I recently sat around with friends in my newly relocated life in the bay area, talking about presidential candidates. Wouldn’t you know, at that time, they all brushed me off when I said I was worried Giuliani might win. Now, they’re paying more attention. Giuliani is the front running GOP presidential candidate.

The past few weeks, I’ve heard a lot about 2012, which marks the end of the Mayan calendar. The prophecy is explained in different ways. Some way it’s the end of the world. The Mayans say it marks a new beginning, which is very different than saying it’s the end of the world, but it’s also saying that there is going to be a change. The theories on how much change, and how drastic that change will be, vary. Will we all bomb each other to death? Will we find ourselves in the collapse of capitalism, living in a post-industrial age? Will we find ourselves living in a totally new climate thanks to how badly we treat the environment and global warming? I’m not usually a person who is affected by stories about the apocalypse, or that the world as we know it is going to end. But, let me tell you, watching Giuliani take the lead in this presidential race makes me have to stop and think even more about all this talk of 2012.

And if that wasn’t enough, reading this week’s Forward article on Giuliani stacking his campaign with Mideast Hawks definitely didn’t ease my mind.

The former New York City mayor announced last week that he had assembled a team of foreign policy advisers featuring several prominent neoconservatives, including one of the movement’s founders, Norman Podhoretz. In addition to being an unwavering supporter of the war against Iraq, Podhoretz, a former editor of Commentary magazine, has grabbed headlines in recent months as one of most vocal proponents of American military action against Iran.

We’re already in some serious trouble. And while everyone is so sure that thanks to the Bush Administration’s unilateral acts of aggression, militarism, imperialism and war throughout the world, there’s no way a republican will win, I’m not so sure people should be banking on that. Here’s the thing–most people throughout the country do not know the horrible politician that Giuliani was in New York. They see him as a hero, not only post 9-11, but also because of what has long been dubbed by the media and the upper middle-class as Giuliani’s “success” in “cleaning up the city.” While this is typically discussed as a positive thing in the media, what it really meant was that Giuliani created police task forces that stopped and frisked thousands of Black and Latino men just because they were Black and Latino thanks to racist police profiling; pushed the homeless out of the city; as “fat old jewish guy”states so well, Giuliani’s overall “terrorization of poor working class and minority families through his various “get tough” initiatives in child welfare.” And that’s only the beginning.

Some good news is that firefighters are publicly debunking the post 9-11 myth that Giuliani was a hero for the city.

They argue that Giuliani’s administration failed to provide adequate radios for first-responders at the World Trade Center. And they remain angry at his decision to speed the removal of the enormous pile of rubble at ground zero, cutting back the size of the group searching for remains.

“He’s not a leader. He is running on 9/11, and it’s all a fallacy,” says Jim Riches, the father of a Sept. 11 victim and a deputy New York fire chief, in the video.

The International Association of Fire Fighters produced the 13-minute video and is distributing it to its 280,000 members, to the media, and online.

I can already hear someone saying that we wouldn’t necessarily be better off with a democrat, and I agree I’m not interested in another Bill Clinton centrist democrat if that’s what electing a democrat means. But that’s not what we’re looking at in the democratic party this time. At least not yet.

But seriously, we need to be watching, and more importantly, stopping Giuliani from winning this election. I don’t think I’m exaggerating, or stating hyperbole, when I say that our very lives depend on it.