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:

  • North Carolina schools were among the highest funded, and their output was mediocre. I know it gets more complex than that, but on the surface, but it would have been irresponsible not to make changes. How does the left argue that a 5% increase on public schools spending, when lots of taxpayers didn’t get pay raises, is persecuting schools? How do they argue that it is better to have tenured teachers than teachers who can now lose their jobs if their students are not progressing (learning disabilities excepted)?
  • Loopholes were cut in taxes. Government is supposed to pay no special favors. People complain the rich get more money, but large holdings are typically considered necessary for the kinds of investments needed to grow economies. Although jobs are being created hand-over-fist, they are largely the 10-20 hr/wk service industry types, or professional 32-hr/week jobs that necessitate one of the former to make ends meet. I may be missing something, but at first blush, it appears easier for a rich guy to create a high-paying job than a minimum wage earner piecing three jobs together. I’m confident the good press North Carolina has already received about warming its business tax climate is already attracting serious businessmen who prefer old-fashioned trade to cozy, crony relationships with legislators.
  • Early voting, same-day registration, and no ID requirement are a recipe for voter abuse. In these days of terrorist hysteria, one would think us American peeps would be horrified at the prospect of Al Qaeda (or the evil Tim Moffit for that matter) obtaining a telephone book, stuffing a bus, and visiting all the early voting sites. Instead, we are told guaranteeing a one-person/one-vote system hurts minorities with no way of obtaining free ID.
  • Not in the least lastly, we are told women’s rights are being trampled. Now, I have never known what it is like to be so sexy as to equate birth control with health, so I can’t stand in judgment. I can, however, say I find no problem with regulating abortion clinics to the same levels as all health clinics around the state. It is befuddling that advocates for women’s health would prefer women to undergo surgical procedures in breeding grounds for blood-borne pathogens. And if you don’t already know my stance on abortion, I approve of it in extenuating circumstances, just like I approve of amputations and triple bypasses. One in three women (under the age of 45, as they say) having an extenuating circumstance is a crock of pot. Translation: I’m pro-life.