By Stephen Z. Nemo:
Like Sen. John
McCain before him, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christy is the darling of the mainstream media. But unlike McCain, Christie is a
far more articulate champion of the soulless establishment wing of the GOP.
“We are not
a debating society,” Christie said of his fellow establishmentarians to an audience of Republican National Committee
members meeting in Boston, “We are a political operation that needs to win.”
think we have some folks who believe that our job is to be college professors,” Christie continued. “Now college
professors are fine I guess. Being a college professor, they basically spout out ideas that nobody does anything about. For
our ideas to matter we have to win. Because if we don’t win, we don’t govern. And if we don’t govern all
we do is shout to the wind. And so I am going to do anything I need to do to win.”
that, Christie fleshed out the core beliefs of John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama: Ideas must never
be discussed (debated). That might tip off low-information voters (Republicans and Democrats alike) to the motives underlying
their actions. Politicians are mere vessels in service of the machine of government, doing and saying “anything …
to win.” Pulling the levers that control government’s massive machinery (to “govern”) is the only
So, what makes Chris Christie the ideal person to serve as President of the United States
over, say, Hillary Clinton? According to Christie, you’re not supposed to ask. That might spark a debate, and debates
are for college professors that “spout out ideas that nobody does anything about.”
what Christie says is true, that leaves only one correct answer to the question posed above: Christie is fit to be president
because he is … wait for it … a Republican and Mrs. Clinton is not.
For many Republicans,
that is answer enough.
Debate requires thinking. Thinking leads to reflection. Reflection makes
us look deep within ourselves to assess where we are in life and where we are headed. It forces us to examine our mistakes,
learn from them and take corrective steps to avoid repeating them.
In fact, there would be no
office of the presidency or a government for Christie to administer without debate, thinking and reflection. “…
What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” asked James Madison in Federalist
#51. Madison’s question was part of the debate (horrors!) on whether New York should ratify the Constitution for
these United States of America.
Madison, professor like, stated, “If men were angels, no
government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be
necessary. In framing a government, which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must
first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
Christie and the uninformed Republican voters he appeals to may not like the professorial question posed by Madison,
but it has been the ever-present issue that has demanded an answer from each generation of Americans: will we allow government
to control us or “oblige it to control itself”?
For Christie, McCain, Boehner, McConnell,
Pelosi and Obama, government is a machine … like a locomotive. That steam engine moves in only one direction and must
be under the control of someone familiar with what makes it run. That reduces the debate to one question: who is best at shoveling
coal into the locomotive’s furnace?
There is just one wrinkle in this analogy: there is
a trestle up ahead that spans a deep canyon. That trestle has collapsed. Establishment Republicans, like Christie, are so
focused on gaining control of the coal and shovel (“winning”), they haven’t the time or curiosity to look
out the window and notice the approaching danger.
That locomotive takes the form of a runaway
government, unrestrained by the Constitution, speeding full ahead in diminishing the liberties of its citizens while increasing
a nation-killing debt.
The debate for the 2014 midterm elections and the 2016 GOP presidential
debates, whether Christie wants to have it or not, will be on whether our nation continues forward to disaster or begins to
“The issue today,” said Thomas Jefferson, “is the same as it
has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.”
Christie may not be small, but he would very much like to be part of that ruling elite. And he would very much like
it if you don’t ask him, or the establishment politicians that reflect his views, pointed questions about the proper
relationship between a free people and its elected government.
Unfortunately, for Christie, there
is a growing army of Tea Party and conservative voters with curious minds who will ask these questions of the GOP establishment
… and vote accordingly.