After an abysmal 2016 election season, there was one bright spot for Democrats: the state of North Carolina.
Despite all the battleground states won by President-elect Donald Trump, Democrats made gains in North Carolina down-ballot races.
Now that North Carolina will have a Democratic governor and a left-leaning state Supreme Court, political analysts are looking at the state to ascertain why it did not fully get swept up in the Trump mania.
Rev. William Barber, head of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the rise of “Fusion Politics” in the South and how the Moral Monday movement should be duplicated around the country.
Barber explained the multi-racial, multi-denominational coalition created an “indigenously led” movement focused on state legislation composed of individuals who are deeply moral, deeply Constitutional, anti-racist, anti-poverty, pro-justice, and pro-labor.
Barber said “Fusion coalition pulls people together––not so much left and right and red and blue.” The individuals who form the coalition are gathered around “key issues, moral issues that are rooted in constitutional morality and religious morality.
“You have to take on the heresy of White Evangelicalism, you have to find a way to converse with people regardless of party,” Barber said.
Over the course of three years, Rev. Barber and his supporters have brought people from varying backgrounds together “around a five-point agenda [which includes] economics, education, healthcare, environmental justice, criminal justice reform, [and] equal protection under the law.”
How can individuals who seem to be on opposite sides of so many different issues come together to form a sustainable political force? Rev. Barber explained there are three questions central to finding common ground and combining opposing views. They are as follows: Are the policies implemented by elected officials constitutionally consistent, morally defensible, and economically sound?
Barber said, “In doing that, it changed the conversation. People thought we were foolish because we were losing the vote, but we were looking at a long-term, not just a short-term [strategy].”
As a result of building the coalition in North Carolina: “The Governor’s spot was taken by progressives, the AG, the Secretary of State, the Auditor, and a Black brother [Judge Michael Morgan] won a seat on the Supreme Court [by a] 300,000 vote margin … and won 76 counties in North Carolina,” Barber said.
He added, “That’s what we’re going to have to do throughout the country [and] throughout the South.”
Watch Roland Martin and Rev. William Barber discuss the impact “Fusion Politics” has had on North Carolina in the video clip above.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty