I would like to
thank everyone in Richmond County who voted on November 5. Many Democrats in this county sided with Republicans as an attempted
change in ideological principal here in the same manner that swept the state and country. The losses by Republicans here were
not unexpected, but everyone should take note that as each election year passes, Richmond county is finally seeing a dichotomy
in the political mindset of its residents that is evident in the final vote totals.
The appearance of fissures in
the monolithic hierarchy that has controlled the county for so many years should come as no surprise to anyone. The leaders
of Richmond County seemed to strive for a goal of keeping the county isolated and devoid of differing political aspirations.
Their fears were justified. When given choices, the people realize they can achieve goals of their own without adhering to
the mandates of the good old boy club, which has lead directly to the deterioration of that power structure.
article in the Daily Journal on November 3 explained, Democrats have controlled this county since 1900 and one politician
pontificated that 'the Democrat Party has remained strong here, because it has been a leader for the working poor,'. A completely
partisan political statement in an otherwise objective story that didn't shine a favorable light on Democrats here, because
the reality is Richmond County has the second highest unemployment rate in the state of North Carolina. If only one party
has been in control, then only one party can take the blame.
Yet some have tried tirelessly to place that culpability
on the only high profile Republican elected in this district. His vote for fast track legislation has been vilified time and
again, yet Democrats lobbied vigorously to pass the same legislation for Clinton, but nobody seemed to have a problem with
it then! Why isnt the media just as quick to point out how Democrat attacks on the tobacco industry through countless lawsuits
and tax hikes are just as responsible for the debilitation of our states once number one industry and the destruction of the
North Carolina farmer as much or more than any other factor?
Before placing blame or expecting too much from the politicians
we elect, it has to be understood that not only are they our elected officials, but they are also members of political parties.
All the varying ideological principles are supported through the party vote, so understanding the issues of the parties is
essential when deciding your vote for a particular candidate.
Voters realize this more than ever and the results of
it were apparent in the vote counts of November 5, nationally and even in Richmond County. Conservative ideology runs strong
through the South and the party that represents those principles is finally being heard!
Lee P. Butler