime and pro-growth policies to turn the city around. Not that the Democrat-stacked City Council didn’t fight him every single step of the way. NYC residents still voted Democrat for those and other seats. Areas like Times Square went from areas to be avoided, because of high crime to tourist destinations. Traveling on the subways became much safer. More businesses opened in the city. Job growth became something to boast about. In short, a substantial improvement from the status quo delivered by decades of Democrat rule.

What you see now in NYC is the result of the complete abandonment of the anti-crime, pro-growth economic policies that Giuliani enacted and Bloomberg maintained for 20 years. NYC residents decided to elect and then re-elect a self admitted Marxist, his words not mine, named Bill de Blasio (not his real name by the way) as Mayor. NYC had completely forgotten what life in the city was before Mayor Rudy. Now virtually all the reforms that Giuliani had put in have been reversed and replaced by a long list of “social justice” policies. The result is what you see in NYC today.

It is quite apparent that NYC still hasn’t learned from their mistakes yet, as the next likely Mayor will be another Democrat if the polls have any validity. While he campaigned in the primaries as a pro law enforcement type, he has since come out promising to be “very progressive” and making other statements that indicate he will be just another standard issue Socialist Democrat. If NYC residents truly want a safer and prosperous NYC going forward, they have to make better choices. If they don’t, they will simply experience more pain and suffering. The choice is theirs.

Mandy
4 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Excellent comment. I never knew de Blasio dropped his father’s last name of Wilheim. I learn more from comments and love reading informative ones as you have posted.

The more I read about voter fraud the more I am believing the US votes have been manipulated to favor Democrats for decades and became obvious in our last election because they had to cheat so greatly to surpass the popularity of President Trump.

Just read that there was voter fraud in Virginia as well as the other states named so far.

I wish the American people and Congress would demand voter recounts in all states. Otherwise, we just have a sham of our electoral process and it really means nothing.

HocasPocas
4 months ago
Reply to  Mandy

Congress was in on the crime

MariaRose
3 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

PaulE- You mention in your comment, the ultra-rich liberals, who currently are in multi-sites in Manhattan, but you forgot to mention that they secretly demand a special police force, called the NYPDRed, which caters to them only. So all that defunding of the police doesn’t involve them at all. In fact this specific group of ultra-rich, the ones left still in Manhattan, demanded that all homeless shelters be removed from their neighborhoods and placed elsewhere. Guess where they just built and placed 4 shelters right in the Wakefield section of the Bronx, a few walking blocks from the Yonkers border. This is the most northern part of NYC and it is causing massive problems to both the Bronx and Yonkers who have to deal with these individuals who can’t hold jobs because of various mental issues and drug and alcohol problems, but those ultra-rich liberals are nice and safe. We can thank DeBlasio for this. Yonkers politics has progressives trying to push progressive tactics also, but enough of the population is demanding the removal of criminals off the street, starting with noise abatement and speeding, plus removal of any person who commits a crime with a gun off the streets. They may try to come into Westchester to do crime in Yonkers from NYC but if caught in Westchester, they are processed in Westchester, which has a longer arraignment period, with warrants immediately posted if they fail to show up for appearances. The ultra-rich liberals are the ones dragging down the state and they are only that way because money talks well as long as it is not happening near them.

PaulE
3 months ago
Reply to  MariaRose

Hi MariaRose,

I didn’t want to go into too much specific detail, because my post was getting already lengthy as is. I was just trying to highlight, in broad strokes, what NYC was like both before and after Rudy was Mayor to show how NYC deteriorated to its current sorry state. There are of course literally dozens of specific issues I could have touched on, as you are aware, that would have highlighted why NYC is in the disarray and distress it is today. The problem is a lot of people on this site don’t like to read really in-depth posts based on past comments to me. So I try to keep things as short as possible without ending up with useless one sentence posts that convey nothing of value.

Max
3 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Thanks for the info that you do put out.

Vicky Payton
4 months ago

No wonder him & Trump got along! They are a lot alike! Miss them both! Evil ALWAYS tries to irradiated good — so it can reign supreme & reap the rewards of their evil! Like Pelosi & all her minions. ????

Robin
4 months ago

I grew up in NJ where New Yorkers moved to flee the crime. Then came a string of NYC Mayors that continued to degrade it. How about Lindsay? And then along came Rudy. By then I was long gone from the area. He did a great job, had the “bigger picture” and understands the effects of poor leadership. Now he comes back to help us again as a nation, and NYC, specifically the crooked Southern District, treat him as a criminal. Is it any surprise that Trotsky was actually from Brooklyn, NY??? Yes, that Trotsky, one of the founders of the Communist party.

John West
3 months ago
Reply to  Robin

Sorry, Robin, Trotsky was born in the Kherson governorate of what was then the Russian Empire. He was not from Brooklyn. He did travel abroad in the years leading up to the Russian revolution, living in London, Vienna, Paris, and for a few months early in 1917, the Bronx.

James Kelly
4 months ago

RUDY, RUDY, RUDY!!!

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