A great big missed opportunity

Published November 24, 2022

By Lib Campbell

For any of us who hoped to see things quiet down and all who hoped civility, kindness and graciousness would return after the elections, we likely have missed that boat. Cherie Beasley would have been a great senator for North Carolina. Years of judicial experience represent competence and savvy in the public sphere that few people have.

Instead of Justice Beasley, the people of North Carolina elected Ted Budd to take the barely warmed Republican seat of Richard Burr. We did not hear much from Budd during the election cycle. He was relatively silent. Rather, he chose to let dark money speak for him in huge negative media buys.

But it does not take much Google and Wikipedia to find out about our newly elected Senator’s preferences, alliances, and caucuses. For any of us who hoped for change, hold on to your seats. Strap in for another Freedom Caucus member to join the noise of chaos. Oh joy!

One would hope that a candidate who won by the hair of his chinny chin chin would actually want to govern. After reading about Mr. Budd, I doubt that will happen. I hope he proves me wrong.

On January 6 of 2021, Representative Budd objected to the certification of electoral votes from the 2020 election. Following the insurrection at the Capitol, Budd is quoted as digging into the big lie saying, “I cannot consent to accepting Pennsylvania’s electoral votes.” Wonder where he was hiding as the chambers were ransacked?

Budd opposed expanding voting rights. He co-sponsored in the House a version of the nationwide abortion bill that Lindsey Graham introduced in the Senate. In 2017, Budd voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Congratulations, North Carolina. A man of the people has not been elected.

I supported Cherie Beasley, with vote and a little money. Full disclosure. The letter she wrote on the day following her loss demonstrates who she is, what she values, and how she lives her life. I am not a big donor, still the letter came to me. She begins with gratitude for all who supported her. She thanks her husband and her children.

Part of the letter that stands out most is her reflection on the influence and impact her grandparents had on her. She said they always believed in the American Dream of a future with hope. She says, “I am my grandparents’ American Dream.” She hopes the people of North Carolina will “point forward, and still believe in a future where our rights are protected and our freedoms fulfilled.”

While she expresses disappointment, she is not defeated. There are no sour grapes on Cherie Beasley’s plate. And she is looking forward to whatever is next for her. She is looking through the prism of hope and optimism. It is so refreshing. Imagine: Humility. Graciousness in loss. Vision for what can be. She ends her letter saying, “we simply cannot afford to give up the fight.”

The choice of the same old same old bodes pretty awful news for the Old North State. We can expect the continued rolling back of rights, undermining of systems, the poisoning of civil discourse. We missed a great opportunity to correct course.

The good news is, there is another election in two years. Time enough to do a little soul searching as to the direction in which we want our state and country to go. I hope and pray Senator-Elect Budd will govern in the best interest of all North Carolinians. I hope and pray he can represent us as a humble servant. Is there anybody besides me who is simply worn out with all the disruption of the past 5 years? Lordy, Mr. Budd. Give us a break.

Lib Campbell is a retired Methodist pastor, retreat leader, columnist and host of the blogsite www.avirtualchurch.com. She can be contacted at libcam05@gmail.com