Unless someone has been living under a bridge, almost everyone has heard the news about Gov. Chris Christie and his use of power to punish a non supporting mayor in a neighboring town. So far Republicans are on the defensive and only hard core liberals and democrats are giving it much attention. Why?
Fact is most people already know that local and state politicians suffer from some form of corruption or cronyism. It is seen almost every day in many places in this country. Most of the time, these politicians get away with it. They get away with it because most people don’t take an interest in their local politics. There are several reasons for this such as voter apathy and not having the time to deal with local politics. Usually the system doesn’t change as long as things such as fire, police, street and utilities are running well. Some perhaps, do not want to anger their neighbors or deal with politics on a more personal level. No matter the reason, this has a negative impact on the local scene and eventually the national scene as these politicians typically want to move to a higher office.
For example: Locally there was a sheriff of a East Texas town that was run out of office by a group of county commissioners. This sheriff was investigating a county commissioner. It would seem to the outside world that he was just doing his job. However, the sheriff was angry at the county commissioner for some reason and that prompted the investigation. In turn the county asked the Sheriff to “back off” in which he refused. The county commissioners then discovered a alleged miss use of a county vehicle and used that as a pretext to have the sheriff removed. The Sheriff resigned from office and in the next election ran again and won in a landslide victory. How did a allegedly corrupt sheriff return to his job?
In the example, which is a true story, the sheriff used his name recognition to play on voter apathy and fear of change to win the election. Therefore, he went back to work and back to the same old corruption and cronyism that he was used to. People are afraid of change. When it comes to the national elections the voters do not see an immediate change from one congressman or President to the next. Hence the change is not apparent. Basically, it does not have a profound effect on them so they feel more comfortable.
This applies to BridgeGate. Nationally people are not going to care much what happens in New Jersey. If they do not live there they do not care. That is why Bridgegate has little bearing on national politics outside of the hard core. Realistically, it speaks more to the problems with voters than it does with politicians. The voters are allowing themselves to be exploited and politicians use that to keep getting elected. Real change starts at the bottom, not the top.