Deja Vu All Over Again*

January 11th, 2014

Chris Christie Floats Above The Crowd

(*quote by the honorable Yogi Berra)

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Maybe it’s just a function of age—but this “new” situation with Governor Christie seems like a play I’ve seen a hundred times before in my life.

A “dynamic politician”; a favorite to run for—and maybe get elected—President is revealed to have… (here you can fill in the blank). Think of John Edwards or any one of several dozen others in the last few years. Pick any decade in history and you’ll see the same thing.

I think it’s just basic human nature: “Larger than life”, charismatic figures who want to have great power are created and fueled by some atavistic wish in large parts of the populace to have a father, a mother, a fuehrer, a God…    So, from amongst the latest crop of large personalities we pick the most desperate aspirants. Then we cede power to them—hoping, like all children hope, that, finally, we will have the perfect Mommy or Daddy.

Despite the same tired old denials, at the very least, Christie is a bully and a tyrant who created an atmosphere of extremity and vengeance amongst his closest followers and associates. Anyone who crosses the King… off with his head!
Is this really who we want to lead our tottering—fascist inclining—Democracy?

Mr. Christie—despite his obvious intelligence and capabilities—is, sociologically, a sort of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float. And the hot air flowing into him comes from the unconscious needs and urges of the citizens lining the parade route. The problem in cases like his (and the hundreds of others like it) is that this float doesn’t get folded up and stored in a warehouse at the end of the parade; it often stands a real chance of assuming an position of almost absolute power over life and death and most of the rest of the way we live our daily lives.
Real equality (it seems to me) whether in a marriage or a friendship or between citizens in a large democracy comes with this understanding: We have to be aware of—and take responsibility for—our own childlike fears and needs and not project them on to others. Easy to say, of course, since this is just about the hardest thing a person can do. I know my life would have been, and would now be, much better for practicing what I’m preaching here.
Still, despite all inherent difficulties, we should endeavor to let the bloated Mr. Christie float away into history while we do the hard, hard work of achieving our real humanity.

**responses to: mikefeder@nyc.rr.com

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