Chris Christie is “seriously considering” running for president in 2024 according to a story seeded by Christie’s sycophants (various news sources “citing three people familiar with his thinking”).
I have no doubt that, given Chris Christie’s enormous ego, he wants to be president. I further suspect that he craves the accoutrements that go along with the presidency – the constant attention, the adulation and Air Force One. If Donald Trump decides not to run in 2024, I could definitely see Christie make the run. However, if the Donald decides to run, Chris will chicken out and support his buddy as he would have no chance whatsoever against the former president.
This is not to suggest Christie’s chance of winning a primary with a large field of candidates, minus President Trump, would be a walk in the park. No, it would be an incredible long-shot based on his disastrous 2016 primary run (tenth in Iowa and sixth in New Hampshire after spending seventy days in the state) and the fact that the Republican primary field would be replete with candidates who showed even more fidelity to President Trump than did Chris Christie.
He would be less appealing to Trump loyalists than Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem; Senators Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Josh Hawley, Rick Scott, and Tom Cotton; and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. I suspect that among Trump diehards, Christie, who at the very tail-end of the Trump administration, tried to separate himself from Trump on wearing masks and the President’s continual claims of rampant election fraud, would rank pretty close to former Vice President Mike Pence. Former Vice President Pence is viewed very negatively in Trumpworld because of his failure to overturn the certification of the Electoral College results.
Christie’s chances in a primary would be further hurt by the dramatic change in the makeup of the GOP electorate since his last held office. There are fewer white, college-educated, suburban voters who elected Christie to the governorship in New Jersey. In their place are more non-college educated voters, and in 2020, more Latino voters. None of these are groups that Christie has not shown any particular strength among.
Moving on, The New York Times has decided to drop “op-ed” for “guest essays.” Opinion Editor Kathleen Kingsbury explained the change as follows: “In the digital world… there is no geographical ‘Op-ED,’ just as there is no geographic ‘Ed’ for Op-Ed to be opposite to. It is a relic of another age and older print newspaper design.” I get it, but I don’t like it. And in fact, it makes me uncomfortable.
As an opinion writer my role is to clearly express my views and present facts to support my opinion. I’m not trying to write a news analysis. Most of the time, I write about issues that either bother me or concern me. I hope my column gets some folks to think a little more about the topic I’m writing about. My goal is simple. I try to provoke others to think about my point of view (opinion) and maybe once in a blue moon change someone’s views on an issue that is important to me.
When I think of essayists I think of someone who has delved into a subject (through research or at least extensive readings) and has written an extensive piece of writing that presents and supports a thesis, proposition or position in a coherent manner.
According to Evanston University an essay is “a piece of writing that is written to convince someone of something or to simply inform the reader about a particular topic. In order for the reader to be convinced or adequately informed, the essay must include several important components to make it flow in a logical way. The main parts (or sections) to an essay are the intro, body, and conclusion. In a standard short essay, five paragraphs can provide the reader with enough information in a short amount of space.” I see an essay as kinda-sorta a mini-term paper like I did back in college. The notion of writing a mini term paper each week is not appealing to me. It’s too highfalutin.
It seems like almost every day there is another incident of “bad” police behavior in the news, i.e., using excessive or lethal force when it was not called for against African-Americans. The remedy most often brought up is that “better police training” is needed. I see better training as secondary component of improving policing. Most importantly, we need better law enforcement leadership, to change the culture and to select better police.
If you have hired a person with a rigid dogmatic authoritarian personality to serve and protect the people in your community, all the training in the world will not make him/her into a compassionate empathic person. Police forces need to put in place assessment processes that screen out people with poor people skills and who think force is always their first choice and don’t have an abundance of empathy which will enable them to detect the subtle verbal and non-verbal clues and cues in dealing with the public.
I’m not saying that the majority of police officers in America lack empathy but clearly many of them do and it is not going to be changed by a few hours of “implicit bias” training. Leadership is needed, for a change.