10/06/07 — A cheap tactic: Moore tries for political points at Gov. Aycock’s expense

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A cheap tactic: Moore tries for political points at Gov. Aycock’s expense

Poor Richard Moore.

It started off as a good idea, really.

Here’s the plan:

1. Call for the name of a man who has been historically tied to segregationist ideals to be removed from the state Democrats’ most prestigious dinner.

2. Remind everyone that the views of former Gov. Charles B. Aycock are not in keeping with the tenor of the current Democratic Party. Stand tall and strong against the segregationists of the late 1800s.

3. Get the whole state talking about your bravery and courage while one of your poor opponents is trying to kick off her gubernatorial campaign.

Sounds like a pretty good strategy.

Well, except for the disingenuous and ill-advised part.

Of all the idiot statements and silly windmills to battle, Moore couldn’t have picked a worse topic than Charles B. Aycock — unless he knows some still-uncovered dirt about Mother Teresa that he is saving for a big final push.

Although the former governor is well-known for his support of segregation, Charles B. Aycock is also one of the most-storied governors when it comes to improving education for all North Carolina students. In fact, his motivation is a touching one — centered around seeing his mother who could not write or read and his determination to make sure no one else had that handicap.

Rather enlightened, wouldn’t you say?

In the context of the time, Aycock had some views that were common, accepted and changing. His actions do not indicate a man without compassion for his fellow man — or without a desire to see equality.

He just wasn’t there yet, like many of his contemporaries and many of the men and women from whom many North Carolina residents are descended today.

He was flawed, like many of the politicians who put their names on today’s ballots.

That doesn’t excuse the stands he took. Aycock’s positions and speeches should be analyzed, critiqued and debunked, just like any period of history should be studied so that future generations can learn from mistakes made in the past. He is not a solid gold hero, just a man who paved the way for some of the progress we see today.

So, why Aycock?

Seems a bit odd, doesn’t it?

What about the other name on the Democrat dinner? Gov. Zebulon Vance?

What do you remember about him? Something about the Civil War, slave owner and a call to arms?

Seems like that name should have launched a few ships as well — especially if we are really rallying against anyone who was on the wrong side of that fence.

Moore’s statement is mostly grandstanding — a cheap way to get his name in the papers. That’s why he has been mum when asked to defend his statement — or to even comment on it further.

What he didn’t count on was that Wayne County — Gov. Charles B. Aycock’s birthplace — was listening.

And this county recognizes a cheap shot.

Published in Editorials on October 6, 2007 11:36 PM