The Moral Monday protests this summer were both inspiring and strategically smart. They were inspiring because they showed people not only care but are willing to stand up and sacrifice for what they believe in. They were sound strategy because they focused the media, both here and nationally, on the draconian policies moving through the legislature and brought together thousands of potential activists.
There were people appalled by the attack on women’s health issues. There were educators, students and parents shocked by cuts to education at all levels. There were labor activists angered by regressive tax policies and the elimination of worker protections. There were environmentalists concerned about the rush to frack and rollback of environmental protections. And there were African-Americans and voting rights advocates who saw the voter suppression law as a return to Jim Crow tactics to disenfranchise vulnerable populations.
Moral Mondays brought together the progressive coalition and recruited new members, politicizing people who once sat on the sidelines. It helped turn the independents who are paying attention against the Republican leadership. And it even reached some of the moderate Republicans who believe government has a positive role in our society. But to win in heavily gerrymandered districts in 2014, that’s not enough.
Moral Mondays did not shift the political philosophy of the state. They were a reaction to policies and different people came for different reasons. North Carolina is still a moderate state with a relatively evenly divided electorate. The protests didn’t change that.
My hope for Moral Mondays was that it would turn into an organizing opportunity. I haven’t seen that so far. Who has the list of Moral Monday protesters, which districts are targeted and what is the plan of action?
In off-year elections, only about 45% of registered voters in North Carolina show up to the polls. In targeted districts, that number needs to be higher if Democrats hope to win. Motivating unmotivated voters is one of the most expensive (per contact), time-consuming and labor intensive parts of campaigns. Planning, training and outreach needs to start now.
To win next year, progressives need an army of people trained to knock on doors and pull out the more apathetic voters. They’ll need to change the make up of the electorate in districts that currently lean heavily Republican. Mass demonstrations won’t do that. Strong programs with accountability will.
If you haven’t done so, please take a moment to fill out our reader survey in the sidebar. Thanks for reading.
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 >
No, the protests are stupid and Biblically illiterate. It disgraces the cause of Christ to see people who claim to be Christians begging Caesar, the government, for handouts. It is the role of Christ’s Church to help the poor.
￼John Lofton, Recovering Republican
Director,The God And Government Project
keep me in the loop- AND NOT TO MUCH BULLSHIT POSTS IN FACT FEW POSTS AS POSSIBLE…KEEPING IT ALL ESSENTIAL TO OUR BUSY LIVES…iN FACT, WHEN YOU REALIZE THAT BY THE TIME OF DAY WHEN YOUR POSTS R READ…ALL OF US ARE TIRED, SO KEEP IT REAL IMPORANT AND NOT JUST FLUFF
I think MM has helped with organizing, but it may just not be that visible. Hopefully the organizing will certainly be more visible in 2014.
I can’t believe how silent the NCDP has been. I contacted them 6 months ago asking to get involved and all they did was put me on an email list that asks for money every few days.