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Dispatch from North Carolina: Wake Forest Prof. Stephen Boyd Reports on “Moral Mondays” Response to Radical Rollbacks of Voting Rights, Abortion Rights

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Prof. Stephen Boyd of Wake Forest University updates us on the radical legislation rammed through the North Carolina legislature, part of a coordinated effort that includes Texas, Ohio, Alabama, Wisconsin and other states.  While Democratic leaders are generally not responding, activists in North Carolina continue Moral Monday protests.Click here for GoDaddy deal that benefits the PBC podcast.

Boyd is professor of Religion at Wake Forest, and was himself arrested on June 3.  We open with his overview of the political scene, and the outsized power of millionaire Art Pope, as detailed in this important story by Jane Mayer of The New Yorker.  Boyd notes that Pope was appointed to a key post by new GOP Gov. Pat McCrory and appears to be running the show and enforcing party discipline.

We talk about the 12-pack of voter suppression policies that were recently signed into law, even as McCrory admitted to reporters that he didn’t know anything about a key aspect of the bill he signed.  Boyd also talks about the new motorcycle safety/abortion restriction law that McCrory signed, in direct contradiction of a statement he made during a debate in last year’s campaign.  We also talk about the role of ALEC in drafting the voting and abortion legislation that’s popping up in most red states this year.

Noting that the national Democratic leadership has been largely silent in the face of these major assaults on voting rights and reproductive rights, we talk about the growing opposition in North Carolina and the Moral Mondays protests led by civil rights leaders, religious groups, and others outside the party structure.  Boyd notes that, if Democrats don’t respond, the exclusion of citizens who typically vote for Dems will put them out of business.