July 20, 2018 | ° F

Christie must keep public informed


This far into his tenure as the leader of New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie should know that his position is a 24-hour job. There is no rest for a public official of such high status, although Christie seems to think there is. His penchant for traveling out of state without letting his fellow political leaders know where he is going has understandably caused some frustration for said political leaders. In response to this conduct, state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-37, proposed a bill which would make it necessary for Christie to make his whereabouts known at all times. Christie, of course, hates the idea: He feels he has a right to keep aspects of his personal schedule private, away from the prying eyes of the press. Unfortunately for him, the minute he became governor is the minute he signed that right away.

Christie should look to the lives of President Barack Obama and his family — or any president in recent times — as an example of how the public and the private became inextricably intertwined once a person reaches a certain level of political power in the United States. Everyone knows even the minutest details of Obama’s daily existence: Where they vacation, where they eat, what Michelle Obama wore, etc. We admit it’s probably discomfiting for the Obama family to know they’re watched at all times. But we also realize that, as the citizens which Obama is governing, we have a right to know that he’s hopefully not sunning himself on the beach during times of crisis. Christie may not be as powerful as the president, but he’s high enough on the leadership ladder that citizens and his colleagues have a right to the same information about his lifestyle.

One of Christie’s major counterarguments is that he is always communicating with Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno when he leaves the state. That’s all fine and good, but what about the rest of New Jersey’s leaders or the average citizens? Should not they, too, be kept informed about the governor’s whereabouts? We should know whom our leaders are rubbing elbows with. We should know how they spend their time, especially when we need them. We should know what kind of person we authorized to make some of the most important decisions in our lives for us. That may not be an easy existence for Christie, but it is one of the prices of power. If you do not want to be a public servant, you should not run for public office.

By The Daily Targum

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