If it's been said once, it's been said a zillion times. Elections have consequences. And right now, North Carolina is suffering the dire consequences of having elected extremists to the lead state government. It doesn't matter that they cheated to win. Unless and until legislative redistricting is overturned by the courts, we are stuck with gerrymandered maps for the foreseeable future.
The first test of our response is happening now with Moral Mondays. Thanks to the tremendous work of Reverend Barber and the NAACP, the ground is being prepared for an uprising in 2014.
And make no mistake, an uprising is needed. Because of gerrymandering, a Democratic vote for the North Carolina General Assembly is worth only 3/5ths of a Republican vote. To be effective, we have to blow them out of the water when it comes to turn out.
The May primary will be our second test, a rehearsal for November.
Many people have told me they believe the best we can do next November is claw back the supermajorities in both houses. I don't buy it, and even if I did, we can't settle for that.
Republicans have given North Carolina a rare gift. In a few wild months, they have single-handedly destroyed our state's reputation as a leader in the south, made life more difficult for millions of people, and pushed our economy to the breaking point. If we can't capitalize on that extremism and stomp them at the polls, we can't do anything.
If there was ever a time to step up and be counted, this is it. You don't want to look back 20 years from now and say, "I had the chance to be an activist and didn't take it."