I realize how fortunate I’ve been to live in a state that has been governed so well for most of my life. For the most part, Democrats got it right. While they were in control, I certainly had my problems with them, but they were mainly from the left, not the right.
I thought the Democrats were a little too pro-business and I wished they’d have spent a little more time looking at some of the root causes of poverty. And if they were in power today, I’d probably have the same complaints. But these disagreements are matters of degrees. I never thought I would live in a state where the government has such blatant disdain for its poor people and such ideological reverence for the unimpeded free market.
The party that loves to cry “Class warfare!” just launched an all out assault on the middle class and poor people. This is a government that decided how much money it wanted to give to rich people before it figured out how much it would take to adequately fund the government. They assumed they could make their cuts to public schools, public universities, early childhood education, community colleges and health care once they had taken car of their wealthy benefactors. Talk about priorities.
In this war, we saw the right’s ground troops yesterday at the laughable “Thankful Tuesday” rally. The Pope-funded group, Civitas, likes to profile the Moral Monday protesters by accessing their public but personal information and publishing it on the web. A simple photograph tells you all you need to know about the Thankful Tuesday folks. They’re angry white people who willingly, no enthusiastically, or even fanatically, vote against their own economic self-interests to protect themselves from imaginary threats to their freedom and liberty.
The rightward shift is borne of an ugly coalition of opportunistic greed and irrational fear of demographic changes and economic uncertainty. We’ve seen these forces throughout North Carolina history. At the turn of the 20th century, they turned us into a racist, one-party state. This time, though, there are more of us than there are of them.
If they really want class warfare, bring it on.