I am a Democrat running for the NC House of Representatives. I am 24 and a graduate of the University of North Carolina.

My Proof: This (Do a Ctrl+F search for "Parrish.") Also, this. Maybe this too.

Edit: My FB Page! 2nd Edit: Inquistr reported on this!

Comments: 290 • Responses: 92  • Date: 

Marylandman10145 karma

Why did you not only not include your name in the title, but not even in the bio?

JoeParrish43 karma

I feel like doing that works better if you have some name recognition.

Also, my username is my name, so I kind of don't need to.

Wierd_Carissa21 karma

Which of your views differs most from the general views of the Democratic Party?

JoeParrish56 karma

That's a tough one, but probably my favorite question yet.

I think my views on race relations are different. Most Republicans seem to deny racism is around anymore, and Democrats primarily seem to think that there is still a lot of racism left over from the Jim Crowe days.

I think there is racism, but I don't think it's just the remainder of Jim Crowe. I think it corresponds specifically to socioeconomic class, namely because when this nation started its trajectory toward inequality, black Americans had largely not yet had ample time to rise from the lower-income tiers of society.

As such, black Americans have become the face of poverty, as have Latinos to an extent, and I think negative attitudes toward blacks and other minorities is an extension of this bizarre attitude of disdain Americans have toward the poor, not direct hatred of the race itself. That said, it's no less of a problem when people still get shot dead by the police.

Wierd_Carissa19 karma

I appreciated the candid answer! I think it's increasingly important to be literate on race issues and to be able to talk about them intelligently, so I appreciate you finding nuances in-between your views and what you feel are the prevailing views on race relations. I'm not sure that your views about poverty and race being intertwined are particularly out of character of the Democrat talking points, but I think it's a great point to bring up nevertheless.

JoeParrish10 karma

Perhaps it's not too out of the ordinary in the sense that both race issues and inequality are dominating the discussion right now for Democrats, but it seems like they are widely discussed as separate issues, when they are practically one in the same. That is my perception of it, anyway.

rakelllama1 karma

Also, I think that part of the reason the poor (which are often minorities especially in the south) get ignored is due to republican-corporate greed agendas in politics. Poor people have no get to break into this "you scratch my back I'll scratch yours" swinging door b/c corporations and political office, so they have no influence. Politics is mostly about money and influence these days, so they have no chance unless someone sticks up for them.

JoeParrish1 karma

There are many reasons why the poor get ignored, and this is a big one right here, for sure.

getfkncrunk17 karma

What do you feel your biggest challenge is going into the race?

JoeParrish24 karma

Well, I am challenging an incumbent Republican. Having the seat already is pretty handy for him. Also, I am young and not altogether well known. He also probably has better ties to donors, and that is probably the big one right there.

BlueFire1911 karma

What is the most pressing issue facing your state? And the United States as a whole?

JoeParrish15 karma

I think something hitting North Carolina pretty hard is a failure in our education system. Since the Republicans took over, they have worked pretty hard to gut it. We won't stay competitive, and we will only be creating more criminals instead of citizens, if we continue to neglect education.

Wages and the rights of workers are also, I feel, a large issue, not just for NC but for all of America. We need to address these in order to tackle and reduce the gross amount of income inequality in this country.

enzideout9 karma

I grew up in a more rural part of NC and went to public school while it was under control of Democrats. There wasn't as much education as there was learning to pass tests.

There are so many kids that don't want to learn that it actually hinders those that do (even in Honors and AP classes). How would you go about changing the school environment to help those that do want to actually learn?

JoeParrish5 karma

We need to move away from just writing in answers on tests. We need to reimagine what it means to gauge the intelligence and development of our students. I think the way to do this is largely experimental still, and there are a lot of ways to do it.

One thing that has stood out to me is growth focus. Teachers who portray learning the material as a way to grow instead of a chore to be done, going even so far as to show how our brain functions improve when we are actively learning, show better student performance. The actual psychology behind a child's mind needs to be more of a focus in our teaching methods, just generally speaking.

cortex1125 karma

Why do you think in order to to stop a failure, putting more money into it instead of auditing the money's effectiveness is the solution?

JoeParrish3 karma

Because I think failure is pretty patently due to lack of funding. When teachers complain about running out of something as basic as paper on what seems a shockingly regular basis, I think that more or less proves where the problem lies.

professorbooty112 karma

It is pretty ridiculous that running out of paper happens at any school. Why not cut back on the enormous administrative positions within school districts or the ridiculous pensions attached to them?

JoeParrish1 karma

I think making the administration more efficient, in any area of government, is seldom a method people think to try. Seems like they always want to force a magic solution out of the people at the frontlines, which is ridiculous. It's worth trying, but ultimately we need to understand that helping the taxpayer and helping students in the classroom, while both are important parts of education policy, are different goals.

BlueFire192 karma

I like that answer. I'm a pretty liberal guy. Good luck with your future political career.

JoeParrish1 karma


psychyourmind-5 karma

This is complete nonsense in every way, but an expected response from a 24 year old.

This is the common chorus of all democrats in North Carolina, because they had controlled the congress for so long in this state. Now that another party is in power, EVERYTHING they do is a "failure" or "gutting" this or that institution. It is a typical response from crybabies who were once in power and now aren't- sort of "derpishness" for lack of a better term.

