Dear Mr. Woodhouse,
I am not planning on voting for the candidates that you are campaigning for as the Executive Director of North Carolina’s GOP. And I understand that part of your role as a leader for the state’s GOP is to cheerlead for people like Donald Trump, Gov. Pence, Sen. Burr, and Gov. McCrory.
But I have to ask you to reflect on how you present yourself. Actually, I am asking you to stop saying and doing stupid things because, simply put, you are representing an entire state and it makes all of us look bad.
Your latest example of blatant immaturity was especially egregious because it was aired on national television while talking about the upcoming elections and North Carolina is being judged by it.
Displaying handcuffs as “jewelry” for Hillary Clinton presented you more as a petulant teenager hoping to win an argument by throwing his heart on his sleeve for all to see bleed out when all he was asked about was whether he did his homework or not.
Even the words you said while holding up handcuffs were childish and do not reflect the qualities of leadership needed in these times. You said,
“The Democrats have a depression problem. You know why? It’s very simple. Their candidate, if elected, could have these on Inauguration Day…. Hillary Clinton inauguration jewelry.”
A reference to depression? If any depression is to be dealt with, it is probably stems from suppression of voter rights and the oppression of high poverty rates in NC based on policies that you maniacally have defended.
But maybe the handcuffs are not too terribly inappropriate because the very candidates that you support (on at least a state level) have really handcuffed many here in North Carolina. Think of coal ash and fracking handcuffing people in rural areas near affected waterways. Think of HB2 and its discriminatory actions handcuffing our state’s economy and LGBTQ citizens. Think of unregulated privatization of public education handcuffing our students.
Now that’s depressing.
Another example of speaking before thinking occurred when the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the Voter ID Law in NC based on its racial profiling of rural minorities in economically depressed counties. Upon its issuance, you sent out an email to all county GOP headquarters outlining actions they could take in order to preserve the tenants of the originally unconstitutional Voter ID law covertly.
In that missive you made statements such as,
“Our Republican Board members should feel empowered to make legal changes to early voting plans, that are supported by Republicans. Republicans can and should make party line changes to early voting.”
“We believe same-day registration is ripe with voter fraud, or the opportunity to commit it. Same-day registration is only available during early voting. We are under no obligation to offer more opportunities for voter fraud.”
“Many of our folks are angry and are opposed to Sunday voting for a host of reasons including respect for voter’s religious preferences, protection of our families and allowing the fine election staff a day off, rather than forcing them to work days on end without time off. Six days of voting in one week is enough. Period.”
“No group of people are entitled to their own early voting site, including college students, who already have more voting options than most other citizens.”
I honestly do not know what is more stupid here – the fact that you literally instructed boards of elections across the state to disobey the court’s orders or that you thought you were powerful enough to send this in an email and totally not expect to be caught through public record searches.
Hubris as displayed by your email reflects on our state as well, democrats and republicans alike. And that reflection is not pretty.
Finally, there was that instance last June when 14 North Carolina educators were arrested as part of a demonstration that ended up as a “sit-in” on a busy Raleigh road. In a display of civil disobedience, they stood up against the current GOP-controlled General Assembly and Gov. McCrory to fight for students in public schools. You and your cohorts called the instance “hardly newsworthy,” but you did hyperbolically cry out later,
“What a bizarre group of union activists, blocking traffic and getting arrested to apparently protest Governor McCrory on raising teacher pay more than any other state over the last three years.”
Union activists? There is no union in NC, Mr. Woodhouse. You want to see union activists? Go to Chicago. Those are unions. In fact, those union activists have shut down one of the biggest school districts in the nation overnight. That’s power.
Try waving around those handcuffs at a meeting of the any of those union activists. They may look at you the same way that many who saw the clip from last week on MSNBC may view you: someone whose addiction to fiery rhetoric seems to overshadow the need to not only think about what you say but also have an idea of what you are talking about.
Gov. McCrory once said on the very network that you just appeared on in 2013,
“People are looking for leadership. They’re looking for problem-solvers. They’re looking for hard workers. They’re not looking for whiners.”
Ill-spoken remarks, dominating rhetoric, and sophomoric props are not becoming of a leader or a problem-solver. They are more indicative of a whiner.
But I do have to give you credit for not wearing a Honduran flag pin on your lapel.