I have to admit: when I first heard this report, I thought it was fake. Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, has been under some flack today for closing state beaches in to the public and then enjoying one of those previously public locations in a personal celebration for his family and friends. I thought there must be some extenuating circumstances: so I checked it on Snopes, and discovered that no, he’s just as much of a jerk as he appears.
In my mind, this illustrates just how distant our leaders have grown from the general public. Mr. Christie obviously does not consider himself to be be one of the public masses; to him, he enjoys a perk that he does not need to abide by legislation that he has enacted. He and his family and friends are above all that. That kind of pure arrogance makes me wonder.
After all, there are no lifeguards; there’s no-one to clean up their mess on the beach; those are all considered non-essential services that Christie shut down. It is true that one of his stately residencies is located on the grounds: but to use facilities that he has denied to others is unethical. Using the house wasn’t wrong; but using the beach just flaunts his arrogance. And, honestly, his stupidity. What does he think lifeguards are for? Or did he bring his own, just in case of an emergency?
Can you imagine the the conversation of his kids, who invited their friends to visit for the weekend?
“Hey dude, you wanna come to our beach house this weekend?”
“Nah, your dad closed all the public beaches.”
“No, he closed them for everyone else. Not for us. We can go and have the beach all to ourselves.”
“Cool. Your dad’s an ass, but I’ll go along to get my own beach!”
And not only did Christie enjoy the facilities that he had closed to everyone else, he lied a about it (Independent, July 3 2017) and then he had the audacity to try to defend it. His spokesman said, “people shouldn’t have been surprised by the pictures… Christie was headed to the beach house Saturday night.” (USA Today, 2017). To which I can only wonder: how many people said they were “heading” to the park that night, yet were blocked by police? Being governor might give Christie some privileges, but it should not give him special access to state services.
Christie might believe that he is above the public, but he is not above their opinion.