‘Bridgegate’ tarnishes Christie’s reputation forever
A short and rapid two months ago, the majestic purple mountains of western America seemed to be a treasure trove waiting to be exploited for our governor. With brigades on top of brigades of loyal Republican supporters raised up in arms all over the country, the electoral college of our great country seemed to only be a pawn in the grand scheme of Gov. Chris Christie’s ambitions. In those two months, I wrote an article stating the asserted dominance held in the grasps of the Republican governors palms over the fate over not only the state of New Jersey but also potentially the presidential race of 2016 with the weakening strength of the Democratic Party in recent months. However, the world of politics is fickle and unrelenting as the political throne of America shifts back and forth between parties without consent. With the new and career-damaging news of the Bridgegate scandal, the land of promise and opportunities now only seems to be a distant memory in Christie’s America.
To simply ignore this crucial fact and to delegate blame to other cabinet members however, would be a critical mistake for our boisterous governor, as the national forum has reflected its opinion in recent polls. A recent Rasmussen poll on Jan. 10th concluded that 56 percent of New Jersey voters believe that Christie should resign if he had knowledge of the fact and approved the retaliation against the mayor of Fort Lee. Even if this was not the case, there are serious red flags that need to be raised about governor’s judgment, as the persons at fault were clearly high ranked officials of his staff. To simply wave off the issue, as done by some commentators, is an insult to the citizens of New Jersey as it will likely become a tipping point in the back of New Jersey residents’ minds during the next election cycle. By no means has this ended all political aspirations for the presidency for Christie — it is simply another piece of baggage in the never-ending luggage of a politician’s world. Many before have done it in the past with, quite frankly, worse situations than Christie’s current predicament. Weathering the storm can only bring about brighter skies for the future Republican contender, and if he manages to survive the ordeal, it will only reward his resiliency.
While survival is without a doubt the first step in this elaborate and nonsensical dance for the governor, the next couple of moves will be no doubt be a lot murkier to waddle through. There is a fine line between being a champion of people with brash statements along with an upfront no-BS demeanor and an arrogant power-grabber with no regard for other people’s sentiments or lives. Christie’s greatest strengths are his own Achilles’ heel, and sooner or later, the gold price he pays for those strengths, will lead to his inevitable Midas-esque downfall. While the truth behind the recent events of Bridgegate will still require some to uncover, the reputation of our governor will forever remain tarnished, and alongside that, some of the trust and belief that comes alongside it as well. It only adds further fuel to the fire to the cliché about the trustworthiness of politicians under this political climate. Under these circumstances, it is no wonder why the people of America have less and less faith in our government. Painstaking elongated budget debate is tiresome and often a head-scratching burden, but nonetheless it is the part of the essential democratic process that our country was built on. Overbearing political maneuvers and misuse of government positions is not. It is not something the residents of New Jersey, and the people of the United States, will stand for, or should stand.
While we all look for the perfect leader to carry our state and nation through the predicaments of the 21st century, the only real and true “change you can believe in” is yourself. The corruption of the modern day era has now become predictable and overdrawn, and always now seems to be a battle between the lesser of two evils. However, this does mean we as a people shouldn’t despair and lose hope but rather exert cautious optimism and be wary of the latest eye candy of a candidate that wanders past. Christie’s frontrunner spotlight has nonetheless dimmed, leaving a gap in the market for the newest and hottest candidate regardless of party. While this new candidate may have Cinderella promises, their bite must be as strong as the bark for any real change to occur. Based on the frontrunner status of the major current contenders, let’s all make a silent prayer for our founders as they roll around in their respective graves.
Sabri Rafi is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore.