LETTER: What's objectionable about Moral Monday movement?

Jul. 11, 2014 @ 04:59 AM

To the Editor:

I noticed last week on a local Internet source a conservative viewpoint giving the greatest hits for the GOP [Chatham] County Commissioners over the past three years. I assume the writer's intent is to polish the halo for Mr. [Brian] Bock and Ms. [Pam] Stewart in order to re-elect them to the board of commissioners. Mr. [Walter] Petty has no opposition and will be re-elected in the fall.

It struck me that this view attacked the Moral Monday movement and even regurgitated the Sen. Thom Goolsby trope of "Moron Mondays".

What is it that the writer finds objectionable in the movement? It certainly has resonated with a large number of citizens across North Carolina, and statistics from the movement itself indicate that up to 16 percent of the citizens attending to express dissatisfaction with the General Assembly are registered Republicans.

Personally, paying teachers more, investing in public education, expanding Medicaid coverage, ensuring (improving) fair and equal access to the ballot box, protecting our drinking water, treating working people fairly and advocating for a safety net without gaping holes seem like laudable goals and values to aspire to and achieve.

Furthermore, cutting Medicaid eliminated good medical jobs, cut out any multiplier effect the state could achieve through these job investments and took away the income rural hospitals would have gained through Medicaid insurance reimbursements; instead they are forced to cover them with higher bills paid by the insured patients. These policies pursued by the extreme GOP-led General Assembly were not only morally questionable, but in many cases simply bad business decisions cloaked by ideology.

And the notion that local mainstream media cover a few hundred gimmie voters on "Moron Mondays" flies in the face of the 80,000 to 100,000 citizens who showed up in February, or the thousands who have showed up at rallies around the state.

I will be disappointed if Mr. Bock, Ms. Stewart and Mr. Petty, who have certainly stood by their moral convictions and faith, share the notion that citizens of all backgrounds organizing under First Amendment rights to petition the government for redress are morons.

Virginia Penley

Chatham County