New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sure knows how to make a press conference interesting. When formally announcing his endorsement of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential bid, Christie drew a long metaphor on the difference between Obama and Romney’s approach to the American dream — using pie.
“I know that Mitt Romney believes that the American pie can be grown bigger — that it can be an infinite size — because of the infinite nature of American ingenuity, and effort, and character.” he said. “That’s what this election is gonna be about.”
We’ve all heard about art imitating life but this is an uncanny case of life imitating art. A friend of mine sent me this article of Chris Christie (photo upper right) talking about American pie because he was familiar with my painting titled ‘American Pie’ (photo upper left). Even though the painting is particularly timely considering the current wave of “Occupation Wall Street” mania, it was indeed completed over a year ago. When the painting was conceived, neither I, nor most people had ever heard of Governor Christie, the man many desperate conservatives have since considered the great white (hope) of the GOP presidential primaries. I swear. I’ve got the copyright certificate to prove it.
Let’s for now try to ignore the obvious likeness between our reluctant non-presidential candidate and the protagonist of my painting and instead concentrate on the substance of Christie’s metaphor. By the look of him you would assume Christie would be an expert on pie and the ability to “grow to an infinite size”. The Governor said that he and his new best friend Mit believe the American way of life was built on entrepreneurship and allowing the unleashing American spirit and inventiveness. While that was greatly true once upon a time, somewhere along the way some of those entrepreneurs became so rich powerful that they stared buying the favors of politicians who would then rig the system and literally rewrite the laws in their favor. This has taken the freedom to compete out of the free market and put the spirit of competition on a short leash. Companies are taken over by corporations who are taken over by larger conglomerates until they are too big to fail. That makes for no competition for them and no choices for consumers and employees). And the government lets it happen. I don’t know about you, but that lack of opportunity kinda hurts me right in my American spirit.
Christie also said that Obama wants to tell Americans who are not doing well that the pie is only so big and that if you want more you have to take it from others. Isn’t that what those with have been doing to those without since time began (or at least since Reagan). Like the old Ray Charles song “Them that’s got, shall get. Them that don’t shall lose.” There must be a finite amount of pie because the republicans want to cut Grandma’s medicare and social security so they can give tax breaks to their rich donors. In New York at the end of this year, they will be cutting jobs and services so they can give 5 billion dollars in tax breaks to billionaires. Isn’t that taking some pie from someone and giving it to someone else? Someone who has obviously had more than their fair share of pie? Yeah, I’m looking at you Governor Crisco.