We moved here from Orange County, Calif., in late 2016. Fed up with Trump conservatives, we were looking forward to a progressive community. Then [Sen.] Terry Van Duyn voted for a bill to ban cities from passing anti-discrimination legislation for LGBT people in cities. She said she was supporting the Democratic governor and called it a compromise that even LGBT groups opposed.
Our GOP member of Congress back in California voted for anti-discrimination legislation. “If the Democrats like Van Duyn and Gov. Roy Cooper were going to be worse than our GOP member of Congress back home, why should my husband and I register with the Democratic Party?” I asked the Democrats of Buncombe County. My email was forwarded to Van Duyn, who replied “Dear Mr. and Mrs. Vaughn …” We registered with “No Political Party” affiliation in response.
In seeking how to contact Van Duyn, I saw she had a picture of herself in a rainbow flag T-shirt. Apparently, she wears her principles on her T-shirt so they are easy to shed when they become inconvenient. If she was simply supporting her party leader, how does that make her any better than the GOP officials who vote against what they believe to support Trump? Who does Van Duyn actually represent if not Asheville?
[A recent Xpress] edition said Van Duyn was running for lieutenant governor. Van Duyn doesn’t have our backs, so she won’t get our votes. She shouldn’t get the votes of anyone else in our region, either. “Fool us once, shame on you.” When Republicans vote against basic human rights, we rightfully challenge them. When I ask local Democrats why they support Van Duyn for doing the same thing, I get silences and awkward shrugs.
Buncombe County and the state deserve better than phony friends. At least with an honest enemy, we are allowed to keep fighting. But thanks to Van Duyn and Gov. HB Two-per, the leverage we had in that fight is gone.
— James Vaughn
Editor’s note: Xpress contacted Van Duyn with a summary of the letter writer’s points, but she declined to provide a response.