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By Jesse Ainslie Jesse Anderson Ainslie spent the last six years as an internationally touring musician and wine retailer. He's performed alongside Willie Nelson, David Gray, The National, Phosphorescent, Castanets, and Virgin Forest. His guitar work has been mentioned in the New York Times and he's written for Impose Magazine. Now a sophomore at UNC, studying American History and Creative Writing, his current music can be found at his website.

A Sense of Duty

By Jesse Ainslie Posted August 21, 2013 at 6:12 am

In the wake of this summer’s session of the North Carolina Legislature, voters across the state are expressing their dismay at the actions of the newly elected Republican majority. Legislation from this session includes: unnecessary voter ID requirements (which, according to a column by Jo Ann Groves in the Gaston Gazette, the NC Board of Elections suspects fraud at a minimal rate of 86 per 300 million votes cast), a bill outlawing Sharia law (which has never been implemented in North Carolina), allowing guns in bars (a move which guarantees the hysterical combination of booze and guns), a cap on sales tax for yachts and jets, and cutting raises for teachers. McCrory calls these new laws “vital reforms.” The result for Governor McCrory is a record drop in approval since the beginning of the session; now, only 31% of his constituency approve of the job he has done and the General Assembly’s rating is a pitiful 24%.

McCrory’s apparent lack of surprise or concern for this drop in his approval rating signifies a lack of concern about the interests of the citizens he was elected to represent. And here, I pause, first to wonder and second to stare in awe at the monolithic ignorance of this group of legislators and the Captain Ahab at their helm. This absence of consideration for the approval of his constituents implies a lack of interest in re-election, or political clout, and no interest in his obligation to the State and its population. Upon ruling out future political office and any sense of duty, we must then ask: what is their goal? The only apparent answer is private personal gains.

If McCrory does not care that he is eroding his own support system in favor of cutting taxes for the top earners in North Carolina, then he must therefore care only about the opinion of those top earners. Perhaps these moves are in fact a bid for a future position in the so-called Corporate World (as if it were something autonomous and separate). His actions indicate that his ties to the business community are more important than his duty to the electorate.

It is the question of Duty and Dignity that I would like to see addressed by our representatives. We, as a country founded on ideals yet unrealized, have an obligation to see them realized – to work for one another, for greater prosperity, and for continued prosperity, continued liberty for all. We must work to end poverty, homelessness, and unemployment. There are domestic works projects that need to be accomplished, there are almost 417,000 unemployed workers in North Carolina alone, and our government wastes billions on bailing out failing companies. It is out of a sense of duty to the people of America, to employ them in accomplishing the regular workings of our Nation, and to compensate them using money that is currently being thrown at ineffectual systems. In doing so, we may also realize greater global respect and, with an eye on leading by example – a policy of peace internationally, and prosperity domestically – we may realize American global dominance by consensus rather than Might.

The democratic process relies on representatives being held accountable for their actions by the people. When in the course of human events our governors cease to heed, cease to respect the will of those they represent, we, as Americans, whose country was born in revolution against such governors, have a duty to demand for their removal – or at the very least, to demand some accounting of their actions; McCrory has offered none.

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