This week Governor Chris Christie opened his big mouth to announce his bid for the Presidency, and his exceptional lack of historical understanding. If there is ever a book written titled “Great Moderates in History” Christie will be forgotten along with the rest of the names it might chronicle.
His announcement speech could be summed up in a simple manner, something like:
“I’m Chris Christie and I want to be President. The best reasons to vote for me are:
- People are upset with both parties, and neither party likes me either
- Like all moderates – I can close my eyes and pretend that there is nothing worth taking a stand for so I’ll run on compromise
- Based on my poll numbers and the taxes I’ve raised in New Jersey there is no way I’ll get re-elected here, so since I have no where else to go I might as well run for President, and
- Even though I really, really like sandwiches I would never ask Hillary Clinton to make one for me because I respect her a great deal, I might even vote for her if I don’t get the nomination”
This was all laid out in a boorish manner; by a man who is larger in is own mind than he is in real life. Christie is a forgettable figure who speaks empty and forgettable words, and his announcement speech was no different. Honestly it is not worth responding to save for two small exceptions.
First, Mr. Christie seems to see compromise as a virtue, an honorable position from which to begin, when dealing with a reasonable adversary. The problem is that compromise, which is at times necessary, is not an approach you announce at the outset, and our adversary is not reasonable; their goals are in direct opposition to our values. Thus declaring willingness to compromise is nothing more than an open admittance of weakness and uncertainty in the face of opposition, and this before the battle begins.
Compromise is not a strategy.
Compromise is the active engagement of uncertainty. It is what you are left with when you have no ideas, no foundation, and no absolutes.
Secondly, Mr. Christie has revealed either an ignorance of history or a willingness to “bend” it for political expedience and gain. During his announcement he made the erroneous claim that:
“If Washington and Adams and Jefferson believed compromise was a dirty word, we’d still be under the crown of England.”
This idiotic statement is both easily refuted and greatly revealing of Chris Christie’s lack of character. Too much blood was spilled on American soil – by patriots – for history to be so passively re-written.
Thomas Jefferson, when writing Declaration of Independence, made it clear that the attempt to compromise with both the Crown and British troops stationed within the colonies was made, and earnestly. After listing the offenses the colonies had suffered under the King, Jefferson explains that a large part of the reason for declaring our independence was the failure the repeated attempts made for compromise:
“In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.” (http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html)
But those words were written so long ago that they do not really matter any more… right Mr. Christie?
Our founders realized that compromise only leads to abuse. They understood that freedom, and liberty were worth their very lives, and they knew there is no way to compromise with tyranny. As a result, they told the king to go to hell, and they told him so in no uncertain terms:
“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
We need that kind of leadership once again, not wishy-washy liberal blather.
Contrary to Mr. Christie’s distortion of history, the truth is that had our founders continued to pursue compromise we would not likely have separated from the clutches of a tyrannical king and established a nation with the rights and liberties we have enjoyed for so many generations since.
We are tired of squishy spineless establishment “Republicans” who fold like the newspapers they have their names printed in. We need a man or woman who understands that there are things in this world worth fighting for, and that telling the world you are willing to negotiate is not the same as leading. Our rights are being taken from us, our freedoms systematically removed and restricted and we need a leader to reverse course.
To be a leader a backbone is required.
So Mr. Christie, please go away we aren’t interested in you.