When I was a kid growing up in a small North Carolina town, they taught us that Reconstruction was a time of hardship and deprivation. Carpetbaggers came down from up North to take advantage of the defeated Southerners through political corruption and generally plundering the war-torn region. They were essentially profiteers who exploited southern labor and southern land without giving much back.
I didn’t know any Yankees back then and I was pretty sure I didn’t want to. We ascribed the term Carpetbagger to anyone from out of state who came to North Carolina and tried to get involved in business or government. We were sure their motives were dubious.
College and traveling changed my views. I still made occasional jokes about Yankees, but increasingly, many of my friends were from other states, often from up North. They came here because of what North Carolina had to offer and they respected our people, culture and institutions, at least most of the time. The term Carpetbagger essentially lost its meaning for me except in its historical context.
And then the Carpetbaggers came back. Pat McCrory, Phil Berger, Thom Tillis, carpetbaggers all. It’s not that they’re not from here. It’s that they don’t respect our institutions, our history or our culture. They have no appreciation for the work we did as a state to modernize and avoid the Third World mentality that defines other Southern states.
For the past 50 years, our leaders, Democratic and Republican, kept our basest instincts at bay. While we weren’t perfect, we navigated Civil Rights better than our neighbors and put faith in education. We argued around the margins, but at our core, we were a centrist state, known for good government and a destination for businesses and families.
But these guys, they don’t come with any sense of history or moderation. No, they just see this state as a place to plunder and its people as a source of cheap labor. And they’ll rile up the ugliest part of it to get what they want. They’ll put discrimination on a ballot. They’ll pay off religious zealots to secure a regressive tax system. The will tear down all we built in the name of profit.
Tillis and Berger are the worst. They’re political opportunists, putting political ambition ahead of good public policy. McCrory? He’s just dumb as a box of rocks. After that press conference, it’s quite obvious that he has no idea what state government does or what he’s supposed to do. Just a bunch of Carpetbaggers out to plunder and profit. What a shame and disgrace.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >
What century are these commenters living in? Are their heads so far up their butts that they don’t see the damage being done to the state or are they too stupid to realize what’s happening or are they just gleeful because they think it won’t affect them personally? If you live in NC, even if you’re a white male and a GOP member, these changes are going to affect you negatively for a long time to come! Come join the 21st century, please.
Hey, MK, click on the link in Patriot’s comment. I think you’ll appreciate it.
For a comprehensive list of accomplishments of our #ncga and Gov. Pat, I suggest the liberal Hounds of Whinerville click onto http://www.thankfultuesdays.com for a snapshot of what’s been done in only 6-months.
A place to plunder, while Bev and the previous admins put us in debt up to our eyeballs. That’s where to box of rocks are found. Liberals, you never mature past age 17 and you really are a mental disorder.
interesting how we are “centrist” when progressives are getting all their wants, hopes and dreams met while fostering a radical corrupt system. As soon as someone who is not like you guys, the tone is mean spirited and so forth….even though little has changed. quite the hypocritical attitude in that when your “side” commits very similar actions there is no uporar about it.