Kristine Kaiser: Hagan is the moderate we need

Apr. 11, 2014 @ 09:32 PM

Big money is pouring into the U.S. Senate race in North Carolina. Big money wants to unseat Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and stage a GOP takeover of the Senate. Like in “The Wizard of Oz,” we would be wise to ignore the man behind the curtain. Indeed, we’d be wise to pay no attention to the outsiders’ shenanigans and re-elect the N.C. moderate.
Oh, but re-elect Kay Hagan? She’s so blah. She’s so cautious. Did I write that? There is a type of “all or nothing” thinking that runs through politics. If Kay Hagan has the slightest imperfection that means that my vote goes to the Republican. What bunk!
Hagan isn’t perfect. That conclusion would not ever lead me to vote Republican. Likewise, President Obama isn’t all that I thought he was, but that should never be construed to mean that I regret voting for him.
Kay Hagan is the clear choice for the U.S. Senate. Her likely rival Thom Tillis is the Speaker of the N.C. House. His measures have taken the state back 50 years, from the massive anti-voter laws to tax cuts for the wealthiest N.C. citizens.
He delights in his “tax reform,” while telling everyone from teachers to professors that the state can no longer afford its constitutional responsibilities. It cannot afford raises for all teachers. The UNC University system is being starved as the “too big” government beast.
Every time the state says that it does not have the revenue or it can’t afford to solve problems, people should think of Thom Tillis and his tax reform. The wealthiest folks aren’t doing without.
Thom Tillis likes to boast. He likes to point out his humble beginnings, and how he rose in the corporate world. Yet, one suspects that he doesn’t care whether upward mobility is a reality for all people. He was special, a hard worker. Sheer luck would never enter into his special formula for success; he’s a self-made man, made from his grit.
If one has failed to imitate his success, that person must be lazy, a good-for-nothing. We don’t need “a king bee” in the Senate, an all-too-special-guy who looks down on others, who sees himself as an exception, while the struggling world can go it alone.
Tillis likes to tell people he graduated from the University of Maryland. He actually graduated from the University of Maryland University College, a part of the system that is nonselective and offers mostly online classes. Anyone can go there. There is a big difference between the two institutions. The first is prestigious; the other is not.
So Tillis asks, “What does it matter where I graduated from college?” A degree is a degree, isn’t it? With that sad dismissal, he isn’t savvy about much. Truly, with that question, he doesn’t seem aware of the recent outbreak of worthless colleges. Tillis doesn’t sound as if he has been in the world.  But he is the candidate of big money, the Koch choice.
Will we let big money tell the tale? Will we pay attention to the negative ads from outsiders? Will we let the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity have their way in North Carolina? We can be smart voters and note exactly who is paying for negative ads.
We can turn our backs on outsiders who would manipulate our citizenry, who try to rig outcomes, not reflecting the people’s will.  We can further explore the legislation of Thom Tillis and then judge whether the N.C. legislator deserves to go onto the U.S. Senate. If we do these things, Sen. Kay Hagan will be re-elected. Our good sense, not outsiders’ corrupting money, will prevail. Let’s keep moderate Sen. Kay Hagan at her post.

Kristine Kaiser is a writer living in Kernersville. Contact her for comments at: Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.