Chris Christie: Guilty of an Immature Response
Accused of Rudeness and Worse, What’s Really Behind Chris Christie’s Response to “Gail’s” Question?
Listening to Chris Christie’s reply to the question about where he sends his children to school was interesting on every level, but even before hearing the full recording of her question, I knew that “Gail” was either confrontational and rude, or that she simply had not done her homework.
What I am writing about, however, has nothing to with what she is or isn’t, nor what she intended or didn’t intend, and neither does the fact that she needs help.
It was hearing Christie try so unconvincingly to explain and justify his response that claimed my attention and initiated this hub. If this is a reflection of his character he need not run for president because we need leadership with mature character.
I’ve written about the bad character of South Carolina’s governor Mark Sanford and even though that's old news now, I hope the post will continue to help initiate dialogues about the importance of maintaining good character.
A Mature Response to the Issues We Face:
What Chris Christie Is Guilty Of?
Having already written about the foul language of our current vice-president clearly enough, I hope, that others will think about what that kind of speech reflects in a person. I also hope the respect he thinks he receives is merely because of the office he holds, but I admit to writing that with a rather pessimistic attitude. After all, American votes put him into office.
I’ve got a truth quotes hub mainly because of the truth in the quote,“Truth invites scrutiny, error demands tolerance,” but the issue here is not so much about whether Christie told the truth. He does not owe the details of his family’s personal doings to anyone, not even constituents. If he does something illegal or morally wrong then his and his family’s personal business will be out there, but that’s not the case now.
There are a wide variety of important characteristics to look for when we consider who to vote for in an election. The major problem we have with Christie's reply isn’t about the truth of where his children go to school, and it isn’t even that he was justifiably irritated by the question. The concerning issue is the crude immaturity with which he responded to the question, followed by his attempt to vindicate his behavior.
I agree with him about the wrongness of the question. I agreed even before I heard him say that he pays privately for the education of his children while he also pays taxes to his school district for the education of other people’s children. Hands down, unequivocally, I absolutely agree with him. I am open minded enough to listen to why others may not agree with him, but I agree wholeheartedly that it is his business where his children attend school.
On the other hand, I disagree with the immaturity that he displayed in answering the question as he did. This is not what we need to see in a political candidate. That being the case, I also want to say that anyone can express themselves immaturely in a moment of stress, but I can’t excuse his performance on that merit for the simple reason that he did not man up to the immaturity.
Kid's Know Kindness Is A Mature Response:
I believe it was Chris Wallace who just set the example for the Chris Christies of the world when he admitted his colossal failure in asking Michelle Bachman if she is a flake because of the scuttlebutt regarding some of her past comments. He did not put off the apology he needed to give. He took the first chance he had to publicly take the responsibility for his behavior and to begin making amends.
The Wallace/Bachman issue is not settled, but then, as serious as the offense was it probably should not be over. The scope and scale of an apology needs to match the scope and scale of the offense if an offender wants others to believe that the apology is sincere, and Wallace made a good start in the right direction. Whether he waffles on his apology or stands on it will give us a real picture of his character, and if we are going to listen to him, we need to see that picture.
If Christie had in retrospect said, “You know, I was not wrong to stand on my right to certain privacies for my family, but I shouldn’t have responded to Gail that way," I wouldn't be writing this hub. If he had said something like, "No matter what kind of attitude she may have had, I have a responsibility to be an example of maturity to my family and to my country,” there would be no issue to discuss.
There are a number of positive ways he could have expressed that to exemplify high character and good leadership, and he chose not one of them. That's a problem no matter who you are or what you do.
What Kind Of Character Should We Expect From A Chris Christie?
This issue isn’t about the kind of civility we are hearing about from the white house lately--I wrote on that topic, too, in Civility and the Tucson Shootings. This is about maturity in the face of ignorance, frustration, and anger. It’s about the kind of leadership that answers issues in a manner that diffuses hostility, yet never compromises the truths a situation is bound up in. The issue is about what we need to see in a candidate.
Chris Christie lost an opportunity to speak to the world during his exchange with “Gail” when she questioned him. When he could have given an engaging display of good leadership by rising to the occasion, he displayed behavior that, if it continues, amounts to committing political suicide.
Leaders will make mistakes, but we need leadership that speaks what is right with their words, their attitudes, and their responses to all situations, especially those that are created by one's own error. This was a royal faux pas--a telling impropriety, and it's one that should be addressed.
We need to have the kind of character in our politicians that compels them to make things right after their words and actions are proven to be irresponsible. There should be no hesitation in owning up to the error, verbally taking responsibility for it, then taking steps to correct the error.
That's the kind of behavior that causes friend and foe alike (reasonable ones, anyway) to be willing to work with a leader to find important solutions to big problems.
The Authority on Patience:
Helpful Input To Ward Off Immature Responses
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- Inspirational and Insightful Quotations #26--- Patience
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