In his continuous pandering to the right-wing mainstream of the Republican Party, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie knows no bounds. Christie has appeared at anti-abortion rallies, and while he grudgingly accept the scientific fact that global climate change is man-made, his policies benefit big business rather than those citizens who breathe air and drink water.
Yet, critical examination shows that Christie’s approach promotes death, not life.
Take, for example, his proposal to eliminate Medicaid for New Jersey families earning less than $500 per month. If enacted, his legislation will put 23,000 people at the mercy of the for-profit insurance companies, which in reality means they will not receive medical care. I’m not an actuary, and I’m not comparing the governor to a terrorist, but I would not be surprised if this lack of preventative and remedial medical care results in more deaths than those perpetrated by Osama Bin Laden on 9/11. In Maryland, a 12-year-old boy died for the lack of an $80 procedure when his family lost Medicaid. How many stories like this will we have in New Jersey that won’t even be reported in the media?
But it’s not just Christie’s heartless attitude toward the poor that will cost lives. How many women will die because of their lack of access to pap smears and breast exams because Governor Christie thought an $800 million tax break for millionaires was more important than $7.5 million for women’s health? How many children will develop life-long lung diseases and suffer premature death because of the Governor’s foolish withdrawal from the successful Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative? (As I’ve written before, Christie is not an effective manager, he is a quitter. Rather than negotiate changes to RGGI or the ARC tunnel, he just picks up his marbles and goes home, ignoring the consequences.)
The first “inalienable right” of the people, as codified in the Declaration of Independence’s “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is life itself. But the actions of the governor and his tea-party comrades are antithetical to the Declaration’s right to life. Instead of pouring money into discriminatory charter schools and giving tax breaks to the wealthy, the governor should re-examine his priorities as well as how he carries out his own personal beliefs and choose life.