With certainty, North Carolina is in a battle. Not with an occupying force from another country but from within. And at present, “within” is winning. Yesterday was a remarkable day both in world affairs and finances. After citizens of the United Kingdom decided to detach themselves from the European Union (Brexit), reality began to set in. Where objectivity and intelligence took a backseat to ignorance. And while there are legitimate concerns for “independence”, a vote to secede was the end result. In the late 1980’s, I spent two weeks in England. Even then the melting pot from different countries was amazing, especially in London. The constant passing of people from different nationalities on the sidewalk was unlike anything I had ever seen, even in New York City. But on Friday, the voters spoke. They also showed an ongoing phenomena more closely associated with third world countries. Where dictatorships rule, clean water is intermittent and little or no education is prevalent. As exit polling from yesterday’s vote continues, some things have come to light. Middle-aged and millennials were less inclined to leave the EU while less educated, older whites from rural areas voted in favor. And although the margin (51.9% versus 48.1%) was slim, a decision was cast. But it was the people and their voices after the fact that now raise concerns. Some voters were unequivocal in their belief that separation would never occur. Others and legitimately, were tired of carrying the load for smaller member countries and their more socialistic ways. Terrorism, illegal immigration, jobs and the hinderance of economic gains were also of importance.
Decisions have consequences and havoc can follow. Some voters in the UK were reported to have been googling “what is Brexit or, what is the European Union?” after casting their votes. Many were unaware that cross country (EU membership) intelligence sharing might be subdued if not totally eliminated, especially in regard to terrorism. Others cast votes solely on a politician’s promise to infuse more money into the healthcare system. A promise that never materialized. Then there were the jobs votes whereby illegal immigrants have “stolen” employment opportunities while thwarting wage growth. As Katy Kay with the BBC pointed out, there was little mention nor concern that a number of those jobs have been replaced by mechanization including robots. In North Carolina and across the United States, 401-Ks and IRAs were upended. Political affiliations of investors and savers was inconsequential. On Fox News, a banner ran across the screen stating that the United Kingdom had voted not to leave the European Union, but the United Nations.
At 6:00 AM this morning, Capitol Broadcasting Company in Raleigh, North Carolina posted one of the most damning editorials in the history of North Carolina politics. While the piece delivers harsh criticism of Republicans in the North Carolina State Legislature, the scope has been placed squarely between the eyes of North Carolina voters. “Lack of accountability at the ballot box allows ideology to run amok” has driven head on into the current state of political affairs. Where gerrymandered districts and unchallenged Republican incumbents have turned a once beautiful State into a vast and uncontrolled wildfire. It’s not enough that Republicans have lied about tax cuts or instituted control over local governments but page after page of legislation have been concerted efforts (and in many cases enacted) to appeal to an underbelly. As CBC's editorial makes note;
If there is legislation that should go to the Committee on Redundancy Committee to expire, it is the “Pledge to Uphold the Bill of Rights” resolution before the state House of Representatives. While some lawmakers may have forgotten – they’d already made that pledge when they took the oath of office, solemnly swearing to “support the Constitution of the United States.” In reality, the resolution -- sponsored by Reps. Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus, along with co-sponsors Michael Speciale, R-Craven, Mark Brody, R-Union and Carl Ford, R-Rowan – is about imposing their view of “state’s rights.”
it is increasingly clear that intent and buffoonery are one and the same.
“Obama is a communist”, “Clinton is a liar”, “Jim Goodman is a liberal” and Democrats or even moderates in the State of North Carolina are “libtards." Urban areas of our state are not without fault regarding racism, bigotry, xenophobia, fringe ideology, insult hurling and adulation for guns and the NRA. But rural North Carolina and its henchmen and women are now firmly in control. Whether it’s in the comment sections of online news sources or through other forms of social media (primarily located or emanating from outside of urban areas), the rurals and their voices are speaking loudly while their counterparts cheer. In the United States, the same holds true.
The fringe, less educated, conspiracy theorists (including those who find facts to be abhorrent) have become the enemies of education, intelligence, objectivity and progress. And in North Carolina, they ferment in locations once deemed as being important to our overall growth. Through ignorance, apathy and hate, the tide has turned. North Carolina has a problem.