Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Assertiveness is not Popular (But So Worth It) Part III

Take Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. He is an assertive individual, one who pulls no punches with his constituents.

Governor Christie epitomizes assertion.

From the outset, he went viral on YouTube telling the truth to constituents, telling them things that they did not want to hear, but must be told.

When one teacher lamb-basted him for not compensating her for her education or supplies, he glibly replied:

"Then you know what, you don't have to do it. You don't have to be a teacher."

The whole town hall burst into applause. Finally, someone was telling off the teacher. I'm sure every adult who had ever been hounded or embarrassed by a teacher burst into applause across the country.

Teacher's unions are the new bullies, not dominating school board and school yards, but taking up space in the public square, manipulating students and tugging on the fearful heart strings of unwitting parents. The leader of the teacher's union in New Jersey even moved the union faithful to pray for the death of Governor Christie. Assertion that is not, nor ever will be.

Governor Christie respects the voters, even those who did not vote for him. He does not hide the fiscal disparities that are robbing the Garden State, nor does he backhand the previous administration, despite their numerous failures to avert the coming economic crisis in New Jersey.

Yet from telling off rude reporters, to deflecting invasive questions, to stonewalling bickering participants at town hall meetings, Christie gets his fair share of flack as well as praise from the media.

Even Fox News Journalist Chris Wallace questioned Christie about his pointed retorts during the heated exchange with a Rutherford teacher. Assertiveness raises eyebrows among the political class and among the media elites. But that has not stopped Governors across the country from tackling budget issues and ignoring the catcalls of vocal public unions who still want to siphon off the lifeblood of their states to compensate their generous retirement packages.

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