From all appearances, Republican voters are desperate for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to throw his hat into the ring, and announce that he’s running for the Republican nomination for President. And, while the governor has made dozens of absolutely definitive statements utterly denying that he is going to run, he nonetheless seems quite happy to continue relentlessly teasing his supporters with the possibility. (Just the other night he gave a speech at the Reagan Library in which he discussed foreign policy and other topics not notably relevant to running his state. What’s up with that?)
There are several good reasons Governor Christie gives for not running. He promised the voters of New Jersey that he would stay in office and do everything he could to fix the fiscal disaster that his predecessors created there. He notes that he doesn’t have the fire in the belly which, apparently, one must have for this sort of contest. He does not have very much experience with governance, and has said repeatedly he does not feel ready to become the leader of the free world.
None of these reasons, of course, are dispositive, and all of them could be dispensed with very quickly. Governor Christie is pissing off so many people in New Jersey so quickly that it is not inconceivable that, if he asked them politely, the majority would soon give him a pass on all his promises, and bid him Godspeed in his new endeavors. Fires in the belly, it is said, come and go, and one might just show up at any time. And as for feeling ready to become the leader of the free world, well, the bar there has been lowered so much in the past couple of years that even DrRich – who balked at the responsibility of becoming secretary of his book club – would no longer be intimidated at the prospect. I mean, what the heck?
And so, despite all his denials and all the reasons he gives for staying out, it remains entirely possible that Governor Christie may still get in the race.
DrRich is alarmed by this possibility. And so should we all be, as Governor Christie’s potential candidacy poses a very great threat to us all.
You see, dear reader, the governor is just too damned fat.
Our leaders have just spent nearly three years demonizing the obese, and convincing we the people that fat people, by virtue of their unsightly and self-induced rotundity, are a grave threat to the well-being of each of us.
Here is what we have been taught: Aside from the obvious negative characteristics of fat people (their sloth, gluttony, laziness, selfishness, &c.), and the fact that they are unpleasant to behold and inconvenient to encounter (they are slow, they take up too much space in the grocery aisles and on buses, and they sweat more than you and me), and the fact that obesity is contagious so that fat people should be isolated and shunned, and the fact that the obese probably account for global warming, and thus will ultimately be responsible for untold death and destruction; aside from all these undeniable truths, the obese consume far more than their rightful allotment of healthcare resources, which, per force, leaves much less healthcare available to us holier persons. They are, in fact, trying to kill us.
Demonizing the obese is critically important to the program we have embarked upon in America. Obamacare may give the Central Authority the legal standing to control the personal behaviors and personal choices of individual Americans, but it does not give them the moral authority to do so, nor the ability to actually enforce that control. Americans, despite 50 years of indoctrination to the contrary, still value their individualism, and will still balk – or worse – when they perceive their personal freedoms are being taken away.
The obese are supplying our leaders the vehicle they need for breaking down this last barrier. For, if everyone can agree that obesity is evil, and so are the people who allow themselves to become fat (despite all the “help” they get from expensive public service announcements, calorie counts posted in restaurants, and lectures from First Ladies), then how can we object when our leaders are forced to take stronger measures to “encourage” better behavior, or, if necessary, to punish their behavior?
By virtue of their now-universally-accepted state of sinfulness, the obese are fair game for whatever actions the Central Authority deems necessary to cause them to either lose weight or pay for their sins. From appearances, such measures are likely to begin with taxing soft drinks and Twinkies and whatever other foodstuffs the experts (in their wisdom) deem to be illegitimate sources of calories. But really, the sky’s the limit. For instance, under the undeniable proposition that it costs more energy to move a fat person from point A to point B, whatever the mode of transportation, the obese could be subjected to a special carbon tax, based on their BMI. The periodic mandatory “weigh-ins” such a tax would require would serve the useful purpose of public humiliation, an important incentive to weight loss.
Further humiliations could be visited upon the fat by designating special isolated areas in the workplace (ideally, an area fully exposed to the elements) for fat people to consume their calories. This latter strategy, of course, is derived from the same restrictions placed on smokers, and can be legitimized by the same sort of logic. That is, the authorities can invoke the prospect of second-hand obesity* to induce fear and loathing of the fat, and cause them to become socially isolated.
*The “scientific” conclusion that obesity is contagious, i.e., that those who associate with the obese are more likely to become obese themselves, has been proffered by academics employing the same kind of statistical legerdemain used to blame global warming on fat people. Clearly, obesity has now become so toxic to the survival of mankind that any paper submitted to a medical journal which offers some new reason to despise the fat – no matter how absurd – will be cheerfully accepted by the editors, and published with great fanfare.
It goes almost without saying that the ultimate censure would simply be to withhold healthcare services from fat people. This is a strategy that is already being employed by the British healthcare system, a system we are urged by many of our leaders, such as Dr. Berwick, to employ as a model.
The great benefit of taking the demonization of the obese to its logical conclusion, of course, is that by doing so, the Central Authority will have established the very important precedent of selectively enforcing certain rules, based on a person’s behavioral habits*, in order to achieve Social Justice.
*While demonizing the obese is considered legitimate by many because fat people “choose” to become fat through their selfish behavior, it is nonetheless true that becoming truly obese (as opposed to becoming merely overweight) is almost always strongly mediated by genetic and metabolic factors. Blessed with the same genes and metabolisms, many of us svelter, more holy individuals would also have become fatties.
This is a truly critical precedent to set. This precedent will ultimately allow our Central Authorities to restrict, control and tax virtually any human behavior they can claim may lead to an increased risk of healthcare expenditures. Such behaviors may include (in addition to obvious things like smoking and alcohol consumption), one’s choice of occupation, participation in sports, hobbies, hours spent or miles traveled on the highways, and how well you follow the lifestyle changes prescribed by your PCP in your annual, very-strongly-encouraged, “free” wellness checks. Indeed, it is difficult to conceive of any choice one makes in daily living that does not, in some manner, impact on one’s likelihood of requiring medical services, and which thus would not be subject to central control.
All this will become possible because Americans are willing to accede to the demonization of their obese neighbors.
So now we see why Governor Christie must not run. Think of the damage he could do!
The prospect of a fat man campaigning for President – an endeavor which everyone admits takes an incredible amount of initiative, intelligence, energy, and a robust constitution – would itself undermine important “truths” about fat people upon which we base much of our (hard won) hatred of them. Worse yet, if Governor Christie actually managed to secure the Republican nomination, there’s an excellent chance that a majority of voters would actually cast their ballots for him! And he might actually become President!
What would that say about the general acceptability of obese people in our society?
Governor Christie’s candidacy would do untold damage to the critically important obesity paradigm which our leaders have painstakingly established over the past few years, and thus, would seriously damage their entire program.
And it is for this reason that Governor Christie must not run.
Note: DrRich now realizes that he has made a major mistake by writing this post, and here offers an apology and a weak explanation for his error.