Donald Trump hasn’t the most conservative of track records. His opponents in the GOP presidential field and in segments of the so-called “conservative media” have sought to discredit Trump on this score.
But they are dishonest, for neither are their favorite candidates all that “conservative.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a classic case in point.
Christie has acknowledged that up until about 20 years ago, when he heard his daughter’s heartbeat while she was still in her mother’s womb, he was “pro-choice.” He even gave to Planned Parenthood. Now, Christie self-identifies as “pro-life.” However, he believes that up until the 20th week of pregnancy, abortions should still be permitted.
And, of course, not unlike most other Republicans (Marco Rubio is a notable exception here), Christie holds that abortion is morally permissible in cases of rape, incest, and when the mother’s life is endangered by her pregnancy.
In other words, Christie is still “pro-choice.”
To see that this is so, consider his stance on abortion in light of an analogy with capital punishment. A person who claimed to be against the death penalty while supporting it only for, say, murderers, rapists, and attempted murders, would be recognized immediately as self-delusional, deceitful, hypocritical, or some combination thereof.
Similarly, one cannot claim to oppose abortion—the killing of innocent, defenseless human life—while simultaneously claiming to support it if the human being is of a certain age (under 20 weeks old), conceived under such-and-such circumstances, etc.
To his credit, Christie, as Governor, did indeed cut, on five different occasions, funding for Planned Parenthood. Still, we should bear in mind that until he threw his hat into the presidential ring and began addressing conservative-minded audiences, Christie has always insisted that the cuts were due solely to the fact that those monies “would deplete the state’s fiscal resources…and significantly alter the policy and spending priorities” of New Jersey.
Not unlike Ohio Governor John Kasich (and a whole lot of other Republicans), Christie insists that he objects to “gay marriage,” but now that the Supreme Court has declared it a Constitutional right, Christie regards it as a non-issue, the law of the land. The Pulse scores Republican candidates on their response to this unprecedented ruling: Christie received an F.
And in 2013, when a Jersey court legalized “gay marriage,” Christie refused to challenge it on behalf of his state.
It’s hard not to think that had Christie really been morally opposed to “gay marriage,” then he would be as about as willing to surrender to a government ruling on it as an abolitionist would’ve been willing to acquiesce to the government’s stance on slavery.
In 2014, Christie signed off on legislation that would prevent employers from conducting criminal background investigations of prospective employees. The Governor now brags over having put an “end” to “employment discrimination against people with criminal records.” Only after an applicant has had his or her first interview would the employer be permitted to conduct a background check.
“This will make a huge difference to people who have paid their debts to society and want to start their lives over again,” Christie declared.
In 2013, Christie brought Common Core to New Jersey. “We’re doing Common Core in New Jersey and we’re going to continue.” So that there wouldn’t be any confusion as to where his sympathies lay, he added: “And this is one of those areas where I’ve agreed more with the President than not.”
When Common Core justly earned its now infamous reputation, Christie began to backpedal away from it, and when he launched his presidential campaign, he expressed “regret” over having endorsed it. In February, he expressed “grave concerns about the way this is being done, and especially the way the Obama administration has tried to implement it through tying federal funding to these things.”
This remark is telling for more than one reason:
First, Christie gives the same reason for the disaster that is Common Core that communists give for the failure of communism all over the world. The problem isn’t the program itself, but its implementation.
Second, it is stupendous that anyone, let alone a politician, could not have anticipated that there would be enormous problems with the imposition of a federal program, any federal program, but particularly an educational program imposed upon a locale.
Third, did Christie seriously not expect that President Obama would not attach strings of “federal funding” to, well, a federal program?
Christie boasted about having presided over the largest amount of aid—$8.9 billion—to New Jersey’s public schools in the state’s history. When it is considered that no small portion of this is money derived from the federal government, it is obvious that Christie is interested in reducing the size of neither the federal nor state governments.
Christie also expanded Medicaid under Obamacare.
And when it comes to the NSA’s massive surveillance of American citizens’ data, Christie refers to objections as constituting a “strain of libertarianism,” and accused “libertarians” of engaging in “esoteric, intellectual debates.”
He also supports the federal government’s searching to see which library books Americans check out under the Patriot Act.
Christie, though claiming to oppose amnesty (who doesn’t say as much?), favors “comprehensive immigration reform”—i.e. amnesty. He also granted illegal immigrants in New Jersey the right to pursue a college education while paying in-state rates of tuition!
Trump may not be a conservative.
But Chris Christie definitely is not a conservative.