Meadows playing up to Tea Party

To the Editor:

Regarding a recent op-ed piece by Doug Wingeier on Congressman Meadows, R-Cashiers, and his feigned interest in alleviating hunger in the U.S.: I also have noted a certain disingenuousness about Rep. Meadows in his latest series of town hall meetings, two of which I attended. The meetings are controlled by asking people to submit their questions in writing, which are screened and read by his staff. I prefer a more open meeting where people stand and ask their questions, as in the voice of the people. I suppose my written questions were never asked because they may have posed certain challenges to the Congressman on Obamacare and the federal Voting Rights Act.

Rep. Meadows was quite clear and proud about his leadership role in defunding Obamacare as a condition for keeping the government open. This played well to his Tea Party constituents in Franklin, but was somewhat more subdued in Cherokee. When I asked one of his staff “why the Congressman wanted to shut down the government,” she replied that was not true. A few days later, I noted the Asheville Citizen-Times headline: “Meadows OK with shutting down DC.” 

You can also note a comparable disingenuousness in the N.C. State Republican Party in defending its 2013 voting laws: “… If you need a photo ID to purchase Sudafed, what’s the big deal about using a photo ID to vote ….” Somehow the most fundamental right of American citizens has been reduced to the “right” to purchase a controlled substance.

The federal government is rightfully challenging N.C.’s voting laws as a violation of the Voting Rights Act. Our state has made significant progress in expanding the franchise: in 1991, N.C. was number 47 in the nation in voter turnout; by 2012, we were number 11.

Yet the N.C. legislature in 2013 sought to “restore confidence” in the electoral process, as if creating more access to voting was a problem. College IDs will not be allowed at polling stations. Even states with strict photo ID laws like Georgia and Indiana allow college IDs. What is so suspect about using a college ID, or is it more about preserving political power by creating hoops for younger voters — a group that tends to vote Democratic.

Roger Turner


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