Stephen King would be hard-pressed to write anything as scary.
Just days after incumbent Republican Pat McCrory lost to Democratic challenger Roy Cooper, the Republican-controlled Senate, under the guise of “Disaster Relief,” quietly repealed a majority of the incoming governor’s powers.
“… when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
–The Declaration of Independence
The intent is clear: Republicans are trying to maintain their monopoly on power–and then some–in a state that is starting to tilt Democratic.
It’s just a small, but frightening example of totalitarianism.
It should come as no surprise that one of the powers curbed is the governor’s ability to appoint a majority of commissioners to the State Elections Board.
The move is particularly significant because North Carolina Republicans were accused of widespread voter suppression against minority voters in the presidential election, tipping the state to Donald Trump.
It’s bad enough when Republican-controlled state governments engage in gerrymandering to create “safe” districts for GOP state and federal elected officials. Tampering with a citizen’s right to vote is a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution.
The legislature also cut by two-thirds, the number of government employees the Governor can appoint. That will play a major role in decimating the governor’s platform on education reform, among other issues.
The GOP is spinning the move as a necessary reform to curb the governor’s already unbalanced power. There’s as much truth in that as a fox claiming he killed the chicken to save it from the wolf, especially in a state with one of the least powerful chief executives.
The Democrats are not free of blame, either.
As a direct result of their lack of meaningful action over the years, we now find ourselves with a Russian sympathizer as POTUS, while a true defender of our rights languishes in Moscow, branded a “traitor.”
As President-elect Trump and his army of GOP cronies attempt to prevent a Congressional inquiry into the hacking of our national election by the Kremlin, what other word is there for it, except treason?
If there is any actual justice, Trump would be swapped immediately for Snowden. But, unfortunately, our President, as well as the lion’s share of Capitol Hill Democrats, seem to be out to lunch as usual.
Instead, barring a miracle of God, pillaging our nation’s coffers, raping out natural resources and trampling The Bill of Rights will be the order of business for the next four years.
Expect little help from a fascist-sympathizing Supreme Court. Late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia will look like Gandhi in comparison, after Trump fills one and possibly more vacancies.
How can anyone of us legitimately be expected to obey the rule of law when those who make the laws stand before us and basically laugh at how powerless we are to stop them?
When 38 people are arrested for demonstrating against what was clearly an underhanded attempt at usurping more power by the already powerful, or, when water cannons are used in sub-freezing temperatures to subdue hundreds of peaceful Dakota Access Pipeline protesters, how long are we expected to continue “peaceful protests”?
These are just glimpses of things to come.
A little over two hundred years ago, the people were also disregarded, dismissed, and disgraced in a similarly egregious fashion. We all know what happened then.