In four terms and 16 years as governor, Jim Hunt built the government of North Carolina into an edifice that could serve as a model for any state in the country.
Rather than quoting ineffectual educators, pointy-headed intellectuals, irresponsible journalists and deluded liberal politicians on this subject, however, we might listen to a successful businessman, Bob Ingram, former CEO of Glaxo Wellcome and retired vice chairman of GlaxoSmithKline: Jim Hunt was the defining political leader of North Carolina in the 20th century. His vision, commitment and energy transformed the state. North Carolina leads the South in education, technology and social policy, all thanks to Jim Hunts leadership.
In the past year, however, the foundation timbers of Hunts great structure have been invaded by a species of termite that seems bent on bringing the whole thing down. I put one of these insects under a microscope to take a closer look; the head bore a remarkable resemblance to the bronze busts of Jesse Helms that can be bought for $45 from the Jesse Helms Center in Wingate.