Moving On From 9/11

Those who think that Rudy Giuliani is being treated with kid gloves by the media need to take a look at this cover story from New York magazine, which puts a negative spin on every development in the nascent Giuliani candidacy:

Giuliani’s pro-war stance and his moderate social-issue positions may yet bury him. So could a lack of money, a green campaign staff, his thin political résumé, his trifecta of marriages, and, not least of all, the fact that the 9/11 card, however powerful it is, could simply prove too flimsy to carry him all the way to the White House.

An ongoing theme of the article is  that "Except for those who have a personal connection to the (9/11) tragedy, people have generally moved on."

I have always argued that one of the biggest dangers we face is that as the years go by without a terrorist attack on American soil, and as the costs of fighting terrorism mount, people will want to return to the days when we treated terrorism as a "managable" threat. Of course, it would be a huge mistake to point to the absence of attacks that have been the result of increased vigilance against terrorism as an excuse to return to the lax attitude that brought us 9/11 in the first place.

The 2008 election, I believe, will hinge on this very issue. Do we want to  return to the days when terrorism was a part of  political life, but not the central part,  or do we want to remain committed to aggressively battling jihadists?  That's why I think the election will come down to Obama vs. Giuliani–both of them are the purest representatives of each point of view. Liberals will argue that they're every bit as committed to defeating terrorism as conservatives, only smarter about it.  But underlying all of their arguments is a mocking  attitude toward those of us who believe that the war on terrorism is worth fighting–they believe that  conservatives are wildly exaggerating the threat of terrorism and Islamism and that we  are overly obsessed with 9/11.

One of the reasons I have been such a staunch proponent of Giuliani's candidacy is that   it's obvious that 9/11 is so personal for him and thus  I'm fully confident  that he'll always remain vigilant against terrorism, even if the public mood begins to shift toward complacency.

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