NC Senate race does not offer a compelling choice


The Appalachian Online

Kevin Griffin

This year’s congressional elections will have a large impact on the remainder of the Obama presidency, and what does, or more likely, does not happen in that time.

Nationally, the fate of the senate is close, with a Republican takeover a distinct possibility, according to a Sept. 7 CBS-New York Times Poll. This makes the senate race in North Carolina between Sen. Kay Hagan and North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis an important one, not just for the state but for the nation.

The fact that the North Carolina senate race has received some of the largest sums of outside money in the nation, with the News & Observer reporting well over $25 million, testifies to the importance of this election.

Given the intense political and financial interest this race has engendered, it is worthwhile to consider what the implications of this race could be for the nation and the state.

Should Thom Tillis win, the senate will move one seat closer to Republican domination. This would leave us with a worse situation than we have already, with an even stronger division between the executive and legislative branches.

Tillis has given little indication that he is anything but the type of right-wing insanity with reality

Republican we have seen so much over the past few years.
Along with other Republican candidates, he denied climate change at a debate in April, according to Politico. Tillis endorsed the idea that contraception should be available over the counter, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The contraception is something of a conveniently timed change for Tillis, who has taken positions hostile to reproductive rights in the past.

The effect that Tillis would have on education would likely be less than ideal. In primary debate in April, Tillis said that he would consider eliminating the Department of Education.

As bad as Tillis would be as senator, Hagan would not be a great deal better, at least for those with progressive political ideals.

Perhaps the best that can be said for Hagan is that she would help maintain the national status quo.

Hagan was voted the most moderate senator earlier this year by the National Journal.

In an ad aired earlier this year, Hagan touted her moderate credentials to appeal to North Carolina voters.

I do not see much to be enthused about in this election. Neither candidates offers the type of genuine change that the country needs.

On an entire spectrum of issues, from war to financial regulation, civil liberties to immigration, the country is facing significant problems. There is little in the current political system that suggests any great sense of seriousness for addressing these problems properly.

It is only one seat out of 100, but especially this year, that one seat matters. And neither of the individuals who will occupy that seat have much to recommend them.

Griffin, a junior journalism major from Madison, is an opinion writer.