by Brian Irving
The rounds of charges and counter-charges swirling around the Moral Monday demonstrations illustrate just how low political discourse in our state has fallen. It’s like children exchanging insults on a playground: “I know you are, but what am I.”
This farce is the inevitable result of a political system designed as a duopoly, with Democrats and Republicans taking turns being in charge, yet offering few differences between themselves.
Democrats are all for “democracy” – except when the don’t win. They seem to have forgotten that in a “democracy” the side that wins the majority gets to set the rules. That is what the Democrats did for many years.
Republican claims they are reducing government and cutting taxes are just as bogus. All they are doing is not growing government – as much – and not raising taxes – as much – as the other side would.
Freedom of speech only works if you respect the equal rights of those who disagree with you. Questioning the motives or morals of your opponents doesn’t contribute to civil dialogue, and may be itself immoral. Nor does calling your opponents morons, and dismissing them as “outsiders” add to the discussion.
The true outsiders in this sophomoric comedy are not the Moral Monday demonstrators or the Republican leaders born in other states. The true outsiders are the people of North Carolina.
Sadly, calling the other side names and demonizing what they do and believe has become standard practice for both the Democratic and Republican parties. At their best, they act like fans of a sports team. At their worst, which seems to be most of the time, they both behave like street gangs fighting over turf. Whatever the others side proposes, they oppose, even though they may have agreed with that idea a year ago.
This entire situation is just a game, deliberately designed to distract people from the fact that neither the side is really interested in solving any problems. The object of the game is not to resolve issues, but to create them by catering to people’s basest instincts – fear, envy and greed – in order to gain and maintain political power.
Our state has some serious problems, including a stagnant economy, high unemployment, unfair taxation, and burdensome regulations. We need leaders who’ll listen to one another to resolves these issues like adults, not like children playing a game.
For those of you who may not pay attention to the doings in Raleigh, here is some background For the past two months, demonstrators have gathered at the N.C. Legislative Building each Monday to lodge their opposition to the policies pursued by the legislature’s Republican majority.
As part of their demonstration, they have blocked the entrance to the legislative chamber, and more than 600 people have been arrested.
The crowd this week was significant, the largest to date. Read more in the News & Observer.