When Ben Sasse resigned from the Senate on Jan. 8 of this year, the author of “The Vanishing American Adult” left a void in our country’s vanishing realm of responsible elected leadership. Taking the position as president of the University of Florida meant he could potentially have a real impact on developing young minds. But one less adult in the halls of Congress expanded the dearth we all see.
On Monday night, as CNN televised a Town Hall meeting with Republican Presidential candidate Chris Christie, we saw a 90-minute display of an adult who acted as an antidote to a former president who wants to return to the oval office. Ironically, the session was held on the eve of Donald Trump’s reporting for his indictment process at the Southern District of Florida.
Christie, who served two terms as Governor of New Jersey, a red badge of dependability in an otherwise blue state, spoke of how he garnered bipartisan support. He listened to opposing viewpoints and compromised in order to produce results. Civility at work.
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His intellectual depth, along with street smarts and the teeth of a seasoned prosecutor, were clearly on display as he pointed out the childishness and lack of preparedness for the highest office of the man he wants to outdistance. He also took time to explain the dismal choice between Trump and incumbent Joe Biden, the former a near-octogenarian and the other an actual one with diminished communication skills. He blasted Trump’s alleged attempt to withhold classified documents, including those reportedly containing nuclear and war-readiness plans, which led to the indictment.
As Chris Christie pointed out, the lack of investigation into Hillary Clinton’s vanished emails seven years ago, and the holding of classified documents by Biden after he served as vice president, create the image of a double-standard. But the equivalency test fails when considering that Trump refused to honor the request to turn over the files, and that they reportedly contained information that could compromise our country and those who supply information to us.
It has been reported that nearly half the voters in our country are now registered as independents. This former long-time Republican is among them. That contingent is largely the result of fatigue from tribal differences that separate Americans, and the scarcity of qualified adult candidates.
It’s important to note that Chris Christie cited as a virtue his ability to listen to others with opposing viewpoints. He didn’t demean his opponents with name calling reminiscent of school yard disagreements.
It’s time we had a fully-functioning adult return to our highest office. The vanishing act has gone on for far too long.
Jeff Hurvitz (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a freelance writer and native Philadelphian.