On Thursday July 26, 2013, several state governors took part in the McClosky Speaker Series focusing on what Republican governors are seeing working at the state level in regards to politics and public policy. Near the end of this conference, (minute mark 1:02:30 on this Youtube video of the conference), the question came up regarding the growing libertarian movement within the Republican party. While the other governors addressed it as either a favorable movement that enjoyed some bipartisan cooperation opportunities, or a reaction to a growth in authoritarianism under the Obama administration, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie offers some fairly harsh words for the growing libertarian movement within the Republican Party.
The topic came up in response to the NSA vote spearheaded by the Republican Representative and libertarian driven Justin Amash of Michigan. where a strong bipartisan group nearly passed an amendment to defund the NSA wiretapping and domestic surveillance activities that infringe on the Fourth Amendment.
I just want us to be really cautious, because this strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think is a very dangerous thought. -New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
The New Jersey governor cited the September 11 attacks as a reason to continue the strong federal government model and as justification for the intrusion granted to the government in our personal lives as a result of the Patriot Act (passed in the Bush era and renewed in the Obama era). In the typical “trade freedom for security” mantra the Republican and Democrats use, he offered the following statement.
These esoteric intellectual debates… I want them to sit across the table from the widows and orphans and have those conversations. And they won’t. ‘Cause that’s a much tougher conversation to have. –New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
Clearly, Christie feels that libertarians would be lacking in mainland security measures and issues, and that he feels he has a duty to keep Americans safe. The logic is flawed, however, because he offers the September 11 attack as the cause for greater encroachment of our rights, and measures like the Patriot Act as the effect of this cause. The purpose, of course, being the increased need for safety.
What he clearly misses, however, is that the two party involvement and meddling in foreign affairs that caused the September 11 attacks in the first place. Things like diplomatic and military intervention in issues that simply do not affect us, these same actions performed to make gasoline cheaper, regimes toppled and installed that would allow America a foothold in a particular region, all for the sole purpose to drive the American economy. The cause of September 11 attacks are these intrusions into foreign affairs. The effect is this backlash witnessed in the attack. Our reaction to this effect was the Patriot Act.
Our Libertarian representatives would gladly sit across from the table with these widows and orphans, and agree it would be a tough conversation to have, because the libertarians and the GOP/DNC would be using these poor people as a battleground to justify the foreign and domestic intrusions made by our government.
Christie has enjoyed growing poll popularity, with some even saying he is presidential candidate material in 2016. With the growing awareness of the failings of the two party system, and the intrusions government has placed on its people coming to light every day, Governor Christie may want to think twice about identifying himself as a hardcore Republican and begin to embrace the growing libertarian movement that is garnering support from individuals on both sides of the aisle.