Using specifics, tell me how Republicans "have worked pretty hard to gut it." Many state Republicans are getting wise not to simply throw fistfuls of money at a gargantuan, outdated institution that was broken long, long, long before any Republican takeover.

And what a disgusting comment about the students of North Carolina- creating more "criminals in instead of citizens". Your hyperbole is offensive, and your reasoning is infantile. Republicans in power, according to you, create more criminals. That is ridiculous. Here is the very first page in my search for how crime rates have dropped in NC year over year for many, many years:


SAT scores of NC students have been steadily declining for years- well before Republicans took control, and there was even a rise in SAT averages from 2013-2014 when Republicans got into power. Not to mention the state has the highest graduation rate it ever has had. http://www.ncpublicschools.org/newsroom/news/2014-15/20141007-01 http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article33723054.html

You are ill informed, but will probably be a great politician. You already know how to speak without knowing what you are talking about in public in a way that makes you seem like you know what you are talking about.

Your enthusiasm is compelling, but please turn your idealism into critical thinking and stop towing the Democrat party line.

EDIT: And the best way to tackle income inequality in this country is to teach people that no one owes them anything, to get over "micro-aggressions" without giving second thoughts, and to go make something of their lives. No one is holding you back. No one is trying to stop you. Your race, ethnicity, religion, sex don't matter. if you want something go get it and don't blame this person or that person when/if it doesn't work out. Start over and try again.

JoeParrish20 karma

Not exactly asking me anything here, but maybe I can translate them into questions.

Did the Democrats of the 2000's let us down? I think so. I think, even under their tenure, they tended not to do enough for education. I attribute this mainly to the prominence of right-of-center Democrats in this state, who have often had a lot in common with Republicans on issues such as education.

Have the Republicans really hurt education? Absolutely. They have cut the budget everywhere, education included. This is a fact, and there are tangible results when cuts like that are made. TAs in elementary schools and school supplies have dropped. They've lazily been trying to promote charter schools, which can have wildly inconsistent success rates and don't give equal quality of education across the state. Also, how can you say that refusing to contribute to what you call "gargantuan, outdated institution that was broken long, long, long before any Republican takeover" isn't harmful to education? This is what I meant: neglect. Instead of turning their noses at it, Republican could be trying to reform our public schools, but they show little to no interest in that.

Is it true that crime rates have been dropping for years and not rising? Sure. I never said that we have more criminals or higher crime crates. I said that you create more when you neglect education. This is true even if, all other factors in the world counted, crime rates are going down. They would go down MORE, if we didn't neglect education.

Are SAT scores higher? Okay, they are. So what? SAT scores are widely criticized as an overrated measurement of student academic excellence. It often measures better one's skill at test-taking, and minorities more typically perform worse in test-taking. Test-based education in general has not been much cause for celebration, long before this election was up. I see no cause for bragging here.

I think you showed up to this AMA unusually angry and without much in the way of things to ask.

psychyourmind-23 karma

I just tried to show how your reasoning is infantile, but expected from a 24 year old, and I did with facts and documentation. You responded to me with emotion and odd reasoning that did not even speak to what I said for the most part in my comment.

Teachers have had the highest pay raise under republicans than they have had in years, TAs are crucial, and many (if not all-I dunno for sure but I do remember many of them were saved) of their jobs were saved in the processing of the most recent budget, and charter schools in many places outpace, outperform, and outshine regular public schools, though it is true that some have not done well- but I imagine there are many more ill-prepared traditional public school children in our state than charter (but I have no data to back that claim up). I am sure I could find some but that would feel a little confirmation bias-y at this point.

OK here is a specific question for you:

Should I move to your district and run against you, making sure you don't win?

JoeParrish9 karma

I have to wonder where I responded with emotion. You seem the only one initiating or responding with emotion here. Your choice of language strikes me as though we have known each other a while and that I have offended or wronged you.

Charter schools that outperform also have a tendency to be more segregated, which is something to be had in common with public schools before 1954. They also tend to lack resources for special education students. When they outperform, there is often a heavy cost, and it's not consistent. Schools all over the state need to perform not only at good levels but consistent levels, in order to ensure equal opportunity for our younger citizens.

You can run alright. It's a bit late to file, but I wouldn't mind you splitting the conservative vote for me.

JS-a95 karma

On the charter school subject: How is it remotely bad if a school outperforms? Shouldn't that set an example for other schools? To be specific, what is the "heavy cost?"

JoeParrish5 karma

It's a problem if outperforming means re-segregating our schools. It's a problem if outperforming means less resources of special needs students. How well do you think that will go in the long run? I don't trust it to end well at all. I think somewhere along the way people forgot that there is a reason why we have certain standards in school.

Plus, some charter schools fail drastically. Sure, the idea is that they can learn from better schools, but in the meantime, that is a whole community of students that we are letting down. That is unacceptable.

Venata3 karma

I see you and /u/psychyourmind going back and forth about the state of the education system as it is now. My wife works in the education system so this is hitting home. I will say I am not a democrat, but my mind is always open.

Not sure if you are still answering questions, but what would you do differently to change the education system for the better? If the changes require more money (Higher wages for teachers, better teaching equipment, etc.), how will you come up with the new funding? How will these changes (in theory) help raise the education system?

I always hear political leaders talk, but nothing really happens. Also, why is the lottery money not going to schools?

