This week, we're surveying the choices made by Republicans in North Carolina. At first, second and third blush, those choices reveal a broad-based shift away from freedom and fairness. The list of assaults is daunting.
- Raising taxes
- Withholding Medicaid
- Attacking abortion rights
- Discrimination against minorities
- Interfering with local governments
- Forcing taxpayers to fund for-profit schools
- Disbanding protections for rivers and shorelines
- Politicizing the judiciary
- Restricting access to alternative energy
- Making it harder to vote
Like arrogant husbands who abuse their families, the GOP majority lashes out with reckless abandon. Father knows best, it’s in the Bible. And what Father does is none of your damn business. Never mind water pollution. Never mind gutting public education. Never mind their noses in your bedroom. And especially never mind if you’re black, brown, green, gay or whatever. What you think doesn’t matter. Jesus told me. This I know.
If the actions themselves weren’t bad enough, the GOP’s opinion manufacturing machine has also kicked into overdrive, spinning facts into fiction with no concern for fairness or truth. Lies, deception and scheming are now a central plank of the GOP agenda.
All of this takes place against the backdrop of gerrymandering. Having inoculated itself against majority rule, the GOP can do no wrong. Which means much of our attention has to be focused on statewide elections. Governor and Lt. Governor. Council of State. US Senate. The judiciary. The US President. And whatever constitutional crap the legislature pulls.
North Carolina's shift from fairness and freedom to arrogance and control is costing us dearly. Whether that shift continues is up to us.