Guest commentary

Some inspiring words from Mark Marcoplos, one of the 151 people arrested on June 3.

I got arrested at a recent Moral Monday protest with 151 others. The total number is now close to 400.

With the collusion of both parties, diseased politics and corporate corruption have been eating away at our society for a long time. Suddenly, the pace has quickened in North Carolina and voices of moderation are being willfully steam-rolled by a radical agenda that is right out of the playbook of out-of-state heavy-hitters like the Koch brothers’- funded Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council known as ALEC. These efforts are amplified by the Koch brothers’ North Carolina ally, the mega-wealthy free-spender for ultra-conservative causes Art Pope – now ensconced as the state’s Budget Director. In the last election, Pope spent $2.2 million dollars on 22 state legislative candidates, winning 18 of them.

This current crop of self-serving representatives has unleashed an avalanche of bills that will result in the least among us being denied the basic necessities that good neighbors and strong communities have always provided for one another – food when they are hungry, care when they are sick, a quality education for our kids, and a little money to tide them over a tough time. All while screwing around with voting laws to make it more difficult for us to unseat them. Add to that cuts in mental health care that will cost more in social services, police protection, and prisons. They are fast-tracking fracking and off-shore drilling while spitefully attacking the healthy growth of renewables and energy-efficiency. It’s hard to imagine the nightmarish yet realistic possibility of losing the Outer Banks to an oil spill, especially when we don’t really need that oil.

What we are witnessing is the behavior of mentally ill people. By that I mean, if all of us were to follow the same philosophy in our daily life, society would disintegrate.

To borrow a mannerly, self-editing form of expression from Roy Williams, it’s freaking crazy.

All the folks that got arrested at the first three Moral Mondays, many of them friends, were inspiring. I realized that my arrest would serve to lessen the possibilities that they would receive strong penalties. So in addition to the pulling of my conscience, I also got arrested out of respect for them.

For those of you considering attending a Moral Monday, I want you to know that it is a uniquely fulfilling and emotional experience. To be in a crowd of people expressing our higher nature to care about all people and the natural world awakens a part of us that it is dormant too often, a part of us that the mercenaries in the Legislature and their puppet masters fear because they have so little understanding of that suppressed part of themselves.


Not unlike a mental illness

When you believe in an economic theory that has yet to be proven, and you believe in it so deeply that you're willing to tear down established structures to give your theory a "pure" environment in which to develop, you're not what I would describe as "mentally healthy". While many would (accurately) describe this as a form of religious zealotry, it's very possibly a mild delusional disorder creating/feeding on "non-bizarre" delusions.

While it might not be a recipe for an extended stay in a padded room, it's also not a recipe for a responsible elected official.


This is one of the finest things I have read in awhile. Thank you, Mark, for a concise, spot-on description of the problem and why we will continue to have Moral Mondays.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014