A Bridge Too Far

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Last night, Governor Chris Christo appeared on Billo Riley’s television show, Fear Factory, on The Fox Force Five Network. What follows is a partial transcript of the interview:

Billo Riley: Governor Christo, you have been described as a prince of a man and that there is no way that you would have done anything so sinister as to order the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge. Can you tell us what your view on life is in general and on politics in particular?

Chris Christo: Sure, Billo. That’s a great question. Thanks for asking. My view is this: A man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruination among so many men who are not good. Therefore, a prince, such as myself, if he wants to keep his authority, must learn how to be not so good.

Billo Riley: And Governor, if I may be so bold to ask, if the situation requires gentle persuasion, what say you?

Chris Christo: Well, Billo, besides what I just said, it should be kept in mind that the temperature of a crowd is mutable. While it might be easy to persuade them of something, it might be difficult maintain their belief. Therefore, when the time comes when the public no longer believes of their own accord, they may have be compelled to believe by force.

Billo Riley: How would you go about this so called gentle persuasion?

Chris Christo: Well, you see, Billo, people are so simpleminded, and answer so completely to their immediate needs, when the need to deceive arises I never fail at finding willing dupes. Everyone sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are.

Billo Riley: Were you absolutely truthful in your recent press conference?

Chris Christo: Well, to tell the truth, Billo, sometimes words must serve to veil the facts. But this should only happen in such a way that no one becomes aware of it. If they do, I always have plenty of excuses at hand to be produce immediately.

Billo Riley: But in that case, how can we trust anything that you say?

Chris Christo: Well, Billo, the crowd always is taken by appearances. The public in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of sight.

Billo Riley: I noticed you got rid of your deputy chief of staff and several other high ranking associates rather quickly. Would you care to comment on that?

Chris Christo: Sure. Any cruelty that has to be executed should be done so at once, so that the less it is tasted, the less it offends. Benefits, on the other hand must be given out a little at a time, so they will be appreciated more. We cannot flinch at the betrayal of one’s friends, and showing no loyalty, mercy, or moral obligation. These are the means that lead to power.

Billo Riley: Tell me Governor, is it better to be loved or feared?

Chris Christo: It is best to be both feared and loved. However, if one cannot have both, it is better to be feared than loved.

Billo Riley: Any other comments on human nature?

Chris Christo: Yeah, I’ll take a crack at it. I would say it is true in general of people that they are ungrateful, disloyal, insincere and deceitful, timid of danger and quick to line their pockets. Love is a bond of obligation that these miserable creatures break whenever it suits them to do so, but fear holds them in their place by the dread of punishment.

Billo Riley: Any final thoughts or words of advice?

Chris Christo: Yep! Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

Billo Riley: Ok, Governor. Thanks!

Chris Christo: Thank you, Billo!

Sources: All of Governor Chris Christo’s answers were from “The Prince,” by Machiavelli.

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