Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Eddie Settle vs. Darren Staley, NCS 36


Eddie Settle

I knew naught of Sen. Eddie Settle, who represents Wilkes, Alexander, Surry, and Yadkin counties (Dist. 36) in Raleigh, except that the energizing Democratic candidate for that seat, Darren Staley, mocks the R+26 nightmare that district has become and is not averse to pointing out Settle's tiresome conservative smugness. Staley lives in a trailer, is as hardscrabble tested as Settle is privileged, and he knows which end is up (as they say in my part of the country). Staley's Twitter feed keeps me plugged in to what a Democratic campaign for democratic values ought to look like and rarely does, an uprising of working-class common sense, determination, and vision.

Democrat Staley tweeted a link to a piece of remarkable Eddie Settle prose (liberally stolen from the Wall Street Journal, as it turns out), headlining it this way: "I've spent a lot of time talking about why you should support my campaign. THIS is who I am running against. Let that sink in..." Settle's little essay, "A Biblical Look at Capitalism," was published in the Valentine's Day edition of The Wilkes Record. 

I took the bait, wondering what make of man that my man Darren Staley is running against.

Settle's profit-motive Christianity left a bad taste in my mouth, an offensive brandishing of the Bible to promote the gospel of plutocracy: "The Bible is clear on many things. It teaches about the morality of personal responsibility. It’s through this avenue that man learns to develop good citizenship that leads to happiness. The welfare state undermines this goal of personal responsibility. Proverbs teaches that man is to be productive and that he is not entitled to well-being." Let them eat wallpaper?

"The morality of personal responsibility." Really, Dude? Has Trump, past master of evading consequences, taught us nothing? "Not entitled to well-being?" Has the history of wolfish, buck-passing corporations taught you absolutely nothing, Sir? Yours is a "Bible philosophy" made to order for the already comfortable who intend to entertain no doubt nor guilt, so it's little surprise that Eddie Settle's big consuming issue is taxes on people like him.

By all appearances, Eddie Settle is a well respected Southern Baptist glad-hander in Wilkes, a former 3-term county commissioner now serving in his first term in the NC Senate. He essentially went straight out of high school (and one year studying business at Wilkes Community College) into working at and learning his father's business, Nu-Line Printing Inc. (good for t-shirt screen printing & embroidery, banners, signs & picture framing services) -- the company that Settle now owns outright and still runs today. In 1990, he got into a sideline of raising cattle and is often photographed wearing a big cowboy hat at social gatherings to prove it. He told Colin Campbell that his personal hero was Ronald Reagan, specifically "his Christian conservative leadership."

He's big on pro-life politics, organizing a vote on the Wilkes Commission to pass a resolution to designate the county "a haven for the unborn" (Whoa! Wilkes filled with very pregnant women? looking to escape the pro-abortionists?). What would a haven for the unborn entail? He also mentions Critical Race Theory on his website, calling it "pure poison." 

He's always going to vote the party line, but I wonder if he stood up to Berger over the casino gambling push. He certainly doesn't mention that Berger's failure to get more casinos into poor counties held up the budget for months. Settle sez not one word about Berger's determination to get legalized commercial gambling well situated in NC on his otherwise braggadocious wrap-up of his first year in the Senate. He can certainly brag about the $70 million in pork he got to hand out in his four counties. Pork is always a thoughtful gift.

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