This editorial was first published in the (Middletown) Times Herald-Record, a fellow GateHouse Media publication. Guest editorials don't necessarily reflect the Daily Messenger's opinions.
Chris Christie is going to be governor of New Jersey for only a few more months. His approval ratings are probably as low as they can go, considering that most people in and out of the state long ago found their own reasons to distrust, dislike or dismiss him.
While most of what he does will affect the people who live in his state, he still matters to New Yorkers because of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as well as New Jersey Transit.
Those who took a vacation from the news last weekend missed him clashing with state legislators and creating an impasse over the state budget, one that managed to temporarily halt many state operations.
The ones that were most notable were the state beaches, a particularly cruel closure coming as it did not only on a long holiday weekend but also on one with weather that had the chance to make up for some iffy conditions through the spring and the first days of summer.
As most now know, Christie decided that while the beaches might be closed to the rest of New Jersey, the governor has a house there so he loaded some of his family into a state helicopter, made sure others could drive by the barriers closing the beaches to everyone else in New Jersey and spent the weekend the way nobody else in the state could.
The Star-Ledger had already arranged to have a photographer fly along the shore, as it does on many summer holidays, to get pictures of beachgoers. Instead of the usual crowd, the photo revealed a tiny group clustered outside the governor’s official beach house, anchored by the governor himself in beach attire, sprawling in a chair.
Anybody who thought he might be embarrassed by this does not know Chris Christie. First, they tried to turn it into a joke, claiming that he did not get any sun because he wore a hat. Then the quintessential Christie, which is never far from the surface, came out in a taunt that anybody who wanted to go to the beach could run for governor and get to use the house he and his family were enjoying.
In the big scheme of things this does not really matter. The politicians resolved their differences in time to open the beaches for the remainder of the weekend, and Christie will soon be moving on to his reward as a lobbyist, a Fox New contributor or both.
Still, these pictures from the Jersey shore offered a sad reminder on a weekend when we honor our nation, at a time when bandstands and town squares are full of patriotic sentiment noting that we are where we are today, who we are today, because many brave people made the ultimate sacrifice following the example of our founders who more than two centuries ago pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.
Christie and those like him remind us that what used to be the national motto, “e pluribus unum” meaning that out of many comes one, is too quickly changing to “I’ve got mine, so go away.”