If North Carolina Democrats do not understand what led them to massive electoral defeats in the most recent general election, they need look no further than the culture of corruption that elicited tepid condemnation from within their ranks. Content that Democratic rule was a right, not a privilege, the party refused to call out members accused of violating the public trust and tainting the party label.
Addressing the ethics violations and illegal activities of public officials past and present should be the Democrats' first order of business. And the state's new Republican leadership should cast a wary eye as they do, accepting a free lesson in the pitfalls and missteps that can quickly transform voters' goodwill and support into disgust and rejection.
A faltering economy, steady unemployment and the reaction to a federal government controlled by Democrats all contributed to the sweeping gains made by North Carolina Republicans last week. For the first time in more than a century, the GOP will control both houses of the General Assembly, ending an unprecedented era of Democratic rule. Some have opined that this represents a long-over due switch for a conservative Southern state in line with Republican principles more than Democratic philosophy.
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