“Good government should always trump politics.”

I had a funny dream the other night. Well, it wasn’t funny, but it is fun to think about.

It seems that the state’s top Republicans called a surprise news conference in Raleigh. The media was abuzz, not knowing what would bring Thom Tillis, Phil Berger and Pat McCrory to Raleigh when the General Assembly wasn’t meeting.

McCrory stepped to the microphone. He had volunteered to make the announcement because he expected to be governor of all North Carolinians soon. He wanted to start clean.

“Thank you for coming on such short notice. Like you, we have seen the polls that indicate how North Carolinians feel about same-sex marriage and civil unions. Likely voters plan to vote in favor of Amendment One ensuring that marriage is between a man and a women, and that pleases us. However, the polls also indicate that people are confused about the amendment, and that once it is explained to them, they oppose it.”

Berger and Tillis shifted uncomfortably behind McCrory. They had championed the amendment and led it through the legislature. They weren’t sure they liked what was coming, even thought they had agreed to it.

McCrory pressed on.

“We don’t like that. We don’t like the idea that a poorly worded amendment obscures what we think is good law. We don’t like that people don’t understand what they’re voting on. We want people to make the right choice for the right reasons, not because our amendment writers screwed up. We don’t like that we have so divided the good members of the clergy. When God-loving ministers can’t even agree on what the Bible says, we’re in some kind of uncharted territory.”

He swallowed. “Consequently, we are asking the General Assembly to reconvene in an emergency session and withdraw this amendment. We will rewrite it and put it back on the ballot next year. We want voters to understand exactly what they are voting on so that the will of the people is truly represented. If they vote to support a marriage amendment, which we think they will, fine. But if they kill the amendment, then so be it.

“We know this is an unusual occurrence. We know that we may pay at the ballot box. But we learned in school that good government always should trump politics. And we learned from our parents that doing the right thing, even when it was hard, should always trump doing something underhanded.

“When I am elected governor of this great state in November, I will represent all of the people in North Carolina and their voices should be heard. Thank you.”

I said it was a dream. Still, it’s fun to think about.

 

The marriage amendment: Breaking political stereotypes

We all tend to paint people and positions with a broad brush. It helps us categorize and connect the dots when we label. It also creates false assumptions. For instance, if you need reminders that not all protestant churches believe the same things, not all African-Americans think the same and not all Democrats march in lock step, two stories today provide them.

Both the Charlotte and Greensboro newspapers write about how ministers think about the marriage amendment that is on the May 8 ballot. For people who think the word of God is clear, they must be confused by the different positions the clergy take on the marriage amendment. (Personally, that didn’t surprise me. What surprised me was the timidity with which some ministers approach preaching about the issue.)

The Charlotte story also illustrates the different positions that some black churches and the NAACP take on the marriage amendment. And that black Democrats — which some people believe vote as one — may not be following the party line on the amendment.

Stereotypes, consider yourselves busted.