Tag Archives: North Carolina

A Note from the Past: My 2010 Election Post

This is a revised post from 2010.  So much of it is still relevant, but a lot has changed since then.  And not for the better.  I’ll repost it more or less as is and use it as a starting point for my current political thoughts as we get closer to the election….

 

I’ve thought a lot about this over the last few days as we head to the 2010 election. For Progressive’s like me, it’s forecast to be a rough one who’s results may lead us backward as opposed to foreward.

And, once again, the South will lead us there. We’ve always been good at looking fondly backward in the South–whether the facts support it or not.  That makes for fertile ground for the Republicans.  I’ve always said:  “Republicans look backwards with Fear while Democrats look forward with Hope.

That got me thinking. Why is it the South is such a stronghold for the Republicans? Here are my thoughts:

  1. The South is heavy with fundamentalists and evangelical religions. These people have been played by the Republican Party like a cheap violin. Here is what I would say to them: Open your eyes. Under Bush, the Republicans controlled the government and did not ban abortion or execute any of the other points of your agenda. If they didn’t do it then, they won’t do it now. They are using you. Wise up.  
  2. There is a history of Patriarchy in the South that is not dead. Many people, especially in smaller towns and rural areas, still follow the leadership of local political leaders with little thought. They are used to being led without questions or taking time to check the facts because they think they “know” the person and he/she is “one of us.”  
  3. Education is not really valued by a large portion of Southerners. They are suspicious of the overly educated and think they don’t understand them. The Republicans are very good at playing dumb and coming off as one of the “good ole boys” while they use the votes of the poor whites in the South to channel money and benefits to their rich friends on Wall Street.
  4. Southerners resists looking at anything too deeply. Introspection is not valued in the South. Action is….The Republican’s play on this very well.
  5. Facts don’t mean much in the South. Truth has always been conceptual rather than a reality. Any region that can convince itself for over 150 years that the Civil War was about “states rights” rather than slavery is capable of any kind of self-delusion.
  6. The South tends to hate the idea of Big Government, even if they enjoy the benefits. They can over look little things like Social Security, Medicare, new bridges and highways, and insurance that covers pre-existing conditions and college kids. They somehow don’t make the connection that the federal government provides these things…
  7. Southerners value personal freedom above all else, as long as you are a straight white man.
  8. The President is Black and he’s a Democrat. To a large group of folks in the South, this alone is enough reason to vote Republican. Although you may never get them to admit it…

What can Democrats do to change all this and win the South?

  1. Learn to fight. The South and most of the Country values people who stand up for their principles. The GOP has Balls and the Democrats have Brains. You have to have both to win in the South.
  2. Push for independent, bipartisan redistricting commissions.
  3. Get out your message. We’ve got to publicize the benefits of the legislation we do pass and how it helps the poor and middle class as opposed to the Rich. The Democrats and The President have failed miserably at this for the few years. We have real achievements, but no one knows it.
  4. Take on the bullies at Fox News. We have got to make people realize this is not a news organization, but a propaganda machine that provides entertainment to the ignorant. We should be pushing companies not to advertise on Fox News. We should be telling the Management to turn it off in Public places like restaraunts and gyms.
  5. Call a liar a liar. This relates to number 1, but I can’t stress this enough. The Republicans look right in the camera and lie. And no one calls them on it. We have to start making people aware that there are things called “Facts” and stand up for them.
  6. Make this about Class Warfare. A class war is going on for years and most of the country just started to realize this. And the Republicans started it. Call’em on it. 
  7. Make it clear: Unless you have an individual income of greater than $200,000 or a combined Family income of over $300,000, there is absolutely no financial reason to vote for the Republicans. If you want to vote for what is best for your pocketbook, vote for the Democrats. The Republicans really only answer to the Corporations and the wealthy.
  8. Make Obama white. That’s about the only way you can get about 35% of white Southerners to support the Democrats. We have to focus on the remaining 65% of the South with open minds.
  9. Wait it out….The older, closed minded, prejudiced Southerners are dying off. The younger ones are more open minded,  better educated and have seen more of the world. These are the Southern Democrats of tomorrow.
  10. Make your Democratic friends vote. Even if you have to go to their house or job and throw them in the car and take them to the polls. There are more Democrats than Republicans in many parts of the South. The problem is Republicans always vote and Democrats don’t. If more Democrats would actually just show up at the polls, we would win a lot more races.

