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Back in 1980, Senator Helms’ political organization had won elections in 1976 and 1978. And after Reagan won, we figured the conservative millennium had dawned and we’d mastered the art of politics. Next election we lost five races.
Back in 1980, Jim Hunt had built the most powerful political machine ever seen in North Carolina and had never lost an election. He lost for the first time in 1984.
In 1980, when he was 32 years old, Bill Clinton was elected Governor of Arkansas – the youngest Governor in America. Two years later, after he lost the next election, he joked he was now the youngest ex-governor in America.
Hubris – thinking you’re smarter than you are – is a deadly vice.
Republicans in North Carolina have now won two straight elections. They worked hard and won the legislature in 2010 then kept it and elected a Republican Governor in 2012 – and they wouldn’t be human if they didn’t hear the genie of pride whispering in their ears.
But has a new Republican era dawned in North Carolina?
The polls don’t seem to say so. There’re still more Democrats than Republicans. And voters don’t see eye to eye with Republican legislation on Unemployment Reform, the Medicaid Expansion, or Tax Reform.  
There’s no doubt it can be a good thing to pass an unpopular bill. But it’s a mistake to tell yourself voters agree with you when they don’t. And it’s an even bigger mistake (I know, I made it in 1982) to assume the good times will roll on and on – in politics that’s when the Good Lord throws you a curveball and you land on your backside in the dust, eyes wide open to a new kind of wisdom that comes with humility.  


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One comment on “A Curveball

  1. dap916 says:

    Great article, Carter. I’ve been in politics or have closely followed politics in America for over 40 years now and I’ve come to realize the political winds are very fickle. When Reagan was president doing such a great jobs with huge approval ratings and republicans seemingly gaining strength, I thought nothing could ever happen to change the belief by the majority in our country that conservativism is good and liberalism is bad. Yet, here we are today, seemingly upside down in that belief. How in the world did this happen?

    You call this kind of change a “curveball”. I call it “doublecross”. It’s kinda like when I am playing golf and set up for a fade and I hit it straight and the ball goes into the woods (if you’re a golfer you’ll understand that). Our party has been a HUGE defender of the constitution…in particular the 1st Amendment that allows the media to do pretty much anything it chooses to do. In that defense, we have always given the media the task of watching itself…staying as unbiased as possible especially in important matters like national security and elections and determining truth vs false facts from our state and national leaders. But, we’ve been doublecrossed ever since Obama became the presidential nominee in 2008. Since that time, the press has dealt with him with kid gloves like no other president in our history. They’ve defended him at every opportunity. They’ve hidden important facts that would put him and his policies and actions in bad light and they have made a conscious effort to promote every program and presidential action he has taken. Republicans have now become so afraid to challenge him or democrats that defend Obama’s agenda for fear that the press will go after them and make their ability to be reelected in their districts difficult at best.

    This is the first time in my political life that I have felt that my party and those that believe as I do are not going to have a chance to recover and change around what is most certainly being set to happen in our country. Gary has posted a piece here below yours and if you read it, even though he doesn’t specifically say it, you can sense that he sees how far left the pendelum is swinging in our country and how even though republicans rule NC right now, it probably won’t be long before that pendelum brings NC right along with it.

    The bills that truly need to be passed and the actions that really must be taken in NC to get our state back into fiscal responsibility are most certainly going to hurt some people. And, even though these will be done to help us going forward, it will probably kill the republican momentum here. Too many chances for democrats and the press to show a hungry child or a single mom unable to get work because of difficulty in getting child care and how a teacher with 5 children of her own was laid off as a direct result of McCrory’s actions.

    It’s a tough nut and damn if I know how republicans will be able to find a way to crack it.

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