JoeParrish2 karma

One thing that would go a long way would be to stop using local property taxes as a driving source of funding for schools. This is why some public schools outperform others, to a large extent. We should raise the state income tax on our wealthiest citizens and use that to fund essentials such as education and do so equally across the state.

As I said to someone else, we need to compensate our teachers better, if we want to attract and retain talent. We also need to increase the amount of supplies available to schools. Supply shortages have been a problem for years and should not go on. I've heard so many times that teachers have to go out and buy their own supplies to have enough. They just not be indirectly punished like this for trying to do their jobs.

Are you asking why I would not want a lottery? I believe I explained that earlier to another respondent, but I'll reiterate. I think it is a poor tax, one that exploits the fears and desperation of our most needy citizens. We should shift the burden back to our wealthiest citizens instead, since they have benefit from the status quo, at the expense of millions.

iaalaughlin2 karma

Some people and some schools are better than others. Isn't that why people try to get into good colleges?

JoeParrish1 karma

Yes, but should it be like that, ideally speaking? That's what I am saying. People say you can't make the world perfect, but I think it's still useful to use the ideal as a guide.

jeepdave1 karma

So you want to take away a better education for some to give a mediocre education to all. Sounds pretty Democrat.

JoeParrish1 karma

Yes. Inequality is ultimately bad for everyone. Just look at the country right now. This should be a no-brainer.

justonemoreme-7 karma

You certainly seem to have liberalism down pat. All you can do is blame republicans. Instead of blaming, why don't you actually make realistic propositions? Thanks!

JoeParrish6 karma

I suggest you read through the rest of the AMA and see me explore the issues in a little more depth than that one comment of mine.

Gunny-Guy10 karma

Why didn't you specify which election in the title?

JoeParrish10 karma

I could have said the full "I am running for the North Carolina House of Representatives, District 002," but I wanted the title to be brief, and I thought I would just let people ask more specifics, since it's an AMA.

dubchem9 karma

Serious Question: What do you think is the worst part of getting involved in politics?

Less Serious Question: If you won the Powerball tonight, would you still be in the race tomorrow?

Best of luck to you, btw.

JoeParrish15 karma

The worst part? Fundraising. Money shouldn't be a part of the process like it is, and who likes to go around begging? Ugh.

Yes, and I would, and I would work to ban the lottery in NC. It's a tax on the desperate poor. The wealthy have rigged the system to avoid paying taxes while shifting the burden to working and middle class Americans. They should be the ones paying for investments in our future, like education, since they have gained the most from it.

Also, being a public servant is my life's dream. Money is not an issue. I would save enough to live well and donate the rest, if I won.

And thanks.

dubchem5 karma

You're right that money shouldn't be such a big part of the system. The framers tried their best to avoid the influence of money by making sure that people in congress were going to be taken care of for a long time after the end of their tenure and that there was some measure of transparency to the system. Even with the ridiculous changes to the system, like the advent of Super PAC's, we've reasserted this transparency through legislation. What do you think is the best way to address campaign finance reform and (as part of some post-mortem analysis) why won't it work?

I think that the lottery isn't great for the poor, but I don't think that we can look at it as preying on the poor and I think that your comment approaches that view. I think that you are very correct in asserting that the rich have shifted a great part of the tax burden on to the middle class, who are quickly becoming the working poor. Do you think that the best way to do this is similar to the way that Obama has framed it? He has made the statement "making sure that everyone is paying their fair share" stick in my mind since he took office.

JoeParrish3 karma

Well, I think if the framers REALLY wanted to avoid the influence of money, they wouldn't have limited the vote to white, male property owners who would have had all the money, but I digress. I think the only reasonably fair way to reform is for all campaigns to be strictly publicly funded and to reduce campaign periods. People should not spend two full years campaigning for President. This, I think, would allow smaller but equally competent names to work their way into the system, who wouldn't otherwise have the resources or connections. Democracy isn't just about having as many people voting as possible. You need to maximize the potential for new candidates as well.

Maybe it is not intentionally preying on the poor like other forms of taxation, but I think that has become the reality of it. If we did not have a poverty problem in this country, I could support it, but I do not like it when we have so many poor who are desperate and end up wasting money on that. Any policy that plays on our most desperate impulses is a bad policy, in my opinion.

dubchem6 karma

You know very well why white, male property owners were the ones with most of the privileges and the idea of why they had money is a chicken and egg argument. I agree with both of your ideas of the best ways to get the money out. I just know that there is some "idea fatigue" around that concept where people think that the fact that we've been hearing about it for so long that it starts to degrade in novelty and perceived worth. I think we both know that the lottery is a pretty low priority in terms of the issues that need to be addressed in this country. Addressing the reason for that desperation is a much more complicated nigh impossible important priority. Payday lending, bail policy, credit card interest rate jacking, TUITION. These are all things that lead to desperation.

JoeParrish3 karma

True, though I wouldn't take my view of the lottery as something that is central to my campaign, hence my earlier remark that I would feel better about it if we didn't have a poverty problem in the first place (i.e. we addressed some of the issues that you listed).

Also, I am sure there was idea fatigue around integration and women's suffrage at the time, as we had to push for those for decades. We shouldn't give up on good ideas just because it takes a while for people to learn to love them, though. It's when we turn to worse ideas that men like Trump do so well in the polls.

