What I learned about North Carolina from ten years on the political sidelines

After almost a decade of blogging, I'm stepping away from day-to-day oversight at BlueNC, leaving Steve Harrison to keep the lights on. It seems a good time to gather some thoughts about what I've learned, for posterity if for nothing else. This first installment covers things that have cemented themselves in the front of my mind.

#blacklivesdontmatter
This is no doubt true for our whole country, but the white agenda here in North Carolina is pernicious. Senator Tillis, for example, recently argued that federal affirmative action programs amount to paying racial reparations, and should stop. As usual, he’s barely half right. If affirmative action has anything to do with reparations, the payments we’ve made so far are a drop in the racial inequality bucket. If you haven’t seen the movie Selma, go do it. Unless you are a proud racist, the movie will break your heart. Our society’s debt to the black population in America is like a festering sore. We continue to pick at the scab.

#gerrymandering
Among all the affronts to democracy in North Carolina, the redistricting of 2010 reigns as the ugliest. Even many Republicans understand they crossed a line, though they’re embarrassed to say so. Until districts are redrawn fairly, voting in most state and federal races will an exercise in futility. The necessary foundation for justice simply does not exist.

#moneytalks
No elected official in North Carolina holds a candle to Art Pope when it comes to influencing government. This is a threat from which there is no relief. We at BlueNC have chronicled Pope's march to power for ten years, and I am sad to report that he has won. Shining the bright light of public scrutiny has failed to moderate his activities. In our Citizens United world, money is speech. Art Pope can buy more influence than all the rest of us put together.

#truthhurts
Lying has always been part of the human condition, but today it is epidemic. In the teacher pay debate, for example, there is no fact or truth that cannot be twisted to reflect the Republican agenda. And as part of the continuing attack on education, many of the most damaging deceptions involve science. From climate change to pregnancy prevention to poverty rates to the existence of life itself, facts have fallen out of vogue. They have been supplanted by the magical thinking of religion. So very discouraging.



Bright spots to motivate progressive activism will be hard to find over the next two years. Instead, we'll likely find ourselves continuing to play defense on a playing field that is badly out of balance. Candidates will need to be heroic, but the odds are not in our favor.

More coming.

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Comments

Hear hear

I'll add my thanks too for Steve's activism, blogging, volunteering, working at the municipal level, and fighting for the environment. If we can get more concerned citizens to be activist citizens, then we can build a future that begins to overcome the mess out state is in today. Thanks for doing your part.

+1

What Jake said!

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Art Pope = manufactured untruths

Between Civitas and JLF, there's a huge and diverse collection of tainted research and analysis just waiting to be waved around by Republicans, providing them cover for all sorts of regressive and inhumane acts.

Exposing the lies is possibly the most important thing we can do in the blogosphere, so if/when any of you reading this detect those untruths, post about it here or somewhere else.

Art's propaganda

A new study released today by the Locked In the John Foundation shows that America would be a paradise for everyone if all taxes were eliminated. And it would be even better if a few rich white guys called all the shots.

A new Uncivil Civitas poll released today shows that North Carolinians want to give most all of their money to Art Pope and a few other people he chooses, because they know that Art will take care of them by giving them jobs and selling them shit at Maxway Rose's.

A new column today by John DeHoodie Franluca contradicts previous unbiased facts and asserts that cutting taxes and repealing regulations has created more high-paying jobs than can possibly be filled and vaulted North Carolina to the top of the heap for economic prosperity and just plain sex appeal.

The said thing is that these examples aren't but a tiny distance from reality (reality being something that the Pope propagandists don't accept).

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Thank YOU James

A decade of making a difference.

You won't be far away, right?

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Oh, and

brilliant insight in your article. You nailed it, and got to the heart of the matter in these here parts.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Blogger emeritus??

So perhaps you can add the above title to your BlueNC business card. :)
Thank you for the years of info, insights and commentary.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?