“I am a life-long Independent, registered Unaffiliated, and consider myself a radical moderate.” -John Davis, John Davis Political Report A Letter to Rob Christensen, Political Reporter, The News & Observer Note: Today’s N&O carried a front page story titled, Perdue: SEANC speaks for state workers. In the story, political reporter Rob Christensen quoted me in writing,
A Letter to Rob Christensen, Political Reporter, The News & Observer
Note: Today’s N&O carried a front page story titled, Perdue: SEANC speaks for state workers. In the story, political reporter Rob Christensen quoted me in writing, "Very clearly this state is moving toward unionization of public employees and collective bargaining rights," said Davis, a pro-business Republican. What follows is my reply to Rob, a seasoned political writer who I respect very much, correcting his characterization of me as a “pro-business Republican,” followed by a defense of radical moderation, and the need for a balanced, two-party state.
Dear Rob: I appreciate being included in your story in today’s News & Observer titled, Perdue: SEANC speaks for state workers.1 However, I would like to correct your characterization of me as a, “pro-business Republican.”
I am a life-long Independent, registered Unaffiliated, and consider myself a radical moderate. Both parties have good ideas and good people; both parties have bad ideas and bad apples. I appreciate the value of a two-party state and nation, especially the role that partisan competition plays as a means of checks-and-balances to guarantee that no one becomes too powerful; as a means to ensure that all good people and good ideas are heard.
Having said that, I would like to submit that the Democratic Party in North Carolina is a classic example of the corrupting and destructive nature of unilateral governance. Another classic example is the Republican congressional majority that was ousted in 2006. They, like North Carolina Democrats, were so powerful that many of their leaders thought they were above the law. They ruined their party’s good name and reputation and lost the trust of the people.
In the book, "The New Politics of North Carolina," Christopher Cooper and Gibbs Knotts make the case that it's time we reevaluated the notion that North Carolina is a progressive state by using additional dimensions including party competition. They argue that competition among political parties can, "… foster new ideas, enhance debate, and lead to innovative policy solutions.” They concluded by saying, “By and large, a progressive state is a two-party state."2
I included the sensible argument by Cooper and Knotts for the value of a two-party state in my John Davis Political Report, December 14, 2009, titled, Liberal Insurgents End Sen. Basnight’s Historic Era of Power. I wrote: “So, for all of you enlightened business progressives out there concerned about fiscal irresponsibility and the rampant corruption resulting from the unilateral policy making authority of the Democrats, perhaps it's time that you consider doing something really progressive: vote Republican.”3
The argument that it’s time to “vote Republican” is an argument for ending the corrupting and destructive nature of unilateral governance in North Carolina, an objective that can only be achieved by checking and balancing the power of Democrats with the election of a Republican majority to either the North Carolina House or Senate. If the Republicans had unchecked power in North Carolina, my December report would have ended with, “It’s time to vote Democratic.”
Although I do confess to being unapologetically “pro-business,” a Republican I am not; neither am I a Democrat. Granted, over the years I have experienced the provincial perspective of many Democratic Party leaders in North Carolina who see Independent voters as Republicans, much like provincial conservative Republicans see moderates as liberals. Nonetheless, I, along with many North Carolinians, am an Independent moderate who believes that a two-party state and nation is our best means to ensure that all good people and good ideas are heard.
I suspect that many loyal Democrats around the state are regretting that they wished for all of the power in North Carolina as they see one after another of their leaders hauled off to court and the good name and reputation of the state tarnished. I know many loyal Republicans throughout America saw the destructiveness of having all of the power when they joined Democrats and Independents in 2006 and 2008 and threw the GOP majority out of the US Congress.
I also suspect that many loyal Democrats will be splitting their tickets this year and joining Republicans and Independents in voting to end the unchecked and unbalanced power of North Carolina Democrats. I know many of us Independent, Unaffiliated radical moderates will be.
- The News & Observer, Perdue: SEANC speaks for state workers, Thursday, February 04, 2010; Page 1A
- The New Politics of North Carolina, North Carolina Press, 2008, Editors: Cooper and Knotts.
- John Davis Political Report, Vol. II, No. 8, December 14, 2009; www.johndavisconsulting.com