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Chris Christie is a bully.
Not a little bit of a bully, not a welterweight bully, but a consummate repeat offender career bully with an affinity for picking on people more deserving of respect than pretty much anyone else in America: public school teachers. Oh, and also veterans. And if I got into a discussion of Christie’s merciless taunting of medical marijuana patients – you see where this is going – I’d write an article too long for anyone to bear reading…So I’ll just stick to the teachers.
During his first year in office, Christie cut New Jersey’s education budget by $1 billion, so it’s no mystery why the state’s schools are struggling, or why teachers tend to take issue with his policies.
At a 2011 speech at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Christie defended a bill that required stricter requirements for teacher tenure, stating “There are really only two professions left in America where there are…no consequences for failure. The first one of course is obvious. It’s weathermen…The second profession of course is teacher.”
Christie’s repeated slams against the public education system have continued throughout his term in office. Last month, in a speech to the Orthodox Union in Teaneck, Christie said, “I would be happy to take as many dollars as possible away from failure factories that send children on a non-stop route to prison and to failed dreams, if we could take that money and put it into a place where those families have hope.”
But in true pathological form, Christie’s political moves and speaking engagements aren’t his preferred method of bullying: he likes to get right up close to his victims, forehead veins popping, pointing his finger and invading personal space, throwing his weight around, so to speak.
This past weekend, Governor Christie had the opportunity to attack a teacher in real life. During a campaign stop at a Rutgers football rally on Saturday, Mary Tomlinson, a teacher at Buena Regional Middle School, approached Christie and asked him, “Why are you portraying our schools as failure factories?”
The governor’s response was to get into Tomlinson’s face and violently thrust his famous index finger at her, shouting “I’m tired of you people! Just do your job!”
While Tomlinson penned an eloquent rebuttal to Christie’s attack, the incident never should have happened in the first place. If simple questions from constituents are enough to set Christie off into a rage, how can he possibly handle the stress and the responsibility that comes with being the governor of New Jersey, let alone the president of the United States?
The answer? He can’t. He’s a loose cannon, a ticking time-bomb, poised to explode at any given moment.
Time and time again, the governor of the Great Garden State seizes every possible opportunity to engage in the classic textbook ritual torment of lashing out at people who he perceives as weakened victims, much like an overfed tomcat toying with a defenseless mouse, again and again and again.
If Christie is re-elected as governor – or worse yet, as president in 2016 – we’ll surely witness more of his bullying cat-and-mouse antics. It’s up to the teachers, the veterans, the medical marijuana patients, and the rest of us who believe in righteousness and fair play to ensure through our votes that this doesn’t happen.