Kristine Kaiser: GOP Legislature sparks ‘moral’ response
Frustration is in the air, and is causing citizens to protest the North Carolina General Assembly’s actions. Some activists are partaking in civil disobedience with the hope of shining a light on the state legislators’ immoral right-wing agenda. More than 150 protestors were handcuffed at the June 3 rally. The N.C. NAACP sponsored the event as part of a series of protests now dubbed as “Moral Mondays.” Other groups joined in.
North Carolina isn’t lacking national attention. Early on, the Republicans observed a major victory here. The GOP had taken over the state Legislature and the governor’s office. The Republicans are in ideological heaven; it is only the rest of us who have the blues. North Carolina is a model for Republican politics; it is a state that the GOP looks at with ambition and pride. What they can do in this state reflects their larger goals.
We seek a stage to tell on them. We can tell Americans what it is like to live in a scarlet red state. We can tell others that Republicans aren’t kind, take no account of essential social welfare. They dismiss the middle-class in favor of wealthy citizens. The national presidential election made these truths very clear. I doubt that it is possible to shame Republicans for being Republicans.
The GOPers do not believe in being their brother’s keeper. They do not believe that government must care for the poor. The GOP believes that people should take care of themselves. That defines morality for the Republican. They think differently than Democrats and will not be stopped; they will not be deterred with their unchecked power.
Money and leadership will slow the Republican overreach. Democrats must now raise money and plenty of it. Unpopular bills have the possibility of generating cash. Let us take advantage of the mass discontent. Citizens must narrowly focus all their efforts on North Carolina. The news is jammed with worthy causes. Everyone is after the big political donation. Sometimes we are tempted to join political action in other states.
We must resist. We must concentrate on our home state. We must now read articles about our own state, we must know who is who. Let us become acquainted with the players in the state Legislature. Let us know their interests, their phone numbers. Let us know their backers. Financial sponsors reveal much about individual lawmakers.
Through our apathy, state lawmakers have mostly remained anonymous. They can hardly be held accountable when no one knows them. Some Republicans have been given a free ride. Likewise, unfamiliar Democrats serve in the General Assembly also.
By staying in the background, they forfeit their potential for leadership. Democratic leaders must step forward, and our newspapers must highlight our representatives at the state level. Currently, the Democratic Party suffers from a lack of leadership.
If Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan runs against Thom Tillis, a true national spotlight will shine on that Senate race. Tillis can defend the anti-justice ways of our General Assembly. Also, North Carolina is bound to receive much outside money for the race. The “Moral Mondays” crowd must organize, beginning now, for Sen. Hagan. North Carolina must keep its best Democratic leaders, while nurturing more talent for the state.
“Moral Mondays” are great for the progressive attitude. The movement might lift our spirits, as we affirm that we are not alone in our frustration. But only money and leadership can rid us of these right-wingers. Let progressive groups begin to fundraise. Let them not stop until the GOPers take notice and begin to worry some.
Kristine Kaiser is a writer living in Kernersville. Contact her for comments at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.