As the sun sets on the American Empire and you lose your chance to make serious money by placing a bet on Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination, let us examine the role of Governor Chris Christie in getting us to our lowly station.
Governor Christie verges on permanent notoriety for making huge contributions to the election of two consecutive presidents who do not represent the political party in which he claims membership. Exhibit A for this thesis was “the hug,” his verbal and physical embrace of Democratic candidate Barack Obama just before the 2012 election, actions believed by many to have swung the momentum in the campaign from Governor Romney to Mr. Obama. Exhibit B was his kamikaze attack on Marco Rubio in the February 6, 2016 debate in New Hampshire, the one that all but eliminated Senator Rubio from the race and thereby all but ensured the nomination of Donald Trump, a candidate whose switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party was too late – and too shallow – to persuade many voters or commentators that the conversion was based on belief rather than ambition.
Many of us have always viewed Mr. Christie as a Republican only by necessity, one who figured there was no way to the top via the New Jersey Democratic Party. But any remaining doubts as to Mr. Christie’s motives were dispelled when, having dispatched Mr. Rubio’s candidacy, Mr. Christie immediately withdrew from the race – indicating that he had not been in it to win it, that he had been in it only to eliminate the one contender with a realistic chance of denying the nomination to Mr. Trump. And that view was reinforced by his subsequent endorsement of Mr. Trump and his continuing assaults on Mr. Rubio’s candidacy. It now appears likely that there was but one inspiration for Mr. Christie’s behavior: venality. Yes, he is a power groupie, but mainly he appears to be trying to buy a place on a Trump ticket or a prominent appointment by a Trump administration, perhaps to Supreme Court justice, Attorney General, or some kind of sinecure.
Let’s return to the topic of Mr. Trump’s miraculous conversion from Democrat to Republican. Consider the markers: (i) the conditions he attached to his pledge to run only as a Republican, conditions of which he regularly reminds us whenever his candidacy runs into meaningful opposition; (ii) his positions on ObamaCare, where he has demonstrated both a preference for a single-payer system and an endorsement of only one element (interstate offerings of insurance) of the full Paul Ryan reform package, which contains extensive, sweeping reforms; (iii) his repeated threats of retaliatory trade policies – “trade wars” – that are directly contrary to conservative economic policy; (iv) his demonstrated preference for an activist federal-government rather than a restrained one, suggesting that his administration would offer an Obamaesque array of non-stop executive orders and federal regulations; (v) his recent revelation of opposition to a free press, in his desire to change the libel laws in ways that could only stifle journalistic independence and freedom; (vii) oh, what the heck, why bother, the list is endless and it is completely transparent to all but the participants in this collective tantrum.
It is easy to imagine that Mr. Trump’s first Supreme Court appointment, to fill the Scalia vacancy, would be one to which Mr. Obama would not have seriously objected; there is zero evidence to suggest that Mr. Trump actually endorses, or even understands, the notion of “original meaning” of the Constitution. By the end of a Trump regime, the Supreme Court could be locked into a non-conservative course for decades. That, for certain, would spell the end of the America we know.
It is theoretically possible that Mr. Trump would negotiate better deals, restore America’s greatness, etc., but that is hardly the same as a conservative presidency. This is not a man who would strive to emulate Ronald Reagan, this is not a man who would even be familiar with the work of Milton Friedman, much less a fan of the great conservative economist. Watch out below.