Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Giuliani Syndrome

Hailed as "America's Mayor" after demonstrating calm and decisive leadership following the tragic events of 9-11, Rudy Giuliani has since experienced the humbling effects of running for national office, including the exposure of his personal failures before and after the peak of his glory.  As a result, he has become marginalized among the power brokers of American society and is clearly desperate to remain in the spotlight.

Individuals caught in such a scenario often attempt to gain public attention by making outrageous or inflammatory comments; after all, the American media, from bloggers to industry giants, are always thirsty for controversial material, especially when provided by celebrities.  Mr. Giuliani's assertion that President Obama does not love America and that he did not share "our upbringing," outraged most Americans but was red meat for racists, nationalists and right-wing Republicans across the country.  Insinuating that the President is an outsider who does not share our values, Giuliani both fueled the rage of those who despise Obama and attempted to re-inflate his own stature in the Republican Party.

Such is the nature of celebrity in American society.  Hailed as gods, their human frailties are often overlooked; eventually, those personal failures surface (often in response to the special treatment that they receive) and we toss our heroes aside.  Hoping to regain their celebrity status, many engage in bizarre and reckless behavior or, in Giuliani's case, become spokesmen for extremists who threaten the fabric of our democracy.