DG MARTIN COLUMN: North Carolina’s most interesting political figure
Published 6:08 pm Monday, October 31, 2022
Who is the most interesting political figure in North Carolina today?
Hint: he or she is not on the ballot for this election.
So it might be an officeholder. Maybe state Treasurer Dale Folwell or state Attorney General Josh Stein?
Or Lt. Governor Mark Robinson?
All three are likely candidates for governor in 2024.
Nothing against either Folwell or Stein, but Robinson has them beat on the question of who is the most interesting.
In an Aug. 22 article published by WRAL News, Bryan Anderson wrote about Robinson and his new book, “We Are the Majority: The Life and Passions of a Patriot.”
Until 2018, when he gave a fiery speech about gun rights at a meeting of the Greensboro City Council, Robinson was a political unknown. He had been planning to buy a rifle at an upcoming gun show in Greensboro until he learned that the council was planning to cancel the show.
Reacting to the killing of 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the council was meeting to consider possible responses.
“I was upset,” Robinson explains in his book. “No, I was furious. What did the action of a depraved shooter three states away have to do with me wanting to buy a rifle? Nothing! I had by this time become a proud defender of our Constitution, including the Second Amendment, our right to bear arms. I was a law-abiding man who was looking forward to purchasing a rifle at a gun show.”
When Robinson attended the council meeting, he became upset with the anti-gun remarks and signed up to speak. “I had no idea what I was going to say. I had my beliefs, but I had planned nothing. I stepped up to the podium. What had I gotten myself into?”
Robinson confesses that he was not prepared, “but in a greater sense I knew exactly what I was doing. I was speaking up for everyone who just wanted to be a law-abiding citizen of the United States. Everyone who wished to enjoy their God-given rights and be left alone to do it. I stepped to the microphone — and made the speech that changed my life.”
In his book Robinson recounts his early life, growing up poor and Black on Logan Street in Greensboro. His memoir would be instructive and moving, even if Robinson had not become an important political figure, the lieutenant governor of North Carolina and likely candidate for governor in 2024.
In his review of “We Are the Majority,” Anderson makes several important points that could have an impact of North Carolina’s political future, including:
1. Robinson is really preparing to run for governor, including developing lists of fundraising prospects.
2. He would support eliminating the State Board of Education, stop teaching history, science and social sciences in the fifth grade and below.
3. He is critical of government financial assistance because he thinks it leads to dependence. He advocates making abortion illegal, calling it murder, even though he and his then girlfriend (now wife) decided to terminate her pregnancy in 1989.
4. His relationships with women are strained. “They love to be able to talk a man into submission. And with me, it never happens. They can’t do it.”
5. He mocks gay pride parades and “takes frequent aim at transgender people, labeling them as mentally and physically unfit to serve in the military.”
6. He “pushes back” on the idea of systemic racism which he writes turns the Black experience into a “tale of woe.”
As the 2022 election season comes to a close, we are going to hear more and more about Mark Robinson.
Like it or not.
D.G. Martin, a lawyer, served as UNC-System’s vice president for public affairs and hosted PBS-NC’s “North Carolina Bookwatch.”