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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with James B. Hunt, October 3, 2001. Interview C-0332. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

The conservative movement reframed even liberal political ideologies

Hunt reviews his changing political stances between his first and third terms as governor. In 1977, he viewed the government as a solution to people's problems. By 1993, however, Hunt viewed the private sector and churches as the remedy to social ills. Embedded in Hunt's reassessment is the impact that the conservative movement had on tempering Democrats' liberal agenda.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with James B. Hunt, October 3, 2001. Interview C-0332. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JACK FLEER:
Did you have any different thoughts in '93 when you became governor for the third time so to speak?
JAMES B. HUNT:
Yes, I did. I saw whereas in '77 I would've seen government as having great potential to help deal with people's problems. By working through that eight years and eight years in the private sector, I came to see that the solution lies not just in government but in a lot of kinds of activities on the part of people. I had a far greater appreciation for the power of the private sector, the churches. That's what I saw. Unlike most Democrats, I favor Bush's faith-based initiatives.
JACK FLEER:
Faith-based initiatives.
JAMES B. HUNT:
I, like a lot of Democrats believed in personal responsibility and pushed welfare reform. We have one of the most successful programs in the country. I believe that we can get a lot of people to volunteer. I did it for sixteen years and set up a whole state approach and gave out ten thousand awards to people who have been outstanding volunteers and got the Governor's Award. I saw the governor more not so much as the head of the government as I saw the governor as the leader of the people and especially the vitality and the enormous potential in the private sector. Smart Start is organized in exactly along those lines.