To hear him speak, as he did at the Republican Party convention last night, is to hear a man speaking passionately about a subject he refuses to name. In taking on the really tough choices, he said, it's been easy for leaders to say "Not us, not now." "Now it's up to us," he says, the "grandchildren of the Greatest Generation", to eschew creature comforts, "stand up and make the tough choices." Let us "never be the victims of destiny; always the masters of our own." "Answer the call as a generation," for the sake of "our children and grandchildren."
A call to bold action and personal sacrifice for the sake of posterity? A call to consciously steer destiny rather than let the unintended consequences of our collective actions do permanent harm to future generations? There is no subject for which that sort of talk fits better, no tougher political topic given the entrenched resistance to sacrifice and collective effort, no issue with higher stakes for our shared future, than the irreversible destabilizing of climate. Christie, with his volcanic power as a speaker, his rep for shaking things up, could lead his Party out of its fantasy world of denial, and thereby help rather than hinder the global effort to finally take responsibility for our collective impacts.
Maybe, if he refuses to declare the most fitting subject for his gallant words, a sign could be placed in front of the lectern at his speaking engagements with words in parentheses: