To begin to dissolve the collective bargaining rights that New Jersey’s public workers have counted on for decades, Gov. Chris Christie employed a masterful communications strategy. It isn’t easy to convince well-educated voters that the people who live down the street, or across town, are your enemy.
To do it, Christie had to turn … the bus driver you see every day … your kid’s math teacher … the guy who works at the library … the lady who makes lunches for the folks at Vineland Developmental Center .. the cop … the firefighter … the woman sitting up all night helping a WWII veteran die peacefully … into caricature. They are middle class, or working class. But he calls them rich, tells you they’re cheating you every day, that they’re the ones responsible for a deadened economy. Because they’re greedy. Bloodsuckers.
He has to depersonalize them in order to do all that. He’s good at it, too. We hear he’s going places. And some Democrats stand behind him. The ones that do not deserve to know how many people are standing behind them. Waving across the country now, with some powerful interests behind it, is an effort to get people to turn against each other, blame each other, instead of seeking better governmental solutions, better lawmakers, better spending priorities.
Tomorrow, the NJ Assembly votes on a bill hostile to our public workers. It will make national news. If you can get there, come to the State House at noon. Thousands of people will await the vote. As Couch Potato Politics tells us, it’s not too late to call Assembly members.
Meanwhile, here’s a reminder of who Chris Christie’s talking about when he tells you who New Jersey’s public workers are: