What really boggles my mind is this: Chris Christie says he is a conservative Republican and hopes he will take that ideology all the way to the White House in 2016. Conservative Republicans rail against what they often call “social engineering” by public institutions that try to ameliorate social problems.
That’s why they don’t like public schools and fair housing laws and zoning ordinances and environmental restrictions and business regulations and school desegregation and all manner of other efforts by government to level the playing field.
Yet what is going on Newark right now is the most blatant experiment in social engineering ever undertaken by a public agency in any state in my half-century of experience. It makes the state supreme court’s decisions on Mt. Laurel look Ayn Randish-laissez-faire. Christie’s agent, Cami Anderson, is deciding on her own–through the use of a mysterious “algorithm” she won’t make public–to place children in a variety of school settings whether they want to be there or not.
And, laughably, she calls this choice. And so does Chris Christie, the man who appointed her, the closet Socialist candidate for president of the United States. The Eugene V. Debs of our time.
Christie cooked up this plan with Cory Booker–former mayor, former rescuer of grandmas and pitbulls– and now a US senator who has portrayed himself as a progressive, maybe even a liberal. We all know that all good, red-meat eating Republicans think “progressive” is just a euphemism for socialist and liberal is in spoken in hushed tones. Hell, Booker–well, sometimes–supports President Barack Obama and every good Republican knows Obama is a socialist.
Of course, some might argue that Booker is a closet conservative Republican. He did defend Mitt Romney while he was acting as a campaign surrogate for Obama and his vast experience in foreign affairs (that’s a joke) led him to challenge the president on Iran now that he inexplicably has become a senator. The recent article by Dale Russakoff in The New Yorker suggests Booker conned Christie into hiring Anderson and starting this whole “One Newark” social engineering thing. Some have called Booker the “Manchurian Candidate,” but we just don’t know which Manchuria–or even which planet–he is from.
So would having Booker as a political bedfellow make Christie a “fellow traveler” rather than a true socialist? A Communist dupe, like all those pinkos in the entertainment industry?
Nah, Christie is a socialist. But a special brand of socialist. We all know why Christie can get away with social engineering that dictates where Newark children shall go to school. Because he believes in the sort of paternalistic socialism that allows rich white people to determine the fate of poorer people of color. The sort of social engineering that let the British, French, German and other colonial powers redraw the maps on the Africa and Asian continents in the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries. Christie is shouldering what Rudyard Kipling called the “white man’s burden.” He doesn’t believe parents in Newark know what is best for their children–why, after all, they live in Newark, for heaven’s sake. He has said he is very grateful his family escaped Newark years ago.
Christie would never think of doing this kind of Pol Pot social engineering to rich white people. For example, current law would require the elimination of school district lines to achieve racial desegregation–check out the Jenkins decision involving Morristown and Morris Township. But Christie would never try to enforce that particular brand of socialism. That sort of choice means the folks in Mendham might have, well, those people for neighbors.
Current law also would require an additional $5 billion or so in state aid to improve the public schools in Newark and other cities. But high taxation of the rich isn’t the sort of socialism embraced by this particular Socialist. Using government to help private businesses–socialism for the rich–that’s the sort of socialism Christie embraces.
Christie’s socialism allows bullies like him to push around the poor and the black and the brown so he can assure his conservative Republican colleagues throughout the nation that he will fight to make sure the rich get richer and the poor get Cami Anderson and a “One Newark” plan for the rest of urban and working class America that, in the name of choice, denies choice.
How Orwellian–forced choice.
It’s a different sort of socialism. A sort of national Republican socialism. Wait–did I just say National Socialism? That phrase has an odd ring, doesn’t it? Where have I heard it before?