Those are my thoughts for now.

All I have left to say is:

If you are a Democrat, get off your butt and vote. There are no excuses.

If you are a Republican-why don’t you just book a spa day for Tuesday and let the election go? That would really be best for all of us….

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Filed under Elections, North Carolina, Politics, Scott's Commentary, The South

The Bestway

I hope I didn’t totally ruin my image tonight.  I went to the Bestway grocery store in  old, baggy khaki shorts and a Bernie Sanders for President T-Shirt.  I did wear real shoes….

There is something about the Bestway that brings out both the best and the worst in me…

It’s just so comfortable and convenient….

I’ve even gone there a couple of times in my bedroom shoes in the winter when I forgot to change….

I feel like I can let the image slip while I dash in for a quick purchase….

It may be because I am in there almost everyday.

In case you haven’t figured this out by now, I can be an uptight white boy.  I did go to Washington and Lee University…

But I love our funky, eclectic neighborhood and being within walking distance to the bars and restaurants on “The Corner” at Walker Avenue near our house.  Home is a multi-block radius where I can let may short gray hair down a bit…

I’ve lived in Greensboro for more than 25 years and I’ve stumbled into the Bestway, in various conditions, over most of that time.

The Bestway is a little neighborhood grocery store.  When I first moved here, it was a place to go for cigarettes and cheap beer late at night.  It was a glorified Quick Mart.  God forbid you bought food there as most of what was there was stuff that had been there for ages or was manufactured to be inedible.  It wasn’t very attractive, but it was close to where I lived and you could stop by late at night on your way home.

Now, gentrification has set in, but in a good way….

It’s still funky, but you can find almost all the food and cooking items you need as long as you don’t want to buy meat .  It has the best selection of beer and cheap wine in Greensboro….The new owners have done a wonderful job of upgrading the stock and atmosphere without losing the charm.

The kids who work there are great.  They are young and covered in tattoos and just about the nicest kids you could hope to meet.  Friendly and open.  Really sweet kids.

It’s one of the central focus points for our neighborhood.  It’s like our “Rick’s Bar” in “Casablanca.”  Sooner or later, everyone ended up at Rick’s and, sooner or later,  everyone in our neighborhood ends up at the Bestway.

It’s always fun to go to the Bestway.  You see such an eclectic group of people.  Everyone has a good attitude and is a little laid back.  It’s a comfort zone place for everyone.  I’ve been there late at night when “YMCA” was playing on the Muzak and people were dancing in the isles….

It’s one of the unique things I value most about our neighborhood.  Funky, convenient and offering almost everything the residents of our little world could want.  It perfectly reflects the balance between being unpretentious, but a little bit upscale and a little bit downtown and a little bit funky and artsy that makes our neighborhood so unique.

We may still need to make our occasional pilgrimages to Trader Joe’s, Costco, Deep Roots or, god forbid, Harris Teeter. for some items, but not too often if you plan right.  And one of my major goals in life is to avoid the big, pretentious Harris Teeter with horrible parking.   The Bestway makes that possible for weeks.  It’s lovely to have a neighborhood market that fulfills 90% of our grocery needs.  Especially in a neighborhood where good, cheap wine and a massive beer selection are of paramount importance….

A place you can walk to if you’ve had a little too much to drink and need a couple of things to have an impromptu dinner party for your friends who have done the same and the restaurants on “The Corner” are so packed you just have to eat at home…

And it’s nice to have a place an uptight white boy can wander into in his Brooks Brothers work clothes or beat up khaki shorts and a left-wing t-shirt and feel equally at home.

But that’s our neighborhood and the Bestway is both an integral part of and a reflection of it all….

