Annabel Park and Eric Byler are champions of civil liberties. They have made many films about the encroachments into those liberties. But this one is close to my heart. There has not been much out of the state capital here in Raleigh to make me proud since I relocated here one year ago; perhaps only former Governor Perdue’s veto of the Tea Party’s dismantling of voting rights (and a few other vetoes).
That was then. Perdue resigned and her Lt. Governor lost the governor’s race to the best friend energy companies and school privateers ever had, long-term Duke Energy employee, Pat McCrory. There is nothing stopping the out-of-control General Assembly (GA) now.
The GA has drastically cut unemployment insurance, slammed public education, and showered goodies on charters (bestowing pretend oversight as it does), raised the sales tax to give cuts to millionaires, passed the most repressive and homophobic law in the nation, voted to allow exploratory horizontal fracking, and banned government scientists from studying sea level rising. They are also disemboweling environmental regulations.
Meanwhile, the governor wants to cut state taxes in half, a proposal so draconian that even Koch brothers ally, Art Pope, the new state budget director (talk about the fox in the hen house), said it went too far! Imagine how bad it is when Art Pope says it’s too much. That is only a short list of the ugliness. I will have more to say on some of the other misdeeds of the North Carolina GA.
The multi-pronged attack on voting rights strikes at the heart of what has been a progressive and continually improving state for civil liberties since Terry Sanford led the state in the 1960s. This was not who we are, but sadly, it is now increasingly so–unless we stand up to it. Annabel and Eric have captured the rising chorus of those who have had enough. Bravo!
From requiring voter IDs for nonexistent voter fraud, to dismantling early voting, and beyond, the GOP is trying to make it harder and harder to vote. In some GOP-dominated counties, with high concentrations of Democrats, the numbers of voting machines have been reduced in Democratic areas and increased in GOP areas. Older voters in come Democratic-leaning precincts had to stand for hours.
The prospects for restoring balance following the historic theft euphemistically called redistricting are grim. The latest redistricting breaks records for unfairness. Two thirds of voters in 2012 voted for Democrats, but thanks to manipulative, even fraudulent, redistricting, a large majority of Republicans “won” their races. Now the only thing left for them to do is to make sure Democrats, or those affected by their draconian policies cannot vote.
Please watch Annabel and Eric’s video. And remember this: It could be politically worse than in Virginia. It already is here and it only took a little over a year for it to happen. This is the fundamental issue of our time. And we must take a stand.