EDITORIAL: Murphy’s term can be just what NJ needs

Good-hearted local officials could improve US in eyes of others

At the end of his term, former Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) had a 15-percent approval rating — the worst in New Jersey gubernatorial history. Yesterday, Governor Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) was sworn into office as the state’s 56th governor, which to many has come as a breath of fresh air. While the reasoning behind Christie’s atrocious ratings is probably a combination of multiple different things, a significant factor was likely his close affiliation with President Donald J. Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign. While the Republican party still has dominant representation with all three branches of the federal government, we can see that after the Democratic wins here in New Jersey as well as in Virginia and Alabama, other state and local governments may follow suit in their midterm elections. 

Throughout his campaign and continuing through his inauguration, Murphy has made it his business to resist Trump’s antics. While Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords calling it a “bad deal,” Murphy campaigned on the intention to reinstate New Jersey into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative — an environmental program aimed at reducing states’ greenhouse gas emissions — which Christie pulled out of. Additionally, Murphy wants to move New Jersey toward 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050

While Trump’s attorney general appointee Jeff Sessions pushes to prevent the legalization of marijuana, Murphy plans to fight for it and allocate the generated tax revenue to needed areas. Such areas may include lessening the property tax burden or balancing the quality and infrastructure of public schools.

Although Trump’s new tax plan helps the rich get richer, Murphy wants to end corporate greed. Murphy’s aim to fight corporate greed may seem a bit contradictory considering his immense wealth and the more than 20 years at Goldman Sachs under his belt, we must not judge the book by its cover quite yet. His experience at one of the leading investment banks and his personal wealth do not necessarily define his authenticity when it comes to helping the common people of New Jersey, and he does have prior experience in government. This is something we will become more aware of as Murphy actually begins his term in office.

Perhaps most importantly to Rutgers, while the Trump Administration rejects immigration and diversity, Murphy welcomes people of all backgrounds and has advocated for protecting DREAMers. Our diversity is one of the University’s strong suits, and we take pride in our school’s open and accepting community. Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi and the administration have advocated for this diversity multiple times, including in a recent op-ed sent to The Daily Targum denouncing the campus’ recent experiences with bigotry. As we saw when over 1,000 members of the Rutgers community stood up and marched in the #NoBanNoWall protest following Trump’s election, our diversity is something we take quite seriously, and it is encouraging to have now elected a governor that will have our back while we fight to maintain that diversity. 

Ever since Trump was elected, nations around the world have seemingly begun to look down on the United States more so than before. Trump’s sometimes rash, offensive and seemingly careless actions and decisions have caused other countries’ governments to turn away from us. But with the elections of upstanding and at least seemingly decent-hearted government officials like Murphy, hopefully the United States will be able to begin rebuilding is rapport with the nations of the world. Despite your political affiliation as a New Jerseyan, we can all agree that we hope the coming years will allow Murphy to do what is best for our state because when our state succeeds, we succeed too. 


The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 149th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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