The wrong way to debate citizens with issues

My friend Amaya on her website, The Brabble Rabble, has aired a pertinent article which shows how public debate should not be done. She has written about a North Carolina GOP power broker named Art Pope, who after helping the new governor get elected, became his Budget Director. In essence, his political website has published photos of a large and growing body of protesters in NC who have been termed the Moral Monday protesters. Over 500 of these Moral Monday protesters have been arrested for failure to disperse and trespassing. Many are ministers, teachers and professionals. Yet, the website goes further to ridicule the protesters with an online game. The article link follows: http://thebrabblerabble.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/art-pope-funded-group-launches-database-targeting-moral-monday-arrestees/

These protesters are there because of a series of law and bills that will be very harmful to the less fortunate in our state. Money could not be found to help these folks, yet it could be found for a potential tax cut that will help the upper income earners moreso than others. I have written several posts on the topic, the latest of which can be read with the following link: https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/moral-mondays-the-new-civil-rights-protests-in-north-carolina/

My point is not to rehash their issues. My point is that these folks have a right to be heard and not ridiculed. The governor has said they are from out-of-state, when surveys show that 98% are from NC. Other legislators have called them names to belittle them. I have shared with the governor and other legislators by several emails that whether you agree with their issues or not, they have a right to be heard. Especially, when you have people of all races, genders, and ethnic groups risking arrest. I for one believe their issues have merit. As an Independent voter, I am truly baffled by some of our decisions in our General Assembly that will be harmful to our citizens and the economy. These decisions will hurt people of all political persuasions, as poverty knows no political party.

Yet, irrespective of whether our leaders agree with them or not, the Moral Monday protesters deserve to be heard. At the very minimum, they deserve respect. This is extremely poor form on Art Pope and his advisors part. This is extremely poor form on the governor’s part, which is a shame as I voted for him. I have shared with him that his inaction to meet with the Moral Monday protesters and failure to rein in Mr. Pope’s efforts to ridicule them has cost him my vote. I realize my vote does not matter in the big scheme of things, but he needs to know his actions or inactions affect people.

No matter in which state or country you live, if you are permitted to share your concerns over government action or inaction let them know. Do not name call and stick to the issues. If you strive to be constructive in your comments, they will be more easily read and hopefully acknowledged. If you name call, they will go in the pile of unread emails. In our country, it costs so much money to get elected, the people with the money have greater influence. The only way for everyone else to have a voice is to let our leaders know what they have not done well, but also where they have done a good job. Thanks for letting Amaya and me share our state woes as an example to others.

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15 thoughts on “The wrong way to debate citizens with issues

  1. I read the Times and can not believe what is happening in South Carolina via government action, or in some cases inaction. It must be extremely frustrating to see so many effected by the affected powerful few. I, too, read Amaya post…

    • Raye, it is very frustrating. I was away on vacation and read about my state’s legislature in the NY Times – first to cease Federal unemployment benefit subsidies – and then I returned to a North Carolina senate that has a pushed through a restricive abortoion bill to boot. Our brand has been severely tarnished. By the way, South Carolina is another state, but they too have made some draconian changes and have fallied their population in poverty, which is 25% of the whole. So, both Carolinas are being shortsighted and punitive to those in need. Thanks, BTG

  2. It’s a shame that Governor McCrory has tacked so far right since his campaign, though I am not surprised. My husband voted for him as well. We both hoped he would be a voice of moderation.

    • Amaya, he has been disappointing for the most part. We shall see what he does on the Senate abortion bill which takes a page from Texas. But, to kick so many that are down and harm the state’s economy and brand, is very shortsighted.

      Thanks, BTG

  3. “let our leaders know what they have not done well, but also where they have done a good job.”

    i suspect that many of your fellow citizens of north carolina don’t appreciate your great heart. I hope that your concern reaches others.

    • Z, many thanks. I have been away for a week. For some reason, comments like mine area falling on deaf ears. The legislators are so well funded by big donors and have gerrymandered the precincts, they are assured of reelection, unless they tick off the extremists in the party and the party runs someone against them in the primaries. The other issues is every party has a data source, most of which are biased, to support any bill. It is like the Internet – it is hard to discern well worded BS from real fact. Thanks, BTG

      • It seems as if many people have stopped ‘thinking’ and prefer to let those in power dictate (oooh,eerie choice of word!) how they should think and act. Yes, it is hard to discern. Those who have found a voice (ahem, as in you and a few select others on WP!) might eventually awaken others.

        Last week I mentioned fracking and a highly-intelligent person asked, ‘What’s fracking?’

        Please don’t give up! Some people are trying to keep their heads above water and do not see the bigger picture. They’re kicking as hard as they can but lose sight of shore.

      • i tried watching a video but the connection’s too slow.. i thought of you and will try again tonight when people log off from the overloaded system!

        the other online reading i’m doing right now is pn grist – re: fracking and drinking water…

    • Thanks D. It is hard sometimes to not indict the person whose ideas are so harmful, but I have tried to stick to the issues or the actions. Since Pope is a power broker here, I had to use his name to denigrate his website bent on ridiculing people with actual grievances. My focus is on the poor actions exhibited. I appreciate greatly your comments. BTG

      • You’re welcome. And you know as well as I do that you can call someone on their comments or behavior without being a jerk about it. And btw, you did it quite well with the Pope website. When we focus on wrong behavior and keep our attention there it almost forces us keep our criticism above the belt. When we start name calling and demonizing, we’ve lost the battle and stooped to a lower level. I sincerely wish our elected representatives in Washington and at the state regional and local levels, would get that, and start playing nice in the sandbox. Maybe we could actually get positive things accomplished…. but as our dear Barney would say….. “thats just me…” 🙂

      • Many thanks for your words of support. Above the belt is a great term and yes, Barney would say that. All the best, BTG

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