RoboNinjaPirate2 karma

Why do you think that Democrats in NC pushed the Lottery through?

For the record, All 21 Republicans voted against it, But it won through complete support by Democrats.


JoeParrish0 karma

I suspect that Democrats supported it because they wanted to get funding for education, any funding, no matter the ultimate social repercussions. A fault among many Democrats for years has not be lack of policy ideas but their tendency to cave under pressure. This is one thing that I have always envied about the Republicans. They tend to stick to their guns.

I suspect that, if Republicans oppose it, it's because they view it as gambling, which goes against their Protestant ethic.

yoloGolf2 karma

They tend to stick to their guns.

I see what you did there.

In the face of unanimous disagreement, they stick to their guns.

When they're the minority, disregarding the voices of the American majority, they stick to their guns.

When shown hard data they are unequivocally wrong in their beliefs, they stick to their guns.

Not a very admirable character trait when you take it as far as they have.

JoeParrish0 karma

I agree that it can overdone by the GOP, but I do wish Democrats would come to the political fight with some cajones for a change. They back down too much.

DanteEstonia6 karma

Sanders or Hillary?

JoeParrish37 karma

Sanders, 100%

rakelllama5 karma

Have you posted in the r/SandersforPresident subreddit about this yet? Another guy running in PA that backs Bernie is posting about his candidacy for congress in there too.

JoeParrish2 karma

Not yet, but I will give it a go soon.

huge_ox6 karma

What's for dinner

How are you funding the campaign?

If you're successful for nominations to be the representative, will you do a shout out to reddit?

JoeParrish9 karma

Just realized I glided over your question about my funding. I'll answer it now.

As this is not a large office for which I am running, I will be relying a lot on individuals. That said, there are PACs that will help me, as well as the Democratic Party. The trick is not to accept money from people who want to tell me how to do the job after the election. They have to want to believe in the job that I, and not them, intend to do.

iaalaughlin2 karma

Or accept the money and stand up to them and tell them no after election.

JoeParrish1 karma

I could do that, but it's easier if you just don't take the money at the start.

JoeParrish5 karma

Just had breakfast for dinner as I prepared this thread: bacon, eggs, grits, and a Dr Pepper.

I suppose I could do a shoutout to Reddit, especially if the community shows an active interest in my potential victory. I guess that will depend on them, though.

killthealias5 karma

Which issue do you care about the most? Would you mind breaking it down and explaining your position?

JoeParrish7 karma

Income/wealth inequality.

I think it is both a problem in itself and the source of many other problems. More poverty results in more crime and violence. A lot of Americans worry about gun violence in this country, but imagine how much of it would go away if we simply protected our working class more? I think it would go miles farther than background checks.

As I explained to another respondent, I think it also exacerbates racial inequality, where it might otherwise not exist. It keeps minorities in a state of poverty, and they develop a stigma for being low-class. You can't end police brutality against minorities unless you actually give them real socioeconomic equality. Otherwise, police will continue to see them as street thugs in the way they do.

Our democracy also is in jeopardy when the divide between the classes gets too wide. It enables the wealthiest Americans to influence our statesmen more than the people who actually elect them. Even if we can have rare moments of genuine public service, inequality saps from our tax revenue potential and limits our ability to fund better programs.

It's the quintessential crisis in our country, income inequality.

RewindtheParadox2 karma

Our democracy also is in jeopardy when the divide between the classes gets too wide. It enables the wealthiest Americans to influence our statesmen more than the people who actually elect them.

How much corruption actually goes on, that you've witnessed, in terms of politicians developing policies favoring those that donated the most money?

JoeParrish1 karma

I can't say I have seen a lot of it myself. That said, I would look at Hillary, the support she gets from Wall Street, and bear in mind her friendlier stances toward the banks than Bernie Sanders's.

Shugbug19862 karma

What are some ways you'd help fight income inequality in your home state?

JoeParrish1 karma

Raise the state minimum wage (to $15.00/hour with adjustments to accommodate small businesses), raise the state income tax on our wealthiest citizens while cutting it for our poorest, make the state's education system service all of its students equally, and improve our infrastructure to keep our communities connected, to name a few.

random_thud4 karma

Why are you a democrat and not a republican?

JoeParrish8 karma

The Republicans have really gotten away from what made some of our finest presidents from their party (Lincoln, Teddy, and Eisenhower) so great. Eisenhower believed in investing our infrastructure and education as a solution for long-term growth, supported racial equality, and warned against the military-industrial complex. The GOP today seems averse to improving infrastructure or our education, has candidates spouting shockingly racist things in the presidential campaigns, and is very cozy with the military-industrial complex.

Not that being a Democrat is all that and a bag of chips. We are a much more ideologically diverse party than the Republicans. I meet a few that I don't like, but on the whole, I think the party has the right idea for our current troubles. I suspect that the Republican Party will evolve over the next decade, though, as extreme conservatism cost them the 2012 election. It should be interesting to see what kind of party they become.

rodrun3 karma

What do you think about teacher salaries here in NC?

JoeParrish3 karma

They need to be improved. Some people think we need to run schools according to market forces, hence charter schools. I say, if you want a market-based solution, pay public school teachers more. Attract that extra talent from the private sector. Teachers may not always be in it for the money, but they are not invincible. They need financial security, and we owe it to the people who prepare our children for the future to make sure that they can pay their bills and retire safely.

