Moral Mondays is an idea that originated in North Carolina, in April of 2013. The grassroots group protests are in response to the policies of the recently elected Gov. Pat McCrory and the swift and, what many perceived, far right movement of the newly elected state legislator. Many assume the “tea party” movement and Republican or conservative victories in 2010 were a response to the election of President Barack Obama.
North Carolina is a great example of a “purple” state, a state that can lean toward so-called “red” issues, of the Republican Party or “blue” ideas of the Democratic Party. Since political party realignment in the 1980’s, the state has been a reliable Republican presidential and senatorial state. The 2008 elections changed everything. The latent democratic leaning part of the electorate was electrified. Motivated in a former Confederate state to get involved, minorities and politically progressive leaning others, decided to get involved in a rare opportunity to vote for a minority president. So began the awakening of the conservative movement. In recent state wide elections, Democrats out number Republicans. However, through legislative redistricting, Republicans took the opportunity following the 2010 election and United States Census to gain control of the state legislature.
Laws passed that were aimed at fairness and inclusiveness were quickly addressed. Challenges to voting rights, environmental regulations, educational guidelines as well as other laws considered progressive by some were rapidly dismantled.
The response was the populist “Moral Mondays” movement.
In 2014 the movement has spread beyond North Carolina. Rallies were held in South Carolina and Georgia. Still considered a grassroots organization, one of the leaders is the Rev. William Barber, the president of the North Carolina state conference of the NAACP.
A key point of contention between the Moral Mondays group and like minded followers verses the Governor and the state legislature is the Affordable Care Act. The Act, also known as Obamacare, was passed and became law in 2009 by the United States Congress and survived Supreme Court scrutiny. A major provision of the Act is to provide health insurance to the poor via Medicaid (a federal health program for low income families). The state refused to participant in the system leaving the nearly 500,000 people that would benefit from this program to continue to rely on the indigent care system of local governments and hospitals.
It is without a doubt conservative-minded citizens of North Carolina have awaken to the possibility of rolling back the progressive gains of recent years, and have become invigorated and work toward defeating President Obama’s key legislative accomplishment and his legacy.