This weekend, presidential hopeful/adorable peanut man Rudy Giuliani made another campaign stop in his ongoing effort to win over the West — no simple task for an urban Republican like Giuliani.
In a demographic that views him either disapprovingly as the chipper tyrant king of a far-flung homosexual megalopolis, or approvingly as “that 9/11 guy,” his appeal has some clear limitations.
Regardless, he soldiers on, and his quest to rock America’s cheap seats brought him to Loveland Saturday for a customary round of baby-kissing, hand-shaking and enough forced smiles to make you wonder if he’s in the pockets of Big Orthodontia.
In a town as starved for relevance as Loveland, the visit brought in a big crowd, packing the Loveland Coffee Company with roughly 100 people, according to the Denver Post. The crowd was mostly receptive. For every campaign button and ’08 sign, there was a friendly but politically ambivalent “Hi, Rudy!” sticker, further proof that his celebrity draws more crowds than his presidential aspirations.
Though it wasn’t the case on Saturday, Giuliani may be the only candidate in the race capable of filling a campaign stop to capacity with people who have no intention of voting for him.
It’s typical when a big, political someone arrives in the sticks that there’s a pack of outraged 18-24-year-olds waiting for their big chance to say something, and Saturday was no exception.
A small group of hecklers attended the event, distastefully politicizing what should’ve been a carefree morning of shameless pander.
They caused a scene; there was shouting, booing, the escorting of persons off of premises, etc. The usual, post-1960’s fighting of the power.
What was unusual about this was the message they felt worthy of taking to the streets. The hecklers were from a group called We Are Change Colorado, and they were accusing Giuliani of having advanced knowledge of 9/11 and that he covered up proof of a conspiracy during the aftermath.
Really, hecklers? Really? I mean, I know it’s exciting that he’s here and all, and it’s easy to let all the agit-prop fervor and sign-making and magic marker fumes get the best of you, but that’s the incendiary claim you’re going to go with?
The man was mayor of New York City for seven years, and in that time accumulated plenty of crap he needs to live down. If you’re going to accuse him of something, why not cherry pick from the scads of unflattering, speculation-free facts known to anyone who lived in New York during the 90’s?
The extremely arrogant and accusatory manner with which he received criticism from citizens, the hatred his many children harbor toward him (step and otherwise), his decidedly uncompassionate initiative to rid the streets of homeless people, the very recent corruption indictment of right-hand man Bernard Kerik, the police civil rights abuses that he not only tolerated but excused and for you moralizers out there, the constant diddling of persons not-his-wife.
There’s no shortage of dirt to fling at this guy, and while you can make a great case for calling him a sociopathic quasi-fascist, claiming that he knew about 9/11 is a pretty big leap. Before you accuse anyone of being complicit in mass murder, you better have some harder evidence than speculation on dubious looking explosions and convenient business associates.
Before hopping to conclusions about 9/11, microchips in the drinking water, or those wily Zionists, I implore you to poke around the less murky facts first.
You’ll still find plenty to scream at politicians the next time they need to endear themselves to the normals.
Ryan Nowell is a junior English major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.