They're a little window into what devoted, rank and file Republicans are thinking in North Carolina. And the concerns they express are disturbing in what they say about how extreme - and paranoid - the right-wing has become in the state.
The Jefferson Post has a round-up of speakers at the Ashe GOP convention.
NC Senator Dan Soucek, from the 45th district, was the keynote speaker. Soucek, of course, was one of Art Pope's hand-picked candidates for the state legislature and had a Public Forum on Education that was a complete disaster. Also heard at the convention were various candidates and office holders, including NC state representative Jonathan Jordan who is bankrolled by Art Pope, Americans for Prosperity and other extremist groups.
Jordan raised the alarm about MoveOn.org "going after this district". I suppose you would be worried about out of state liberal groups noticing that your campaign received almost $100,000 from the Raleigh-based Art Pope and the out of state Koch machine for your race in 2010.
Ashe County Republican Party Chairwoman Mary Desautels expressed concern that Islamic Sharia Law is infiltrating the US and told attendees "“We are and should fight to remain a Christian nation."
Soucek talked up the NC legislature's work on "tax reform, Medicaid expansion, pro-life legislation, and Second Amendment rights", saying that liberal groups around the country, especially the northeast are "furious".
Notice, once again, the theme of liberal "outsiders" - there's some "other" people not representing North Carolina that want to tell them what to do.
So, what hot button issues are Republicans in Ashe concerned about? The resolutions are what you might expect - repealing the Affordable Care Act, supporting local law enforcement, opposing illegal immigration and amnesty, and opposing Common Core. But there's some real doozies:
- Preservation of U.S. sovereignty and economic stability by repealing NAFTA and opposing any pending free trade agreements and partnerships.
- Withdrawal from the United Nations.
- Pledge to stand with the Republican National Committee in their “resolution exposing United Nations’ Agenda 21.
Of course, withdrawal from the UN goes back to the 80s, when Jesse Helms was grandstanding in the Senate against UN membership, painting the organization as some kind of dark force wanting to impose some kind of broad liberal agenda on the American public. What most people forget is that Helms was using this rhetoric to fight liberal legislation in the US centered on areas like women's health and AIDS funding, portraying them as part of some sinister world conspiracy.
Agenda 21 has been a rallying cry for conspiracy-minded conservatives in more recent years, with the rather benign non-biding resolution on sustainable development being touted by Glenn Beck and the Tea Party as a way for the UN to do everything from taking away US citizens's property rights and making them live in cities to taking away their guns to imposing gay marriage.
BlueNC readers might recall that one of Ashe County Commissioners declared himself a "sovereign citizen" to get out of paying thousands of dollars in debit and taxes owed the IRS.
All this paranoid bullshit - outside Northeastern liberals controlling local politics in NC, the spread of Islamic Sharia Law, Agenda 21 - is the modern equivalent of believing that communists are taking over the world through water fluoridation to to "sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids".
And we're supposed to trust these lunatics with creating jobs, improving education, managing the environment, or actually running public services?
An interesting project for one of the states big news outlets or some enterprising BlueNC bloggers would be to obtain information on the county Republican conventions around the state and compile all this crazy in one place. It's easy to just ignore these paranoid fantasies as some peculiar "blips" in local politics, but this kind of thinking is widespread among Republicans in power around NC.
Perhaps someone can explain one of the resolutions passed in both the Ashe and Wautauga conventions:
*Withdraw all N.C. calls for a constitutional convention and oppose any future calls for such conventions.
The last I heard, the Republicans were calling for constitutional conventions in states around the country to promote a "states rights" agenda and nullify many Federal laws. Did they give up on that? Or are the Republicans more concerned about the impending invasion of UN forces in Miller's Creek, North Carolina?