Jonathan Dills: Beyond the pale

November 1, 2013 

Regarding Gene Nichol’s Oct. 15 Point of View piece “McCrory’s stands strain his ties”: It’s disappointing that Nichol, one of the self-proclaimed “Moral” Monday participants, would write a column cynically repeating far-left propaganda and talking points instead of putting forth an argument anchored in reality.

Nichol argues that the organized left and the defeated politicians they support do not accept the outcome of elections in which Gov. Pat McCrory was elected by a strong majority of North Carolina’s residents. He received over 2.4 million votes, or 54 percent, in 2012. But rather than acknowledge that he is part of a defeated minority, Nichol wants to claim a few rude boos as a mandate superior to the actual vote of the people.

Unlike Nichol, true liberals respect the democratic process that elects our leaders and know how to respectfully disagree without being disagreeable. Nichol’s invectives were embarrassing, but then he went beyond the pale by comparing McCrory to former segregationists and 1960s Democratic governors Lester Maddox, George Wallace and Orval Faubus. It is a strange world Nichol inhabits where a vastly popular, common-sense voter ID requirement, a requirement shared by a majority of the states and upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, is twisted into being the “leading edge” of what he tries to sell as “Southern civil rights oppression.” Apparently, he thinks that “leading edge” means being the 34th state to pass a voter ID law. And that Wisconsin, Indiana and Hawaii are in the South.

Playing fast and loose with facts is one thing. Comparing a democratically elected governor to the poster men for racist and segregationist politics is another, but unfortunately this kind of name-calling has become a common tactic of the political fringes. This summer a liberal columnist and TV host compared N.C. Republicans to Nazis. He apologized, and Nichol should do the same.

Jonathan Dills

Attorney at Law


The length limit was waived to permit a fuller response to the POV.

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