RoboNinjaPirate2 karma

A Government Monopoly is NOT a market based solution.

Why are you so opposed to school choice for NC families?

JoeParrish1 karma

Even public programs can introduce market mechanisms or compete against the private sector, hence my suggestion to raise salaries for teachers.

Considering the tendency of charter schools toward re-segregation and their wild track record, they do not strike me as reliable. I think people have this tendency to assume that introducing as many market-based mechanisms as possible will make a more efficient result, but the truth of that depends largely on how susceptible the product is to innovation and what the social consequences are. Charter schools do not suggest higher levels of performance, and they have negative externalities (such as re-segregation) that make me question their use.

maninthearena403 karma

How have your educational background and previous experiences prepared you to run at a younger age than most other candidates, and what advice would you have to a college freshman interested in pursuing a career in politics?

JoeParrish3 karma

I studied political science, have volunteered with the Democratic Party for years, and was in the National Guard and my university's Army ROTC program. I think these things collectively have given me the knowledge, discipline, and decision-making skills needed for this kind of position.

I would advise that you find local political groups, like the local chapter of your party, and be active in them. Show up to meetings and events. Show an interest in holding leadership. Develop relationships with people in the party and people currently holding office. Don't just be a cog in a machine either. Discuss the issues. Show that you have ideas. You need to be a thinker and a doer.

And be nice. Some people deserve to be called mean names, but humans are petty and generally don't care about whether or not they deserve things they do not like.

aymanz3 karma

Why don't you step aside and let Donald Trump purify America? We really need to get those damn Mexicans out of our borders and deport them back to wherever they came from. Oh yeah, all muslims are terrorists so they need to be banned from America. They are a threat to our national safety.

JoeParrish2 karma


ChunkyYetFunky693 karma

Dogs or cats?

JoeParrish16 karma

Dogs. They are man's best friend.

diekapteinvandiepoes2 karma

do you think you can stump the trump?

JoeParrish1 karma

Sure, why not?

pac_blood2 karma

Do you think politics are like Veep or House of Cards?

JoeParrish7 karma

House of Cards, I think, pushes politics to its most extreme possibilities in terms of how powers are used. I doubt actual politicians commit murder like Frank Underwood does. I also doubt that someone like Frank would be so successful. In his show, no one else really seems to be able to outsmart him. He always hatches the more intelligent plan in the end. I think, in real life, you have enough intelligent statesmen to keep each other in balance, even if a lot of them can seem stupid.

maketheturn2 karma

Have to say from your answers, you seem to understand the issues as more than just talking points and I definitely appreciate that in a candidate. Also coming to reddit takes some guts for sure.

My question is do you have a nominee for president that you support and if so why?

JoeParrish3 karma

Thanks for that!

I support Bernie Sanders. While Hillary Clinton is no doubt a competent person and would make a good president, Bernie has just as much to bring to the table in experience and ultimately has the best solutions to income inequality and social justice. He wants to bring back Glass-Steagall and bust up the big banks. Hillary does not. This is a fairly major difference here. Hillary will essentially preserve the financial status quo, if she refuses to bust up the banks. We cannot continue to have institutions that are too big to fail. It caused the 2008 Financial Crisis. It will happen again, unless we reform.

maketheturn1 karma

Thank you for your reply! Nice to see someone making the effort for actual community outreach even though many of us aren't in your immediate area.

JoeParrish1 karma

Well, my office will affect the whole state of NC, so I still feel somewhat accountable to millions, even though they won't be able to vote for me.

thebig010001002 karma

Do you think Trump is an intelligent man? Do you think our culture would allow the same successful prison system in Nordic countries to be implemented here? What are the biggest problems in your opinion that come from the southern culture of NC, SC, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee?

JoeParrish3 karma

I do think he is an intelligent man. I would contend how well he applies his intelligence for genuinely productive purposes, whether as a businessman or a politician, but he is certainly no fool. He has had a cunning PR strategy in this primary race and poll numbers to prove the effectiveness of that strategy.

I think America has every bit as much potential to implement prison systems and other programs found in Nordic countries with success. I think the only barrier is getting people to understand that socialism exists on a spectrum and is not only and always the Soviet Union or North Korea. It can be Norway or even the UK.

I think religiosity is the largest cultural problem here in the South. I think religion seeping into politics leads to bad policies. More so, I think it is a convenient tool for dishonest statesmen to seem more moral than they are. They just need to pray a bit and close each speech with "God Bless," and that does it for some people. As such, I am not going to pander to religious sentiments and will reserve my religion to my own private life.

narutouz2 karma

What are your thoughts on teacher and police unions? Do you feel public sector unions can efficiently negotiate with the government.

JoeParrish2 karma

I think mine is fairly irregular as a Democrat. I kind of wonder why you would have unions in the public sector. They seem to be better suited toward private sector endeavors, which is where they are lacking and needed more. That said, we can't leave our teachers hanging financially. Ideally, we would compensate teachers well without having a potentially obstructive union. The same goes for police and other such public sector unions.

average32 karma

Who do you side with more Hilary Clinton or Bernie Sanders?

JoeParrish2 karma

Bernie by a landslide.

Xxzzeerrtt2 karma

Serious question: If you met a super conservative on the bus or something, do you think you could secure his vote?

