The nursery rhyme goes “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Maybe NC State Rep. Mike Stone (R-Lee) should revisit this simple truth.

Stone used his position as a legislator to knock a college radio show off the air. Seems the show’s host had the audacity to question Rep. Stone’s heavy handed approach at changing local election laws. The show and a post on its blog pointed out that Republicans talk a good game about local control but are using Big Government tactics to impose their will on county and municipal governments.

There’s nothing too radical about that. It’s a theme in newspapers and on talk shows around the state. Stone, though, emailed the community college president questioning the radio station’s programing and budget.

And this is isn’t the first time Stone has thrown a public hissy fit about people criticizing his positions. In 2011, Stone made spectacle of himself after his own daughter, along with the rest of her third grade class, wrote to Stone and other legislators asking them to protect teachers’ aides from budget cuts.

Stone is the epitome of the thin-skinned bully. He’s certainly willing to use his position to intimidate people around and assert his control, but he’s not so happy about people who call him out. He would rather stifle dissent than defend his positions.

Stone certainly needs to grow a thicker skin but he could also grow a few more brain cells. He obviously doesn’t learn from his mistakes. His outrage over the class email got him national attention. Threatening and bullying the community college is earning him statewide animosity.

Stone’s reaction illustrates a common theme developing in the legislature. Republicans have little use for opposing views and less respect for those who voice them. Sen. Tommy Tucker summed it up with his infamous rant, “I’m the Senator. You are the citizen. You need to be quiet.” Their gerrymandered districts might give them some protection, but Stone, Tucker and their ilk would be wise to realize, nobody likes a bully.

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 >

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