Chris Christie. Socialist.

Chris Christie. The social engineering candidate for president. A socialist?
Chris Christie. The social engineering candidate for president. A socialist?

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?




  1. What you are referring to Mr. Braun, I’d say is not socialism, but a rebranded fascism.

    Bob Braun: Yes, that’s what National Socialism was.

  2. I am sitting here reading your touching article with tears in my eyes. I feel we are seeing the end of a free, equal and public education for all our children and grandchildren. Why are so many intelligent people blind to what is happening? We truly are becoming an us and them society. I was appalled to watch’s method of “transitioning” kindergartners as if they are little prisoners.

  3. That’s right, Bob, it’s NOT socialism, which means “democratic control of economic institutions.” Social engineering has only an indirect — at best — relationship to the economy. The Booker-Christie social engineering cabal is redolent of authoritarianism: Our political-economic elites know best and will tell you what to do, to make yourselves useful to their interests and good, compliant citizens.

  4. Bob,
    I understand your point but seeing Christie presented as a peer of Eugene Debs made me queasy. Debs is one of the most heroic figures in American history. He was a fearless warrior for freedom and brotherhood. A true giant. Christie is a self-serving, egomaniacal, petty tyrant.
    “If it had not been for the discontent of a few who had not been satisfied with their condition we would still be living in caves. Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.”
    Eugene Debs
    bobbraunsledger is intelligent discontent.

    Bob Braun: Thanks for the great compliment. I know you realize the whole piece was done with tongue firmly planted in cheek. I am honored that you would attribute to my blog a phrase coined by Debs. One of my fondest memories is as a member of a group that took over the Army ROTC building at Rutgers. It just happened that Norman Thomas was speaking at the gym across from the building we occupied. We voted to end the takeover and walk across the street to listen to Thomas speak. Then suddenly who should appear before us but the 90+yeard old Thomas himself. “Hold your lines,” he told us, and then proceeded to deliver the speech he would have inside the gym to us at the ROTC building.

  5. Corporate is intelligent enough to know that in “blue” cities and areas, it is cheaper to buy “Democratic” candidates or “brokers” than to support Republicans. We end up with corporate puppets doing their bidding in turn for their financial support.
    Glenn Ford of Newark was one of the first to expose Booker of his affiliations!

  6. I hear a lot of buzz nowadays about “legitimizing the redistribution of wealth”, never thought about the “legitimate” redistribution going to the charter organizations.

  7. Doin’t call it Socialism Bob.

    When government combines with elite private sector corporate Oligarchs and private Foundations with an ideological agenda, that’s the classical definition of Fascism.

    Christie ha authoritarian and fascist tendencies.

    Don’t ever dignify that with the allusion to Socialism.

    Bob Braun: Ever hear of irony?

  8. I fall further in love with this blog with every post. The fact that the readers of this blog are also intelligent makes this website feel like home.

    Christie’s form of Nazism is not new, and simply requires a quick flip through history books (especially those written about Newark’s rezoning during the 1960’s- thanks Amiri) to see what the end result will be. However, the same silent majority that voted Christie in has absolutely no issues with any of the current moves being made in Newark. These moves don’t affect them, but instead, disrupt the flow of money to some of their corporate accounts. Thanks for making these connections clear and present to the public Mr. Braun!

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