Follow up question: Do you prefer Waffles, or Pancakes?

JoeParrish1 karma

I think I could. For some reason, people seem afraid to talk to people who disagree with them. I think you should talk to these people first, if you have to give priority.

Pancakes, by a hair.

Xxzzeerrtt1 karma

I'm more of a Waffle person myself. You just can't beat that crunchy texture.

JoeParrish1 karma

Sometimes I am more in the mood for a waffle. I like the puffyness of pancakes, though.

Addprofile2 karma

Any conspiracy theories that you can confirm for us? If conspiracy theory sounds too far-fetched, anything that you see which the governing body is hiding from the 'regular' people?

JoeParrish3 karma

I mean, I think most of the nefarious stuff is pretty out in the open, but I may learn of some dark things once I am actually in office. Maybe I should keep you guys posted.

-_--_---_--_-2 karma


JoeParrish2 karma

I received complete training by the Army to be an officer. I've actually led groups of dozens of people. They should know I can lead because I have led. It's an absolute part of my skill set.

jeepdave1 karma

Why democrat?

JoeParrish1 karma

I trust the Republicans less. The Democrats are not perfect, but I would say 90% of our best statesmen are Democrats, and that is no accident. This party has the better ideas and sense of ethics in its approach to policy.

buckminster_fuller1 karma

what do you think of r/basicincome ?

JoeParrish2 karma

The idea of basic income is more novel to me than others, but I think there is a lot to be said for it. Having a guaranteed influx of money would reduce a lot of stress for low-income and working citizens. This money would get spent and help to stimulate the economy. It makes a lot of sense to try this in theory. If I could make NC a place to test it out, that would be great, but I don't think there is a chance of that any time soon.

peacefulending1 karma

What do you think about Bernie Sanders and if possible, him becoming the next president? I personally believe that the faith of modern America depends not on who we elect, but on the people itself who will have to change the system not from within as its resolutely off limits but from outside. Do you think that Sander's political stance is evocative of progressive America from the time of the "Tea Party movement"?

JoeParrish0 karma

I am a big fan of Bernie and think he would be just the president we need.

I think Sanders represents a similar frustration with the status quo as the Tea Party, although I think the Tea Party's rise was fueled largely by discomfort with having a black president with a foreign-sounding name.

ArcheAgeLegitPlayer1 karma

How long until you are corrupted by corporations lining your pockets with cash to look the other way or to push legislation that benefits them?

JoeParrish4 karma

Well, my mathematical theorem is not well published, but the calculation I get from it for when I should become corrupt seems to be 512 years, 8 months, 17 days, 3 hours, 32 minutes, and 22 seconds, with a margin of error of 2 days at 95% certainty level.

TreeDiagram1 karma

How did you become involved in politics? Was this your intention since starting college, and how did you come to decide on running for the House of Representatives? What did you major in/study while at UNC and what experience prior to running did you have? If I were interested in running as a democrat in my state at some point, what advice would you give? How are you planning to gain the notoriety necessary/ what outlets would you have? Any answers would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

JoeParrish1 karma

I decided to become involved when I was 14 due to my anger about the Iraq War, so this was my intention throughout high school and going into college. I studied political science at UNC. I have much experience with the Democratic Party. I was secretary and president of my county's chapter of the NC Teen Democrats during high school. I worked a bit with the Young Democrats at UNC, and I was a volunteer for Obama For America in the summer of 2012. I received military officer training during my time in the Guard and Army ROTC as well.

If you want to run as a Democrat in NC, I recommend running as a centrist. You can still get the liberal vote, and you should be able to chip away some of the conservative vote from the Republican candidate. This especially applies if your constituency is largely rural.

I plan to do extensive, door-to-door activities over the next year. In place like my area, that can be extremely effective. I also need to meet with big figures in the party and let them know I exist and that I am capable. You need to reach out to the people to get elected but to other party members and the like if you want to be able to set up good policy.

sugdn1 karma

How do you like the gerrymandering in NC? North Carolina's 12th, 4th, and 1st kill me every time I see them on a map.

It's a swing state, yet the Republican:Democrat ratio of its House reps is 9:4.

JoeParrish2 karma

I am mad that the Republicans did it, and I am mad that Democrats are also known to do it. Bi-partisan gerrymandering reform is essential. Even better, I would suggest making the House of Representatives a system based on something like Proportional Representation. This would eliminate the need to draw districts.

spectrumviewpoint1 karma


You ran unopposed in the democratic primary do you think this will matter when the actual election comes around?

Do you think the democrats in your district will support you even if they do not know who you are?

What kinds of things are you doing to help improve your name recognition?

JoeParrish1 karma

I think it makes it easier for me to "rally the base" in a sense during the springtime.

Yes, I do, except maybe the Dixiecrat variety.

Right now I am going to a lot of functions and meeting people. Tonight, I will be attending a Board of Education meeting, as an example. I also intend to go to neighborhoods and knock on doors. That's about as dramatic it gets at my level of politics.

gbojan741 karma

Hi Joe, I live in eastern Europe and in my country politicians see their occupation as just another job, something to bring food on the table, and a lot of them are changing parties regularly. If Republicans and Democrats in next 10-15 years diametrically change political stands, would you change party or you would fight for your beliefs from within?

