OpinionTue Oct 29, 2013 - 4:14 pm EST
Gov. Christie’s failure and the challenge for conservatives
Oct. 29, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As Governor Christie accumulates endorsements from Democratic politicians and left-wing newspapers across the state, conservatives might be questioning their support for him - and for good reason. If previous examples of Governor Christie’s leftist inclinations weren’t enough, he has just given us another one, leaping to do the bidding of the New Jersey Supreme Court after the justices declared on Friday that same-sex “marriage” must be condoned by law.
Christie noted his perfunctory disagreement, and in the next breath ordered the Department of Health to comply with the decision by Monday. He has also since dropped his legal appeal. There are words, and there are actions, and they do not mean the same thing.
In general, Christie has governed more as a leftist than a conservative. He has increased the state budget, made no effort to straighten out the state’s irrational gun laws, and nominated awful judges to the courts (two of whom participated in the high court's latest ruling). And now, in the face of a raw exercise of judicial power, he can’t bring himself to stand up for such fundamental institutions as popular government and marriage.
But without these twin supports of society, our freedoms and well-being will continue to decline. Christie’s weakness will cost us all.
Government of, by, and for the people isn’t just a saying we learned in history class (do they still teach that in the public schools?); it’s been the very basis of our political life from the earliest years of the nation, the principle we fought a civil war to protect, and the main bulwark of our freedoms. As Alexander Hamilton pithily put it in Federalist 70, “The circumstances which constitute safety in the republican sense are, first a due dependence on the people, secondly a due responsibility.”
Unfortunately, courts and government-protected unions, feeling neither their dependence on the people nor a due responsibility to them, have assumed greater and greater control over more and more of our lives. Friday’s court ruling was the latest in a long string of illegitimate coups. Ultimately, we must decide whether we will be ruled by ourselves or by a small cadre of arrogant, unelected, and virtually unremovable judges and bureaucrats.
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And the family hasn’t been called “the cradle of civilization” for no reason. It is the natural place for having and raising children. It is only in the family that children’s physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs can be tended to personally, day by day, year after year, by those who care for them the most, those who jointly gave them life. It is only in the family that mothers and fathers learn the meaning of love and self-sacrifice in serving their children and each other.
The family is not only necessary for the survival of society, it is the very school of society, where both adults and children learn to be good. None of this can happen, however, if children are deprived of their mother or father from the outset; or if the connection of a married couple has no other purpose than immediate personal satisfaction.
Now, if both popular government and the family are dispensed with, what can await us?
Most clear-eyed observers of U.S. history in recent decades already know the inevitable consequences: (1) the loss of popular rule leads to a government with hardly any recognizable limit, from violations of religious liberty by Secretary Sebelius, to property takings by the EPA, to the continued manipulation of public education by unions (at ever greater expense), to home invasions by a militarized police force (see the Boston lockdown); and (2) the break-up of the family leads to steep rises in illegitimacy, indigence (especially for unmarried mothers and their children), violent crime, ill health, and domestic abuse (most often by boyfriends).
But for those who haven’t been paying attention, the state of New Jersey will serve as yet another glaring warning. If it wasn’t obvious before that bureaucracies and judges have replaced popular government, and that they’re doing everything possible to implement the radical left’s anti-family agenda, it’s quite obvious now.
And it’s quite obvious, too, that Christie is just another Republican politician who cares more about staying in office than fighting for principle.
Christie is likely to win the election, but should conservatives widen his margin of victory? The purpose of conservatism has never been to follow after the latest fashions, especially when core republican principles are at stake. And at this point it seems that only by lowering Christie's election day numbers could the governor be brought to a more sober view of his duty to the people who first elected him. Sitting on our hands could be the most effective way of reminding the governor that the family and popular government must be defended.
A version of this article is scheduled for publication in The Jewish Link of Bergen County. The author is a father, husband, and student of constitutional law, residing in northern New Jersey.