A little bit upscale and a little bit artsy and funky….

I just hope it the neighborhood and the Bestway continue to stay in sync….

And we can keep this balance in the ‘hood.

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Just When You Thought I Was Out….I’m Back!

Believe it or not, I’m back to this blog.

I state this publicly as insurance that I will follow through….

I needed some time away.  I focused on my other blog for a while….

But it’s time to come back where I started.

Thank you for your patience.

I originally started this blog to ironically address things that where lost as we moved to the 21st Century.  Then I realized, I was at risk of becoming a grumpy old man screaming at children to get off my lawn.  I never wanted to be that….

A lot has happened over the last couple of years to make me re-evaluate a lot of things.  I’ve changed jobs and careers.  I’ve lost some important people in my life.  I’ve rethought how best to address our political differences….

But I’m fundamentally the same.

How will  this blog be going forward?  I’m not sure….

I want to be kinder and gentler.  More open to dialogue about politics and less judgmental.  I mean well…It doesn’t do anyone any good to sit at home and scream at their TV- or vent on their blogs.  We need to talk to each other civilly and with an open mind and heart.

We need to listen to each other….

But if that fails, screw it.  I’ve never been shy about my opinions.

There is just too much insanity in Politics in North Carolina, Virginia and the U.S.A for me to keep my mouth shut.  This is what is making me come back.  I can’t just sit on the sidelines…

Circumstances pulled me back in…..

I’m trying to be less political on Facebook, so expect more political posts here instead.  But I realize there are other blogs that do politics much better than I ever could.  This will just be what catches my interests and makes me want to share or comment.  I don’t promise in-depth analysis, but I do promise lots of opinion.

Culturally, I plan to be just as judgmental as ever.  I’ll post about what I like and what I don’t…..

And I hope we can pick up the dialogue we suspended when I stepped away….

Again, thanks for our patience….

Let’s roll!

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NC Residents Mailed Incorrect Voter Registration Information

This is not good…

The Koch Brothers, Art Pope and their friends continue to try to suppress voting by any means possible-including these disinformation campaigns.

It seems to me that intentionally sending incorrect information relating to the voter registration or voting process ought to be illegal.  This should be viewed as an attempt to unlawfully confuse voters and that is absolutely reprehensible.

But they know they can’t win fairly, so they are going to try as many unfair tricks as possible….

We can only hope this went to as many cats as possible….

From the Raleigh News and Observer:

 

RALEIGH — Hundreds of North Carolinians – and one cat – have received incorrect voter registration information, according to the N.C. State Board of Elections.

The information – an “official application form” – was sent by Americans for Prosperity, a national conservative group with a state chapter based in Raleigh.

Since then, hundreds of people who received the forms have called and complained to the State Board of Elections, said Joshua Lawson, a public information officer for the board.

“It’s unclear where Americans for Prosperity got their list, but it’s caused a lot of confusion for people in the state,” Lawson said.

One resident even received a voter registration form addressed to her cat, he said.

More:   RALEIGH: NC residents mailed incorrect voter registration information | State Politics | NewsObserver.com.

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North Carolina, in Political Flux, Battles for Its Identity

Very interesting article in today’s New York Times.  Well worth reading…

Here is a brief excerpt and a link to the full article:

 

The North Carolina of 2014, it seems, is neither red nor blue, but a shade of deep Dixie purple. It is a state where Republicans could retain control of the legislature for years, thanks to an aggressive 2011 redistricting and also because of white conservatives’ abandonment of the Democratic Party after years of post-Civil War fealty.

But it is also a state where a modern-day Democratic candidate like Ms. Hagan — or even like Hillary Rodham Clinton — may still dream of a statewide victory. African-Americans, who overwhelmingly vote Democratic, make up 22 percent of the population. Add to that a streak of true moderates, and the state’s white liberals, who can be found not only in the big cities of Raleigh and Charlotte, but sprinkled around the state — in the New Age boutiques of Asheville, the vegetarian-friendly cafes of Boone, the tech-sector office parks of the Research Triangle and in retirement homes from the Atlantic coast to the Great Smoky Mountains.

via North Carolina, in Political Flux, Battles for Its Identity – NYTimes.com.

