Despite being lauded as a moderate, Chris Christie is anything but


An elusive anomaly in American politics, the so-called “moderate” is a rare specimen among the politically savvy in Washington. Due in part to the increasing polarization, many politicians feel as though the only way to get things done is by critiquing the opposing side, and thus, moving the political pendulum violently towards their party. However, one politician has been credited with realigning the political pendulum back on center: Chris Christie.

Despite running as a Republican governor in a predominately blue state, Christie was able to secure an impressive margin of victory in last week’s election, beating out progressive, pro-choice candidate Barbara Buono. As a Republican who’s opposed to gay marriage, abortion, gun control, unions, and raising the minimum wage, his margins are astonishing considering these views.

After superstorm Sandy the governor worked with President Obama to secure federal disaster relief funding, making him the gem of New Jersey. Ironically, Christie was subsequently given the title of “moderate,” and a frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race. With the most recent elections and talk of 2016, many democrats and progressives have voiced their support of governor Christie but wrongfully so.

Upon examination of Christie’s ideals and initiatives, it becomes clear that his New England charm is surface level deep and a wrongful portrayal of the character underneath. Take for example his views on gay marriage. Like many conservatives, Christie is opposed to marriage equality, and has voiced his opinion as well as vetoing legislation that would have legalized same-sex marriage in the state. However, in a well calculated political move, he did not choose to fight a court decision which will essentially legalize it in the state. Now this move does not show a sudden policy shift by the governor, nor a swinging of the political pendulum more on center. Instead, it shows a man willing to do anything for the sake of his image, not limited to using his marginalized constituents to his advantage.

Chris Christie may provide an elegant show of compromise and hard work, but fails to champion the principles he claims to hold.

— Parker Breza

Christie’s views on social issues don’t cease their ambiguity at marriage equality, and instead, apply to a variety of other concerns such as gun control. Earlier this year the democratic controlled legislature of New Jersey passed three different bills that would have aided in reducing crime and making the state’s streets safer. These bills were so widely supported that even Governor Christie supported them. That is until he vetoed the very legislation he had supported. Fortunately for Christie, he did not receive media attention for this move, and was instead seen conversing about what Washington was doing wrong and the inability to pass any legislation–– ironically reminiscent of his own legislative inaction.

Any politically astute individual knows that the key to any conservative’s heart is of course fiscal policy, and Christie’s flip-flopping, unforthcoming, no good policy-making extends to this realm as well. On the topic of minimum wage, Christie vetoed a bill that would have increased the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 per hour from $7.25 and tie it to the consumer price index. As someone who says he champions workers rights and a fair wage, this move was as helpful to blue collar individuals as cutting spending during a recession. Or in other words, not at all.

Chris Christie may provide an elegant show of compromise and hard work, but fails to champion the principles he claims to hold. Any progressive in the state of New Jersey, and beyond, ought to rethink their view of him as someone who reaches across the aisle, and instead, realize the selfish, arrogant, and down right ineffective politician he really is.