Most of us are in shock at Tricia Cotham’s sudden decision to switch her political affiliation from Democratic to Republican. Just like Debbie Reynolds’ Adelle character was in the 1970s shock schlock flic “What’s the Matter with Helen?’ when she discovered the title character of Helen (played by Shelley Winters), was never who we thought she was at all. 

CREDIT: David Aaron Moore

But Cotham had a respectable history of progressive action, including support for LGBTQ equality, a woman’s right to choose and tougher gun control laws. Earlier this year, she signed on to multiple progressive bills as a supporter and/or a presenter. On January 30 she introduced HB19, which was designed to codify Roe and Casey protections. On February 6 she introduced HB42 to honor North Carolina’s contributions to the Civil Rights movement; on March 7, HB 302, the NC Adopt ERA bill, which was more or less a symbolic ratification and affirmation of the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution as supported by the state of North Carolina; March 8 saw her support for HB 293, the Freedom to Vote bill; March 14 she voted to confirm HB 355, the Ensure Same-Sex Domestic Violence Protection Order; and on March 27 she introduced HB 76, which provides access to expanded health care options.

She was a clear supporter of progressive government, walking in the footsteps of her mother, Pat Cotham, a Democratic Mecklenburg County Commissioner.  

Tricia Cotham was well aware that every vote counted when it came to government policy and Governor Cooper’s capability to veto bills that would cause more harm for our state than good.

Cooper recently vetoed Senate Bill 41, which ends the requirements for North Carolinians to acquire a permit from their local county sheriff to purchase a gun and allows gun owners to carry concealed weapons on private property. 

Prior to her party flipping, Cotham failed to show up at a vote to overturn that veto, which allowed Republicans to successfully do just that.

Her explanation for not being present was medical treatment for her ongoing battle with Long COVID Syndrome.

Cotham’s lack of forethought with her actions strongly suggest she is incapable of fulfilling her job, as a Democrat or Republican. 

Her assertion she is receiving treatment for Long COVID Syndromebrings into focus the disorder itself, which has been reportedly proven to exhibit the following symptoms: tiredness or fatigue that interferes with daily life; physical or mental efforts causing a worsening of overall symptoms; difficulty thinking clearly or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”); depression and/or anxiety. 

After concerted efforts dedicated to progressive causes, why would she abruptly change her core principles and fundamental belief system, if not for a lack of clear and reasonable deductive capabilities?

Consider her explanation for switching parties as even further evidence: she claims she was chastised by “other” Democratic party members for using “prayer hand and American flag emojis.” 

No one has stepped forward to claim responsibility for her accusations and Cotham’s claims seem clumsy, not clearly thought out and almost child-like. 

Why should someone else’s misguided and seemingly unimportant opinion about Cotham’s emoji choice prompt her to completely jump ship for progressive causes, and at such a key moment in history when it could have the worst possible impact?

That raises an important question: is she exhibiting symptoms that point to rash decisions, danger to our state and a strongly lessened ability to do the job she was elected for?

There’s another possibility: is she suffering from a lack of clarity because of the impact of COVID, and did the Republican Party take advantage of that opportunity to exert moore influence on her in a manner that allowed the GOP to create their supermajority?

Rumors are already beginning to swirl.

Whatever the case, to maintain her own well-being, many in the community at large feel Cotham should resign and focus on her own health and personal issues, lest the state become unintentionally victimized by her unpredictable and chaotic actions.

David Aaron Moore

David Aaron Moore is a former editor of Qnotes, serving in the role from 2003 to 2007. He is currently the senior content editor and a regularly contributing writer for Qnotes. Moore is a native of North...

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