JoeParrish2 karma

Both parties have gone through dramatic changes within the lifetimes of millions of Americans. Consequently, people's partisan alignments have changed. I have no reason to see myself as an exception to this pattern of behavior. The Democratic Party is only as worthy as the ideas it brings to the policy table. If the Republican Party can produce better ideas, I will become a Republican. I am not exactly holding my breath, certainly not for the near-future, but I guess we shall always see.

RonnieRobotPants1 karma

First of all, thank you very much for doing this! I'm not sure if you're still answering questions, but my questions are: What are your views on climate change? What, if anything, do you think should be done in North Carolina to address this issue, and how would you go about effecting change?

JoeParrish3 karma

Climate change poses a near-existential threat to human beings around the world. People laugh now, but when entire states or countries on the coast are swallowed up and millions of refugees are pouring in, they will feel the bitter taste of humility.

I am pleased to see some effort in developing energy for the future here in NC. Even in my rural and notably conservative area, solar power has taken its first steps. We need to push for it more. The state should subsidize it and try to encourage fossil-fuel based energy companies to take on the transition. In Georgia, the companies are doing just that and trying to play a role in the production and installment of solar panel for individual homes.

sircharles111 karma

Hilary or Bernie?

JoeParrish5 karma

Bernie all the way.

physioz1 karma

What do you think about Trump doing so well in his campaign? Do you think he will win? What will happen next?

JoeParrish1 karma

I think he is exploiting fear and anger much in the same way as authoritarian figures of the 20s and 30s did. He is also an outsider to the political establishment, and people like that.

I would not be surprised if he got the Republican nomination. I do not think he will win the Presidency. He scares too many people. The Democrats will have the White House, if he is the nominee. I think they will have the White House, whoever the nominee is, simply because of how much the GOP has let Donald Trump influence their agenda and talking points.

kathleen651 karma

I am so happy to read this we need new young blood in politics!!!! Good luck to you from the west coast of the US!!!! How are you being treated there in NC? Is there a rise of progressives?

JoeParrish1 karma

Thanks. Treated well so far, but it is early in the election. We shall see how kind people are to me.

As the Triangle continues to develop and people from more Northern states fill our urban zones, I think NC is growing more progressive. That, and I think the native youth of the state are becoming increasingly progressive as they get ideas from the Internet and not just the specific way their parents try to raise them.

Roelof13371 karma

Are you Donald Trump?

JoeParrish2 karma


prettymuchamazing1 karma

If I vote for you, would you take a picture in a NC state wolfpack shirt?

JoeParrish1 karma

I could. It may surprise people that I do not have undying love and loyalty to our sports teams.

pigonawing1 karma

As a fellow Tarheel, Go Heels!

How do you feel about Margaret Spellings being appointed the new president of the UNC systems, or the Republican treatment of NC education in general?

JoeParrish1 karma

I don't like any of it. I am glad I finished at UNC before Spellings came along. The push to underfund or privatize everything is just aggravating.

It may interest you to know that I will be at UNC on Feb. 1 at the meeting of the Young Democrats. I will probably also be there earlier in the day as well. Hit me up.

Arkesios1 karma

How do you feel about our blue laws? Is there any chance I'll ever be able to order a bloody mary at an early brunch on Sunday?

Even aside from the obvious church-state separation/anti-establishment clause arguments one could make, it seems like the economic loss to the food and entertainment industries would be enough of a reason to get rid of these antiquated laws.

JoeParrish2 karma

I would agree that blue laws are unfair and were implemented for bad reasons, but as someone who has never drunk alcohol and has a highly negative view of the stuff, don't expect it to be high on my to-do list. I have bigger interests than that.

average31 karma

Would you ever consider running for president?

JoeParrish1 karma

Why not? Inevitably someone has to, and I would be a hell of a lot better now than George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan on their best days.

forava71 karma

What convinced or made you to run for office? Does your age play a role in whether or not you get taken seriously?

JoeParrish1 karma

I decided to be involved in politics when I was 14 due to my outrage over the Iraq War.

My age might make me not be taken seriously with some, but it might help me in other ways. I am personally not too worried about it.

Tractionnapkin1 karma

I don't know if you're still reading this, but you've earned a vote. I think the system would be working better if more politicians would talk to the people on a level like this more often. Are you still reading this?

JoeParrish1 karma

Yes, I am still reading it, and thanks.

buckminster_fuller1 karma

whats gonna be of you if you dont win? Are you going to be employed in some kind of drudgery? I wonder what other options your career path has, as that seems a bit narrow

JoeParrish1 karma

I can always work on someone else's staff. There is more to this than just winning or losing.

ishabad1 karma

I hope to gain a career in politics after college and hopefully attending a T16 law school. However, my questions are quite simple. How do I get involved in the party now (currently phonebanking) for one of the campaigns? Secondly, do I start out small before pushing to become governor or a federal official? Even though BO served in the state senate and was a federal senator, it wasn't long before he hit the campaign trail.

JoeParrish1 karma

You can email a campaign, using information on their website, and they might write you back and include you in a conference call, which should tell you how to proceed next. You can't really be involved in a campaign through the party itself, as they can't take sides during the primary like that, unless the candidate is uncontested in the primary.

