Since taking control of the governorship and tightening their control of the state legislature in 2012, Republicans have turned North Carolina into a prime example of the destruction that occurs when the GOP has complete power. Over the last seven months, conservatives have made several efforts, some of which have succeeded, to enact extreme right-wing policies that have turned the state into a national embarrassment and one of the worst states in the country to live. Here is a list of the many ways Republicans have harmed North Carolina in 2013.
This voter ID law is by far the worst and most extreme law of its kind in America today. When North Carolina went blue for Barack Obama in 2008, it must have really enraged Republicans in the state.
1. Voter suppression laws.
This is by far the worst and most extreme law of its kind in America today. When North Carolina went blue for Barack Obama in 2008, it must have really enraged Republicans in the state. But they couldn’t exactly do anything about it at the time because Democrat Bev Perdue was the Governor at the time. So when Pat McCrory captured the Governor’s chair, it was like giving Republicans a second Christmas. In one giant bill, North Carolina Republicans are punishing families of college students who vote out-of-state, slashes early voting from 17 to 10 days, eliminates same-day voter registration, requires a photo ID that can’t be a student or public assistance ID or public employee ID which will disenfranchise women, the elderly, young people, the poor, and minorities. The law will prevent 16 and 17-year-old from pre-registering to vote, prevents election officials from extending voting hours because of long lines, so voters who are still waiting when voting time expires will be barred from voting. The bill also makes it easier for voter suppression groups to challenge voters they think are ineligible, which basically is a legalization of voter intimidation.
2. Anti-abortion laws.
North Carolina Republicans are also obsessed with abortion. So much so that they just passed a series of measures within a completely unrelated motorcycle safety bill that will close all but one abortion clinic in the state, forces teachers to lie to 7th graders that abortion causes miscarriage and pre-mature births later on, bars state health insurance exchanges from covering abortion under Obamacare, and strips public employees from being able to cover abortion through their own plans as well.
3. War on food stamps and the unemployed.
Here’s a measure that shows the complete hypocrisy of the North Carolina GOP. While staunchly opposed to universal background checks on people who buy guns, Republicans passed a bill requiring any person who applies for federal or state assistance to undergo a background check and drug test. 70,000 North Carolinians have lost their federal benefits because of the GOP war on welfare recipients and the unemployed.
4. Christian state.
North Carolina Republicans also introduced a bill to declare North Carolina as the first Christian state in the nation. The measure would have recognized an official state religion which goes against the Constitution. It would have literally nullified the Constitution and would have allowed the GOP to impose their brand of religious law on every citizen in the state. Abortion and homosexuality could have been criminalized along with anything else Republicans wanted to apply the law to. This bill was eventually withdrawn but shows just how extreme the North Carolina GOP is.
5. Gun laws.
Rather than pass sensible gun control laws to keep kids from getting shot and killed, Republicans in North Carolina doubled down on gun rights, passing a bill allowing people to carry guns in playgrounds and bars and leave them in their cars on school campuses. What could possibly go wrong? Besides kids and adults being shot and killed, of course. It could have been even more extreme had Republicans not eliminated a provision that would have killed the requirement of a background check to purchase a gun.
6. Repeal of the Racial Justice Act.
The Racial Justice Act was praised in 2009 when it was passed by Democrats. The law provided help to death row inmates whose cases were affected by racial bias by allowing them to appeal if they had evidence of such bias. Four inmates had already had their sentences commuted to life in prison. But that wasn’t ok with Republicans. After all, they’re all for killing black people. Once the GOP took charge in North Carolina, they promptly repealed the law so that African-American death row inmates can no longer prevent themselves from being killed because of racism being used as a factor in the sentencing process.
7. Divorce law.
If you thought North Carolina Republicans hadn’t been extreme enough already, think again. The state GOP also introduced a bill to force couples who want to divorce to wait two years instead of one before the divorce can be finalized. And, the bill forces couples to complete a communication skills course and a conflict resolution course either separately or together. So if you want a divorce in North Carolina, Republicans want to force you to remain with your spouse for another year even if you don’t want to do so. Talk about government getting involved in our personal lives.
8. Nipple law.
Republicans in North Carolina even wanted to pass a law against breasts. In an effort to thwart women from holding topless protests in the state, lawmakers decided to pursue a bill making it a minor felony, punishable by 30 days in jail, to show your nipples in public. But it only got more outrageous from there. Accidents happen, sometimes a wardrobe malfunction occurs. To prevent these, one male Republican (of course) suggested women duct tape their breasts to avoid accidental slippage. Why do Republicans hate women and their breasts so much?
9. Tax cuts for the rich, tax hikes for the poor.
Republicans also passed a bill giving a $10,000 tax cut to North Carolina millionaires, the tab of which will be paid by the poor who will see their taxes rise to pay for the cut. So, the wealthy once again get to walk all over the poor because Republicans think punishing the poor is better than raising taxes on people who can actually afford it. This measure could go hand in hand with a voting measure that raises campaign contribution levels to $5,000, which means we can expect at least half of that hefty tax cut on the rich to go into Republican Party coffers.
10. Education cuts.
North Carolina Republicans also want their citizens to be stupid. That’s why they introduced a bill to strip public schools of a whopping $90 million to give the cash to private schools instead. Not only would this be a severe blow to already struggling schools, it could present a constitutional problem if such cash ends up going to religious schools. In addition, 5,000 teachers will lose their jobs and teacher pay will drop to one of the worst in the nation.
Clearly, Republicans are waging war against their own citizens. One would hope North Carolinians are feeling some buyer’s remorse about now, because at the current pace the GOP is on, the people of North Carolina stand to lose everything. The state had been making great progress, unlike many other southern states. But now that Republicans are firmly in control, they are forcing through an agenda that will harm just about every single person in the state. It is safe to say that North Carolina has become the most backward state in the nation. And the Republican Party is squarely to blame, proving that state elections are just as important as national elections.
More from AI on North Carolina.
- 12-Year-Old Voting Rights Activist Tears NC’s Republican Governor A New One (VIDEO)
- How Gov McCrory And Dirty Energy Just Screwed Over NC’s Dan River
- North Carolina Ditches Voting Rights Act, Passes Worst Voting Law In America (VIDEO)
- Another Win For Women: Judge Strikes Down NC Anti-Choice Law