He is a favorite of the late-night talk shows. He’s entertaining and is a virtual caricature of what the Governor of New Jersey should be. However, if Chris Christie enters the race for the White House in 2016, he is a bad choice.
Christie’s bullying tactics make good television highlights. Being uninformed about issues is humorous, especially when the governor refuses to listen to others who are knowledgeable about the subjects. But these ‘qualities’ would not be acceptable in a president. A good president surrounds his or herself with advisors in all areas who are at the top of their field. He or she must make decisions after hearing the facts, even if the result is in opposition to his or her previous opinions. A president must be a diplomat and a mediator to govern effectively. Does any of this sound like Christie?
In a recent interview with ‘Today’ host Matt Lauer, he was asked about a recent incident involving a speech and a heckler in the crowd. He told the gentleman to ‘shut up and sit down.’ Lauer alluded to the fact that the residents of New Jersey might applaud his brashness, but citizens in other states question his ability to handle such situations with intelligence and self-control. Christie bluntly told Lauer that he ‘wasn’t going to change.’ And I believe him.
That attitude alone disqualifies him as a viable presidential candidate.
Christie began his presidential campaign Wednesday, the day after the 2014 midterms resulted in a low voter turnout which produced a virtual sweep for Republicans. He spoke of his pleasure that many gubernatorial races were won by Republicans. And in good right wing fashion criticized President Obama for his lack of leadership. He obviously doesn’t understand the history of midterm elections during the second term of a president.
As did many other states, New Jersey recorded its lowest voter turnout in history. A complete lack of faith in our government kept many voters at home, deciding not to ‘waste their time’ going to the polls.
In a separate issue, New Jersey voters were polled regarding Christie’s stand on measures to control the Ebola Virus. He believes anyone returning from the heavily stricken areas of West Africa should endure a mandatory 21 day quarantine, without consideration for the actual health of the individual. It wasn’t a huge surprise that 53 percent of eligible voters approved of Christie’s approach vs. that of the federal government. After all, it is New Jersey.
Christie has no medical training and denies that the scientific community has more knowledge about the Ebola Virus than a state’s governor. He openly expressed that he doesn’t care about an individual’s civil rights. That’s not very ‘presidential.’
Christie equates bullying with having strength. He is very wrong. Using power to control others, forcing them to comply with personal beliefs, and demanding they do your bidding without complaint is called bullying.
The best form of leadership is ‘leading by example.’ If the examples Christie is giving us are an insight towards methods he would use if he was sitting in the White House, he shouldn’t waste his time campaigning.
By James Turnage