Okay, it would be super awesome if my state would stop making the national news.
Like, if it’s for a hurricane, that’s one thing. That happens. North Carolina gets hurricanes, sometimes just along the coast, and sometimes fairly inland. That’s part of life.
Most of the time, no one gets hurt for that. The same cannot be said for the recent absolutely out of their mind actions of our state’s legislature.
Not only are so many people hurt by their legislation—teachers and students and women and families, in particular (I am not going to go into too many specifics but feel free to look them up and be horrified), but it fills hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians with a kind of dread and shame.
I don’t actually want to move out of this state. Okay, I’d love to live in or near Seattle, Washington, because my understanding is that Seattle has perfect weather and seems like a wonderful place to live for many reasons. But I really just want to live in NC (Asheville, specifically, though I’m not there just yet). I want to stay here and fight to make things better.
Have you heard of Moral Mondays? They’re protests against the ridiculous and, yes, immoral actions of our legislature during their most recent session (which finally came to an end). Protests held by people who don’t think that teachers should be stripped of their tenure. People who don’t think that anti-Sharia laws make that much sense. People who believe that women have the right to reproductive autonomy. People who believe in fair and open access to voting.
After a huge influx of ultra-conservative campaign funding here in NC from, basically, a sort of Koch Brother Junior, we have a Republican Governor for the first time in . . . well, in my memory, certainly. Pat McCrory included, as a campaign promise, that he was not going to sign any anti-choice legislation into law.
He broke that promise. I know—shocking to everyone.
We had an anti-Sharia bill that had anti-abortion measures added to it. There was a motorcycle safety bill that also had anti-abortion measures added to it. Both are ridiculous to the point of being farcical. But it’s not funny.
Remember the Stand With Wendy story? Well, that bill still ended up being passed in Texas. And, here in NC, we’ve been stuck with similar anti-choice restrictions. It’s so ridiculous that The Daily Show talked about it. There’s nothing quite like watching John Oliver talk about your state to make you really incredibly uncomfortable.
Here’s the thing—NC went back to “red” on the national map during the 2012 election (we were blue in 2008). We’re divided about a number of things. But the majority of North Carolinians are opposed to a lot of what’s going on. I don’t just mean almost everyone whom I know, or almost everyone who lives near me. I mean more than half of people who live in my state.
That means that there are Republicans who are unhappy with the extremes to which their representatives are going. And Republicans who are unhappy Governor McCrory for going along with it. They don’t like the bills and, consequently, they do not like the politicians who are putting them forward.
I’m kind of glad about this. That sounds weird, and pretty heartless, because so many people are being hurt by this legislation. But you know how sometimes, people think that they want something until it actually happens? I think that that’s what’s happening, right now, to parts of my state. I think that there are hundreds of thousands of voters who wanted conservatives in office who are realizing that this is not really what they wanted.
And I think that we’re going to see some different election results in the future. And that things are going to get better.