I would say that you should find an office that you can win and that you know you can do. This may include a county, city, or even a state office. If you can't do that, work for someone who is already in office, be it a mayor, a state legislator, a federal legislator, and so on. The key is to have a constant presence and to gain real experience on policy. Politics never sleeps.

ishabad1 karma

Seems fair enough. However, my first question, was towards, a general election campaign?

JoeParrish0 karma

Ah, well, if you contact the party they should have lots of options. Though, they usually prefer to service all the candidates together through their functions, in my experience. If you want to help a specific campaign, you need to talk to that campaign.

ishabad1 karma

Alright, I would love to volunteer during the upcoming presidential or congressional elections since I will be in college. On that topic, how often does a candidate w/o any degree get elected within your state?

JoeParrish0 karma

I would not know that as an exact figure, but I do not think it is altogether that common. Many are lawyers and businessmen and are well educated. In fact, considering the reputation of the three universities of the Triangle in NC, it really helps a candidate to be from one of those schools.

ishabad1 karma

Well, I plan on going to a CT, NY, Boston, or DC schools because well, let's just say that "I have big dreams".

JoeParrish0 karma

I would not fret too much about location. NC just has a weird culture about its universities.

ishabad1 karma

Should I worry about the university, it seems that many higher ups in the federal government have gone to top private schools?

JoeParrish-1 karma

Don't go to a school that you can't afford. My school is famously inexpensive. As long as you do well and get your degree, you should be fine.

anon01080 karma

why not get an honest job?

if you don't want to answer that, then tell me how you expect to make a difference when your role is essentially to promote your party? or do you believe that your party has the solutions to the entire country's problems?

and before anyone tells me i'm one of those GOP-conservatives i think the other party is doing the same thing only they're bought and paid for by a completely different bunch of people with money.

JoeParrish3 karma

It's honest as long as I don't lie. Also, what's so great about any private sector job? I don't want to work for profit or for money. I want to work for my community, even if it means slowly starving to death.

I do believe in the party. I said elsewhere, though, that there are some Democrats that I do not like. I think problematic Democrats are inevitable in system where there are only two parties, even if the Democrats are the good ones when compared to the Republicans, but I still trust my party as the best one. Just look at the presidential debates. The Republicans are always racing to be the most racist, sexist, homophobic, and just generally prejudiced. The Democrats are talking more about issues and how to tackle real problems like inequality. I think the discourse that naturally emanates from each party says enough in itself.

anon01080 karma

here's your first problem:

"the Democrats are the good ones when compared to the Republicans"

both parties have campaign donors. the leadership of both parties are interested in keeping the money flowing from those campaign donors. the only differences between the 2 parties is the campaign donors they serve.

if the campaign donors where "we the people" that would be one thing.

the campaign donors to the Democratic/Republican party that have the most $$$ and get listened to are most definitely not "we the people"

"I don't want to work for profit or for money. I want to work for my community, even if it means slowly starving to death."

except you will be working for profit and money. if you rise in the ranks of your party you will profit, both monetarily and non monetarily. nobody has ever seen a homeless, starving politician.

unless you're gonna tell me you're gonna forgo your salary and benefits. then i might begin to believe you are different.

JoeParrish0 karma

I would also contend that Democrats serve better donors on average then. We traditionally get the support of social justice groups, labor, environmentalists, women's health, and so on. These are groups that have a specific aim of helping the people. You can't just look at all donors as one in the same. Let's also remember that we have our Republicans on the Supreme Court to thank for how much money has gotten into politics since Citizens United.

I intend to live modestly. I don't want a big house, and since I am not married and have no kids, I don't need much for myself at the moment.

anon01081 karma

you support groups that have money.

SJW helping people? SJW are the bigger part of the problem because they aren't interested in equality, they are interested in more equality for whatever group they represent.

labor. LOL. tell me how unions are helping people. go ahead. i'll wait.

it may be that the Republican appointees to the SC allowed big money in but i don't see the Democrats rejecting it

you intend to live modestly now. let's see where you're at if you get elected and lobbyists start waving money at you.

JoeParrish1 karma

Not talking about Social Justice Warriors. Social justice groups (like the NAACP) have been a thing long before the meme of the SJW.

The decline of unions, by no accident, has occurred during the rise of inequality. I would agree that they are no longer helping people because they've been snuffed out in large parts of the country. We need to bring them back.

Democrats can't just reject it, or they lose, and then the Republicans gain complete control and do even more things that the Democrats don't like. Not liking a rule in a game doesn't mean you are going to break it.

ayb880 karma

So what?

JoeParrish0 karma

I don't know. That's up to you.

The_Better_brother0 karma

You're 24. How are you this educated?

JoeParrish2 karma

Well, I went to a decent university. I read a lot of books on politics and economics in high school. I have also always frequented forums and sought discussion. People who disagree often have information that you didn't know was there, so I learn. I spend a lot of time pouring over Wikepedia, mainly for history, and look for common themes and methods practiced in different eras and countries.

I also assume that I will never finish being educated. There is always more that we don't know yet.

NaziMeComin-5 karma

Who do you think is going to vote for a 24 year old kid?

JoeParrish4 karma

Other young people, other Democrats, people who don't like the incumbent (they are quite a few), and anyone who who appreciates an aggressive and energetic approach to public service, which I would think applies to me.

I have always been widely respected in my community. Conservatives and liberals alike who have met me think very well of me. I just need to expand that to my entire district between now and November.