New jersey Governor Chris Christie has been running a series of town hall meetings since his election. Anyone can show up and ask questions. In his latest such meeting in Raritan Township (Hunterdon County) a teacher with a chip on her shoulder asked Christie why he is “lambasting” teachers and takes him to task for teacher layoffs and budget cuts to K-12 education in New Jersey. Her question assumed facts not in evidence.
There have been teacher layoffs, but Christie is not the reason. The leaders of the Teachers’ Union and their refusal to compromise on a one-year salary freeze and 1.5% teacher health care contributions are the reason for the layoffs, explains Christie. The union leaders adamantly refused to help solve the massive shortfall of revenue in the state when Christie asked them to accept a one-year pay freeze and to agree that teachers would contribute 1.5% of the cost of their healthcare. This would have saved New Jersey a cool $1 Billion and would have alleviated the need for school boards to lay off teachers. But the leaders of the Teachers’ Union said, “No, not a penny.” “So who’s to blame,” asked Christie. “The Governor or the intransigent Teachers Union?”
With cheeky insolence, the teacher rolled her eyes when Christie began giving his answer. Christie stopped in mid-sentence. He told her that if she wanted a show then just to sit down, but that if she wanted a respectful discussion he would answer her question. That was delicious, and itself makes the video great watching.
But there is much more, such as Christie pointing out that he is not the one setting the tone of discussion in this debate. He speaks direct will always tell you what he thinks, he said, but he has never called for people to pray for the death of the leader of the teacher’s union. That person, on the other hand, sent out an email to all the members of the union asking them to pray for Christie’s death. With customary shallowness all she could say was, “It goes both ways.” But he had just shown that it does not go both ways. It goes one way. Such hateful rhetoric comes exclusively from those who have suckled at the state teat for decades and are mad as hell when anyone suggests they let up just enough for the udder to refill.
Christie is a rare and wonderful politician. More of his kind and less of the sort of who would gladly see their state go bankrupt just to give this idiot woman the answer she wants will be needed if states like New Jersey ever again are places where ordinary people can live decent lives, and achieve some semblance of prosperity and well being.
This video is about 9 minutes and worth every second of it. If you watch it you’ll be glad you did. It could be the most fun you have all day. Christie is a master at handling the tough questions, by just telling the truth. It is a wonder that so few politicians are willing to trust the truth. He is setting an example that more will follow, I predict. I hope.