by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
I hate tyranny. I hate hype and frenzy. So what do I do when hype and frenzy come to town to protest what many participants consider tyranny? I do what half the town did and worked on getting a paycheck. The turnout was estimated to be either “over 50,000” by the Asheville Citizen-Times or “over 10,000” by lefter-leaning publications. One blogger captioned a report of the nonpartisan event, “10,000 Show up to Protest GOP in Asheville.” I’d post a link, but your antivirus software might not catch what mine did. You can see aerial photos of the crowd in the live blog posts here.
Granted, logic and fact aren’t as powerful as emotion and buffoonery; but if I were grand poobah for a day, and my constituents were picketing like crazy, I would want to hear their grievances. But what I am hearing is pretzel logic. In the days leading to the event, electronic circulars advertised celebrities on the bill. They sounded political. Worst of all, the reasons for the protest are best summed up by two articles in the local daily. One article says the protest was “about” women’s rights, “about” public schools, “about” immigration, “about” leadership in Raleigh. What “about” them? The only piece of information I could work with was complaints about McCrory having four body guards to deliver cookies. Now, I shall not get into the multifacets of psychological warfare, but at least on the surface, the gesture did appear to be a waste of taxpayer dollars.
A second article drills down on the “abouts.” I was at work until 8:00 p.m., so I don’t know how representative the comments and evaluations are, but they do not impress. In fact, the summaries are outrageous, calling good evil, and evil good; alleging anything from the old morality of fair trade and family values is part of a demonic global conspiracy. They find the almighty dollar raising its flaming red, horned head behind all the legislative changes. It raises the age-old questions of how we are supposed to give to the poor if nobody is supposed to produce things of value in the first place, and why it is moral to give to the poor things the working class cannot give itself no matter how much it does for society. Since I have to clarify these days, I will add that charity for the disabled, poor, and downtrodden was never in question.
This one particularly annoyed me:
- Issue: Critics say ALEC — the nation’s largest individual public-private membership association of state legislators — is a collection of global corporations and state politician that vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern rights.
- Speaker: Heather Rayburn, Mountain Voices Alliance
- Quote: “ALEC and Pope have turned our state house into a madhouse. That’s why we’re seeing such grotesque laws like cutting corporate taxes and flushing environmental protection down the toilet and such horrid foolishness as allowing people to carry guns into schools, playgrounds and bars. Your vote is the only thing these jokers don’t have control over, and that’s why they have attacked the vote.”
I will concede that I have not yet accessed a good reason for the legislature delivering Asheville’s water system to a regional authority. The best to date comes from one of our legislators and that is that I am a stupid idiot.
In general, however, I appreciate the reforms. See, for example, this high-ranking Google result for similar views. Here’s my off-the-cuff rebuttal to Moral Monday: