As President Trump’s administration continues to descend further into chaos with each passing week, there are a few truths that we will have to reckon with when it comes to an end, whether that occurs in a few years, a few months or a few weeks. The biggest of these is also the most obvious: we are a nation divided. Though polls show that Trump’s support is dwindling slightly, there remains a solid core of Trump voters who still support him and believe that his problems are essentially the fault of the media and of sore-loser liberals, who in their view refused to accept the legitimacy of his presidency and are thus undermining any chance he has of being productive or successful.
After a disappointing loss to an entrenched incumbent in 2016, Beaverdam’s Rhonda Cole Schandevel announced Aug. 26 that she’ll again be a Democratic candidate for the North Carolina General Assembly in House District 118.
Although Haywood County’s municipal elections in Canton, Clyde and Maggie Valley will garner the most attention through November, state legislative campaigns will fire up shortly thereafter — if not sooner.
Prayer as part of government meetings has a long — and often contentious — history in this country, and a recent court ruling on the issue certainly won’t settle this debate.
This case does, however, add one more brick to the legal foundation that’s been built by respected judges since this country’s inception: prayer by those in official capacities is fine, but can’t trumpet your specific sectarian religious beliefs at the expense of those who may have a different faith.
High political drama — the likes of which is not often seen in rural counties — came to a head last week as a Haywood County Republican Party Executive Committee member was removed from his post.
On Nov. 5, 2001, not quite two months after the 9/11 attacks, Lech Walesa spoke at Western Carolina University. Walesa was famed for his resistance to communism in Poland and the Soviet Union, and was the founder of Solidarity, a trade union seeking an expansion of its negotiating power and the establishment of fundamental human rights within Polish communism. Along with Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II, and Mikhail Gorbachev, Walesa was a key player in the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the fall of the Soviet Union.
The schism between the Haywood County Republican Party and the Haywood Republican Alliance isn’t unique to this party, this county or this era.
As I sit to write a day before Independence Day, it seems I keep hearing voices questioning whether the shared American identity that has driven this country through so many travails will survive what the modern world is throwing at us.
It’s hard to define just what that shared identity is. Is it our very basic belief in freedom and the will to protect it at all costs? Is it that every person should have the opportunity to rise to the level of his or her ability? Or the belief that honor, justice and morality as enshrined by the founders set us apart from other nations? Corny as it sounds, those statements ring true for me.
In a story that sounds like it should have come out of Moscow in 1938 or Havana in 1961 rather than Waynesville in 2017, several Haywood County citizens have allegedly been charged with political “party disloyalty.”