In writing my article, I read an editorial from the NY Times, The Decline of North Carolina, that attempted to explain their opinion and justifications for being critical of our state legislators. I understood that to an outsider, our politics may seem harsh, unreasonable and to some extent cruel to the weakest people among us. I also respectfully disagreed.
North Carolina has had to face enormous challenges that, to a large extent, were brought forth by the last administration. Gov. Pat McCrory made the people of NC aware that he understood the problems of our state and would work tirelessly to resolve them. In the short time that he has been in office, he has made changes that he knew would be unpopular for some people, but has remained focused on the greater good and future of a state that is special and will remain so to a great many people and their posterity. There are always going to be people that disagree with any politician or state lawmaker and they have the right to do so. They also have the right to vote these lawmakers into office and this is precisely what happened in the last election. The majority spoke and the people of NC stated that they wanted change. These changes are beginning to take shape. What is unfair is to criticize a state that is at the very least striving to make itself stronger and more competitive for the greater good. With all due respect, our problems are much more complex than banning large soft drinks and junk food.
I am certain that given a choice, our state lawmakers would wish for every citizen to have healthcare, jobs and to be productive and happy. I am unaware of any such place in the world. It is particularly troubling and unfair to single out one state for its perceived political and social problems. It is also true that it is a work in progress.
I am not going to write an editorial on the problems of the state of NY, for example, out of my confidence in its ability to fix them. I am also not a citizen of NY and have never lived under its laws or experienced any social or political problems that it may or may not have. I also recognize that I would have to be a citizen to truly grasp and understand its unique situations.
I have lived in NC for most of my life. My family has deep roots here; I was educated in its fine school systems and in one of its colleges. I have a vested interest in its future. I have seen our factories shut down, left in ruins and sent to Mexico and other countries under the Clinton Administration. I have seen people unemployed, uninsured and hopeless. I also know that what we do best in North Carolina is to look out for each other and to help our neighbors. One may have to live here to know that. Through the years, we have endured setbacks and recoiled from them. Tobacco was once king and our largest industry, but inevitable changes took shape and we coped with them. There is every reason in the world to have a positive outlook on our future as a state. We stick to our core values of hard work, confidence and belief in each other in a critical and negative world.
“You can get discouraged many times, but you are not a failure until you begin to blame somebody else and stop trying.”
– John Burroughs