RUDY GIULIANI: FRIEND OF MONTECITO?
The Average Man didn't think too much about Rudy Giuliani's fund raising trip to Montecito. That quickly changed, however, when I read this article from the Montecito Journal. Specifically, it was the following teaser that caught my attention:
There is plenty of money in Montecito, and anyone who believes there is little Republican strength in what many see as a decidedly Democrat-leaning community, some serious rethinking may be in order.
That got me thinking ... Is this true? Is Montecito a Democrat-leaning community? As someone who Treks to the Left, I would like to hope it is, but this would certainly fly in the face of my perceptions regarding the wealthy. After all, it's no secret that the "haves" do quite well under Republican leadership. And the "have nots?" Well, not so much.
In his speech to the Montecito crowd, Rudy made the following noteworthy comment:
Who has the best health care in the world? Who has a better health care system? Is there one we should borrow from somewhere else? Do you want the health care system they have in England? Or Germany, or Canada, or anyplace else?
I always get a kick out of this argument, because it's stated so boldly you almost feel silly debating it. I mean, Canada, come on. Who would want to get sick there!? Of course, if you know the real story, you know that countries like Canada have excellent health care and pay way less than we do for the privilege. But my point here isn't to defend Canada. You'll get no argument from me that the US generally has the best health care system, but what Giuliani fails to mention is the fact that it's only great if you can afford it.
Here's another interesting quote from the good Mayor:
America is not heading in the wrong direction ... people may feel that way, but that they are responding more to the media and the lack of leadership, and not to the reality of what is happening in this country. It has never been this good, for anybody ...
Bold statement. I'm not sure what people he is referring to here, but it certainly isn't the average man. Apparently Mr. Giuliani doesn't think much of the shrinking middle class or the growing divide between the rich and the poor. It seems to me that the people who have it so good in Giuliani's America are the same people who can afford that great health care: like the people who live in Montecito.
Now, I'm certainly not taking shots at Montecito; it's a beautiful place. I eat there, I shop there, and I would love to live there some day. But I think Giuliani's comments bring light to the problem of perspective suffered by the Wendy McCaws of the world. It's easy to think things are better than they've ever been if you can raise $290,000 in a single fund raiser. So I say to Montecito, if you are a "Democrat-leaning" community, then good for you in voting against your economic interests. If you're not, then I ask you to take a moment and think about things from the average man's perspective.
By the way, I went to the Internets to try and find out how Montecito voted in the last presidential election. I came up with a big goose egg on that one, but I did discover that Avril Lavigne lives there. So, there you go.