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Former House Speaker Denied Voter ID Under New Texas Law

For those who don’t see the “big deal” about these laws,  I think it’s becoming more and more obvious….

These unnecessary and mean-spririted laws are a mess and need to go.

Too bad the Supreme Court decided to gut the Voting Rights Act and make this all possible….

Still, something has to give- either electorally or on the Court side- to fix this…

My prediction in North Carolina, where similar laws take effect next year, is that this is going to drive more Democrats, Women, Students and Minority voters to the polls and start the process of throwing these bums- and their dirty, vindictive, poorly written and executed laws- out….

From ThinkProgress.org:

 

Former Rep. Jim Wright (D-TX), who served as Speaker of the House from 1987 to 1989, this weekend became the latest prominent Texan to nearly lose his right to vote thanks to the state’s new strict voter ID law.

Wright told the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram that he couldn’t get an ID because he only had an expired driver’s license (Wright is 90) and a faculty ID card from Texas Christian University, neither of which qualify under Texas’ new law. Wright plans to return to the office Monday with a certified copy of his birth certificate, which will allow him to get an ID. But, the long-time voting rights advocate told the Star-Telegram, not everyone will be able to meet those qualifications, meaning the law will almost surely depress turnout in Tuesday’s state and local elections.

“I earnestly hope these unduly stringent requirements on voters won’t dramatically reduce the number of people who vote,” Wright told the Star-Telegram. “I think they will reduce the number to some extent.”

In recent weeks, the Texas law has ensnared a Texas district judge, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, a state senator, and Greg Abbott, the very attorney general pushing the law. It’s strict name requirements has made it especially hard for women to obtain an ID, since differences between maiden names and married names has caused problems. Abbott’s ID was nearly denied because his given name is Gregory but he used “Greg” on his registration card.

The law also threatens minority and low-income voters, who are less likely to have acceptable forms of identification. Academic studies have shown that to be the case in many of the other states that have instituted voter ID laws in the past. One 84-year-old woman was denied an ID three times. As Republicans continue to push these laws, though, they have struggled to find examples of the actual voter fraud they are supposed to stop.

via Former House Speaker Denied Voter ID Under New Texas Law | ThinkProgress.

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NC GOPer and “Daily Show” Guest Resigns after Criticizing ‘Lazy Black People’

Well, that didn’t take long….

See my post from earlier today about Voter ID and the return of Jesse Helms.

Yep, this is the guy…..

The GOP hates it when someone is honest about their goals and opinions.  You aren’t supposed to see the “man behind the curtain.”

And tell me again all this modern Tea Party nonsense isn’t just repackaged racism with these folks mad as hell a Black man is in the White House.

Like I said, we aren’t supposed to see behind the curtain..

From TalkingPointsMemo.com via WRAL:

A Republican precinct chairman in North Carolina was asked to resign Thursday after making racially inflammatory comments during a ‘Daily Show’ interview on Wednesday, WRAL reported.

Buncombe GOP Chair Henry Mitchell said Don Yelton resigned for making remarks that were “offensive, uniformed and unacceptable of any member within the Republican Party.”

In an interview centered on North Carolina’s voter ID law conducted by the Daily Show’s Aasif Mandvi, Yelton criticized “lazy black people that wants the government to give them everything.”

“The bottom line is the law is not racist,” Yelton said.

“Of course the law isn’t racist, and you’re not racist,” Mandvi responded.

“Well,” Yelton paused. “I’ve been called a bigot before. Let me tell you something, you don’t look like me but I think I’ve treated you the same as anybody else. As a matter of fact, one of my best friends is black. One of my best friends.”

“When I was a young man you didn’t call a black a black,” he added later. “You called him a negro.”

via NC GOPer Resigns After Criticizing ‘Lazy Black People’ (VIDEO).

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