A lot of Republican politicians in Washington talk of traditional values. A lot of conservative pundits and leaders of interest groups raise the banner of traditional values. But where’s the fruit of electing politicians to federal office on a purely socially conservative agenda?
Rudy Giuliani has taken more than a few slings and arrows over the past few months for supposedly not toeing the line on traditional socially conservative values. However, isn’t it more important to show results consistent with these values than to simply give them lip service? Mayor Giuliani may not fit the conventional mold of a “traditional values” candidate, but among those running for the 2008 Republican nomination for President, he has a record of accomplishment that should make values voters take notice. Consider:
While Mayor Giuliani takes hits for his “personal” view on abortion, abortions in New York City declined while Giuliani was mayor – a drop of 16.8 percent during the Giuliani administration, according to the Center for Disease Control. University of Alabama political scientist Michael New has stated that, “The decline in abortions in New York City under Giuliani was greater than the national decline.” What other candidate for President can boast a record of actually decreasing the number of abortions?
And while abortions were going down, adoptions in New York City were going up. Children in foster care fell in the city from 47,509 in December 1993 to 28,700 in 2001, the last year of Giuliani’s term in office. While only 2,312 children were adopted in New York City in 1994, cumulative adoptions swelled to 27,949 over the next seven years.
Mayor Giuliani has also spoken in very traditional terms about personal responsibility, particularly parental responsibility. “Seventy percent of long-term prisoners and 75 percent of adolescents charged with murder grew up without a father,” Giuliani said in his January 14, 1999 State of the City speech. “So, I guess if you wanted a social program that would really save these kids, a lot better than the City of New York, the United States Congress, the Social Welfare Agency, and Administration for Children Services, I guess the social program would be called fatherhood.”
As mayor, Giuliani supported the position that marriage should be defined as being between a man and a woman: “I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, that it should remain that way, it should remain that way inviolate, and everything should be done to make sure that that’s the case.”
In the midst of his tenure as mayor of New York, columnist George Will said of Rudy Giuliani, “He is America’s most successful conservative currently in office. He understands that culture, more than politics, determines a community’s success, and he has devised policies to drive cultural change in a conservative direction.”
While Rudy Giuliani may not pander to social conservatives in the way that many have grown accustomed from aspirants for the Presidency, his record of accomplishments speaks louder than lip service.