by Joshua D. Glawson
LPNC Strategic Communications Adviser
One of the nicest parts of driving around the United States is getting to experience different views of diverse terrain. From the serene Outer Banks of North Carolina to the golden sands of California, the memorable panoramic aesthetics are worth the drive.
Along with differences in landscape, there are diverse cultural differences that include tasty and exotic cuisine, music, fashion, language, and norms. Experiencing a wide array of civilizations within the U.S. can enrich a person’s happiness and life trajectory, while it can also teach how to interact with a variety of personalities and effectively deal with cultural differences.
North Carolina has some common cultural traits that are blatantly visible to domestic and foreign migrants flocking to the state. The positive traits found in North Carolina include family-orientedness, classical education, Carolina BBQ, Appalachian Bluegrass, and a communally shared sense of unique accomplishments that help set North Carolina apart and above the other states in the region. Some of the more common negative traits found in North Carolina include a pseudo-attachment to freedom, cantankerous and imperious personalities, and an ongoing embrace of nativism.
This article will highlight these negative traits to help the North Carolina Liberty Movement avoid and overcome these potential downfalls. Just as most North Carolinians are proud of the uniqueness that encompasses the state, the North Carolina Libertarian Party should also actively work toward setting itself apart from and above the common masses.
Although North Carolina has a rich history of celebrating freedom, there is frequently more lip service than actionable measures taken. For starters, there is serious speculation that North Carolina was not the “First In Freedom” as the state so often likes to claim. According to the Cato Institute’s State Freedom Index, North Carolina has dropped in overall freedom rankings from 20/50 to 24/50.
Additionally, as many North Carolinians are well aware, the state authorities continue to micro-dictate almost every act of freedom, including the Alcoholic Beverage Control system (ABC), exorbitant barriers to entry for a wide range of careers and industries, and Certificate of Need regulations which effectively prevent healthy competition and service regarding healthcare provisions. It is as though the North Carolina state slogan “First In Freedom” is in direct conflict with the North Carolina state motto “Esse Quam Videri” (i.e. “To Be Rather Than To Seem”).
One common characteristic found in North Carolinians is a pugnacious personality that exalts derision and then calls upon the strong arm of the state to enforce their will upon others. This disdainful attitude is intensified towards those viewed as social pariahs of the state, which typically hyperfocuses non-natives.
One place these behaviors are witnessed is on highways. In North Carolina, it is the norm to be in the left lane of a two-lane road going well under the speed limit - although there are people behind trying to get around and the lane is clear ahead. They speed up when trying to pass, and utilize the slower right lane to their advantage of not allowing others to pass although they are going under the speed limit itself. It is as though ensuring that others are not allowed to move freely, and enforcement of laws by the common citizen, are the higher values for many North Carolinians. Then, when accidents occur, they often cry to the state for protection for themselves and the punishment of others, as they wait in the middle of the road for the police to arrive causing further traffic and frustration.
North Carolina has been notoriously cynical and critical of perceived outsiders since the state’s early beginnings. This has been seen through laws of the past that included anti-Black laws, anti-Catholic laws, policies and laws against civil liberties, anti-Hispanic sentiments, hostility toward those from India, and the general disdain for those who do not speak English. These approaches, among many others, have created an environment that is unwelcoming to foreign and domestic immigrants moving to the state. Tactics such as these facilitate a static economic environment that is not conducive to variety, change, improvement, or flourishing. Furthermore, it instills a sense of heteronomous authority as opposed to autonomous individuality. Such approaches can have detrimental effects on the populous and the state itself.
If the Libertarian Party of North Carolina wishes to make ground toward achieving greater liberty in the state of North Carolina, we have some work to do. We must work together to resist adhering to false narratives of liberty, and live our individual lives that reflect the non-aggression principle in every facet of life while encouraging tolerance and welcoming diversity.
Joshua D. Glawson is a writer and speaker in the Liberty Movement. He has been active with the Libertarian Party of California since 2015. He now resides in his home state of North Carolina. Check him out at Home - Joshua D. Glawson (joshuadglawson.com)