The Harder They Fall
Ernest Partridge, Co-Editor
The Crisis Papers
January 17, 2014
Oderint Dum Metuant:
"Let them hate you so long as they fear you.” (Lucius Accius, 2nd
Fear secures the rule of most despots. And
when that fear erodes and hatred takes over, the despot is overthrown.
Such is likely to be the fate of Governor
Chris Christie of New Jersey.
Christie is renowned as a “control freak.”
Even so, as Richard Nixon learned to his sorrow, events often have a way of
eventually taking control. With “Bridgegate,” events have forced the
initiative from the Governor’s office into the hands of the investigating
committees of the New Jersey Legislature and the United State Congress.
Perhaps for the first time in his incumbency, Chris Christie is on the
defensive. Not an enviable position for a controlling bully.
History provides numerous examples of
events spinning out of control, leading to unexpected and unintended
consequences. At first, the American revolutionaries thought of themselves
as loyal Englishmen, seeking redress from their Sovereign. But after the
shots were fired at Lexington and Concord, the die was cast and there was no
Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, one in
eight East German citizens were informants for the Stasi. But when the
people poured into the streets and the army refused to fire on them, the
regime was finished.
Similarly in the Soviet Union. Mikhail
Gorbachev, to his everlasting credit, decided that the time had come to
release the nations of Eastern Europe from Soviet captivity. What he had not
expected was that the wave of national independence would extend within the
borders of the Soviet Union and include fourteen of the fifteen Soviet
republics. But when a few Communist apparachiki attempted to
overthrow Gorbachev, ordinary Russian citizens (including several of my
personal friends) filled the streets of Moscow, Leningrad (now St.
Petersburg), and other cities. And when, as in East Germany, the Red Army
refused to fire on the protesters, the coup collapsed.
A year or two before the collapse of
communism in eastern Europe, and then of the Soviet Union itself, the
American military-industrial complex and the militant Right believed
implicitly that the Cold War was a permanent condition of global politics.
The ensuing events were simply unthinkable.
And so on – in British India, the American
South, South Africa. The impossible becomes possible, and then inevitable.
As Gandhi observed: “ First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then
they fight you, then you win.”
It appears that the Christie may be at, or
beyond, such a tipping point, following which there is no return.
Like most despots, Chris Christie is
merciless. He has shown no concern whatever for the collateral damage of his
vendettas. Not for the residents of Jersey City or Hoboken, whose Mayors
chose not to endorse him. And not for the commuters, school children, and
EMS victims of Bergen County. His victims are many: the school teachers of
New Jersey, numerous officials and politicians including the aforementioned
mayors. Now that the Bully is losing his grip, it is time at last for these
victims to turn on him. And you can count on it. They will.
Will Bridget Kelly and other Christie's
former deputies, once steadfastly loyal and obedient, silently tolerate the
insult and humiliation that Christie is now piling on them? Not likely.
When forced to testify, will they choose
full disclosure over prison? Is there a John Dean among them? Probably.
Will Christie and his lawyers be able to
stifle or destroy all evidence linking the scandals to the Governor? In this
age of e-mails, copiers, smart-phone cameras and YouTube, Probably not.
Chris Christie is finished. He will be out
of office within the year.
Oligarchs take note. Your turn may be
next. You may own the Congress, the Courts, the Media, and most of the
nation’s wealth. But for every one of you there are several hundred of the
rest of us – your victims.
A revolution is inevitable. Let us hope
and pray that it will be peaceful. FDR, Gandhi, King, Gorbachev, Sakharov,
and Mandela have led the way.
“The people, united, cannot be
Ernest Partridge's Internet Publications
Conscience of a Progressive:
Partridge's Scholarly Publications. (The Online Gadfly)
Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field
of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He has taught Philosophy at
the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He
publishes the website, "The Online
Gadfly" and co-edits the progressive website,
"The Crisis Papers".
His e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org .