I think we’ve found an early winner for the title of Sore Loser of the Century – former governor Pat McCrory.
Since his whisker-thin loss to Roy Cooper, McCrory has not only been willing to blame everyone and everything else for his defeat, but he’s taken childish retaliation to a new low – like those bills he signed shortly before leaving office limiting the powers of the guy he lost to.
To be honest, it’s not as if McCrory didn’t have stiff competition for the coveted trophy – Hillary Clinton has been having her own pity party for months now, but heck, she can at least point to those darn Russian hackers and James Comey in addition to her poorly-run campaign for her loss. And she did win the popular vote. Which McCrory didn’t.
Who is McCrory blaming? Not the HB2 debacle, which he defended to the death as if it were a sane piece of legislation. Not the idiot bills he allowed the far-right legislature to pass, several of which were litigated and overturned, unnecessarily costing the state millions of dollars.
No, in a recent speech McCrory gave before the North Carolina Republican Party’s annual convention, he went with the old canard that that he lost because “I know for fact that we had a lot of noncitizens that were voting,” and that “voter ID would have stopped it.” Yep, all those illegals came up from south of the border to vote against you.
Honestly, when did we come to this point? When did we become a country where our leaders can’t accept defeat and move on? It must have something to do with the current polarization in America, which has infected all levels of society. It’s a mentality that says “I can’t possibly be wrong and a loser, since the other guy is so obviously wrong and a loser.”
It’s time for McCrory to move on, but it’s obvious that he’s not big enough to do so. Sure, he has every right as a citizen to criticize Gov. Roy Cooper, but his incessant carping and boo-hooing make him look like a small-minded, vindictive person. And his comments that he engineered a “Carolina comeback” during his tenure fly in the face of the results from the national disgrace that was HB2, which may have permanently damaged North Carolina’s brand. Plus, the state still ranks low on the national scale regarding teacher salaries, needs major infrastructure work and is burdened by lawsuits involving gerrymandering and voting rights.
This is not a legacy to be proud of. But McCrory acts as if his was a successful tenure, full of golden achievements, and that his successor is a buffoon and a failure.
Yet I have to say bless his heart, for McCrory has hopefully given a lesson to future politicians about how not to act after losing a close election.
Lewis Beale is a journalist based in Raleigh.