A message to Mr. Roy Cooper, recently elected Governor of North Carolina.
Congratulations, sir. You’re a capable replacement for Art Pope’s step-son and the citizens of this State look forward to some semblance of sanity under your executive order. That said, you are powerless. The North Carolina legislature has sealed your fate. Your attempts to put forth a progressive agenda are futile. Your attempts to untether us from the shameful acts of gerrymandering, voter suppression, Medicaid refusal, HB2 enactment and national embarrassment are also futile. The Federal courts may enter the fray, but your office will wield no influence upon the issue.
This is neither a hyperbolic assessment of our State’s disrepair nor a lack of confidence in your ability to rectify the missteps of the previous administration. Nope, these are simply the facts.
Yes, it’s nice to bask in the warm & fuzzy acknowledgment of former Governor McCrory’s (temporary) political banishment; but make no mistake, he has won. With a veto-resistant house and senate, the NC GOP’s legacy will endure. And if you didn’t know this would happen, you should have. You’ve traveled the state; you know who we are. You know that the “great state of North Carolina” is a far cry from great. You know that NC consists of mere pockets of metropolitan progressives, dwarfed by deep-seated religious roots and rural multitudes of the indignantly unenlightened. You know that the only thing great about this state is its pig-headed longing for a bygone era. You know that, at best, we might chip away at the undereducated but that the devoutly religious will remain impervious to reason, succumbing only to time itself.
That leaves us with the political equivalent of a Facebook skirmish… we Liberals preach to the choir and lecture the deaf: yielding zero. Granted, this is a mighty broad brush with which to paint an entire State, but the facts (you VERY barely won) support the strokes.
So now that we know what we’re up against…and we’ve established the fact that you’ll be flying solo for the next 4 years; let’s talk about your flight plan.
- Take a break. Enjoy the holidays. Drink some wine. Hug your kids and get plenty of rest.
- Roll up your sleeves and start crafting a 4-year campaign for change. (I know you’re sick of campaigning, but you should also be used to it by now.) Your new campaign isn’t for any specific candidate or party…it’s for change. Educate the citizens on the perils of indifference. Connect with the citizens with regard to social issues. (Stating the fact that everyone has a gay relative is a good start.) Project that broad smile of yours at every obligatory ribbon-cutting ceremony you can forage. You needn’t condemn the current Legislature; simply align its antiquated ideals with those of the 1960s and juxtapose them with that of the populous of our colleges and universities. You draw the picture and let the picture tell the story.
- Hit every campus of higher learning …then hit the tech/trade schools. (Avoid Church assemblies. See above.)
- Make your message “Vote = Change” not “Vote for change.”
Granted, “Get the vote out.” is a tired refrain, but it’s the only arrow in your political quiver. Rallying the voters MUST be the crux of your tenure as the Old North State’s 75th Governor. The words commemorating your time in office should read: “Governor Roy Cooper worked from Day-1 to unlock the GOP’s choke-hold on North Carolina’s future. He didn’t successfully free the electorate with derisive political attacks or superfluous puffery, rather he did it the only way he could: by empowering the electorate, by increasing participation in the political process, by planting the seeds of knowledge and by fighting tomorrow’s battles today.”
It’s been said that the single most terrifying notion for law enforcement officials is the prospect of their own improbable incarceration. So what do you suppose terrifies the NC GOP most…other than high voter turnout? Absolutely nothing. It’s their kryptonite. It’s the only thing that keeps them awake nights….and they’ll do whatever they can to assure themselves a good night’s rest. (See gerrymandering)
I’m not going to drop the mic nor sheepishly proclaim “That’s all I got.” But I will say: “That’s all you’ve got.” because, as stated above, the last guy left you powerless. You’re out of options. The only remedy for the vicious cycle of antiquated social conservatism is to stuff the ballot boxes. You’ve got to get the vote out…not the women’s vote or the hip vote or the black vote or the Hispanic vote…THE vote.
Essentially, Mr. Cooper, the job…your job of governing this state has been deftly hijacked by your political opponents. Use that to your advantage. Your agenda is clear to spread the word. Do more to free up the democratic process than the GOP does to stymie it. Then do a little more….because you and your Liberal ilk have a lot of catching up to do. Make no apologies for your agenda; the GOP made you campaigner in chief, not the DEMs. Besides, you’re not selling a viewpoint or an ideology; you’re just illuminating the dark corners of our political system and empowering the people to vote as they wish. If it turns out that the participating electorate is exponentially broadened by your efforts and yet it still prefers to go kicking and screaming into the 21 century, hey…that’s just who we are. And let’s be honest; the chances are good that neither you, nor I will live long enough to see the fruits of your labor, but maybe…just maybe… our kids will.
This isn’t what you have to do; it’s the only thing you can do. Now hit the road… our future impatiently awaits.