North Carolina Republicans are turning out to be quite tone deaf. Whether through arrogance or ignorance, they seem quite sure they’ve got the support of the people. They dismiss criticism from traditional news outlets like the News & Observer, The Charlotte Observer, the Asheville Citizen-Times and Greenville’s Daily Reflector as rantings from the liberal media. They heap scorn on Moral Monday protesters and the national media for ridiculing our state and seem sure the only people who agree with them are “liberals.”
Here’s some reality for you, GOP. The only people who feel threatened by Sharia Law are folks who are already solidly in your camp. The rest us of looked on with emotions that ranged from mild amusement to outrage.
To say you looked silly pushing that Sharia Law/motorcycle abortion bill through legislature is an understatement. You lost the issue altogether and instead let the country take a look at some ugly sausage-making. For most people, it fell into the “you can’t make this shit up” category.
The fact that people in your caucus introduced a state law that would authorize a state religion brought up every negative stereo-type imaginable. Even though it never made it out of committee, you looked like the party of ignorant back-woods religious nuts, especially since so many of you are calling for the country to live by the constitution. It’s right up there with those signs calling on the government to “Keep your hands off our Medicare.”
I could continue to site examples but I need to hit on your most recent debacle. But first, you need to understand a few things. Teachers are widely respected in this state and always have been. In your narrow, black-and-white world of politics, you may associate them with NCAE. Most of the people in the state associate them with their kids. In poorer, rural counties, everyone knows teachers. Schools systems are often the largest employers and teachers are quite often civic and community leaders.
Your feeble attempt to justify your education budget is a not-so-thinly-veiled attack on teachers. Your argument basically goes like this:
“Teachers are part-time workers masquerading as full-time employees who are paid plenty. Besides, they’ve had more raises than other state employees. If they really want more money, they should go get it from those broke-ass counties they work in.”
It’s a pathetic document that does nothing to reassure the people of North Carolina that you are committed to public education. But it does epitomize why so many people have lost faith in you. You sound mean and petty and have obviously confused your base with the rest of us. You would do well to get out of your bubble, take off your ideological glasses and get a sense of what the people who don’t follow the minutia of politics think about you.
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 >