By hoop or dupe, you will be made to care.
Regardless of what side of the House Bill 2 (HB2) debate you fall on, put that aside for a minute. This is not about the actual bill (which, for the record I thought was a horrible idea from the get go). This is about how this whole fiasco was plotted out and continues to be carried out, by a group of people, not to “protect” anyone, but solely for political gain. This is yet another example of people that are supposed to be doing what is right for constituents, doing the exact opposite, for no other reason than getting the butts that they like in the seats they want. So, before you start feverishly telling me how Republicans want to put the gays back in the closet or how the Democrats want to force everyone to be gay…hear me out. This discussion is not about the bill, but about how we got here and what you need to do about it.
As some background, let’s go over the timeline real quick like…In early ’16 the City of Charlotte decided they were going to pass an ordinance. The State legislature and Governor (who in case you didn’t know spent quite some time sitting in the Mayoral seat of Charlotte) caught wind of Charlotte’s intentions and decided to reach out to City leadership. In fact Governor McCrory called Mayor Roberts to inform her that, as per the North Carolina Constitution, Charlotte did not have the ability to pass this type of ordnance. During this call Governor McCrory and Mayor Roberts had a very constructive conversation about the proposed ordinance, pig pickins, and the Dillon Rule. Just kidding. Mayor Roberts, reportedly abruptly hung up on Governor McCrory and then went full steam ahead with the train wreck that we North Carolinians are a part of today. After Charlotte passed the ordinance, the legislature debated about how to respond. They decided to call themselves back in to session in order to pass a bill to nullify the unconstitutional actions of Charlotte. While in session they wrote and passed HB2. Then bovine excrement started to hit the fan, people started freaking out, the sky started falling, and even our pet’s heads were falling off (ok, maybe just the first one).
That is the basic timeline, but let’s rewind a little before that. In a very contentious election cycle, it looked like NC Republicans were going to be able to hold what they had. As one could assume, that did not sit well with NC Democrats or the DNC. But, what could they do? Well, they needed a controversy. So the NCDP, Charlotte Officials, Roy Cooper (current NC AG and candidate for Governor), DNC, and others got to conspirin’. Please note that I cannot say that this is exactly how this all played out or that I have my events in the correct order, but through leaked emails, history, and common sense, it is pretty easy to piece together what really happened. So, here is my semi-educated opinion of how this all went down in addition to the timeline I wrote out above…Seeing their chances at returning North Carolina to Democrats slip away, Democrat leadership pushed Charlotte to pass the ordinance, because they believed that the ordinance would result in Republicans acting foolishly and in turn return control of at least the Governor’s mansion to them. Knowing full well that the ordinance went against NC law, Democrats pushed a very willing Charlotte to act as bait to lure in the GOP. The risks they took were that 1. The GOP would act smartly and only go the legal route (which they should have done, in my not so humble opinion) and 2. That people wouldn’t care enough. Well the GOP went after the cheese, but the trap only snapped down on their collective tail. They were still alive and after the initial uproar, it was evident that the vast majority of people didn’t care enough. But, as often happens the NCDP, DNC, and Roy Cooper decided that the citizenry would be made to care. So, behind the scenes Ol’ Roy and company were corresponding with businesses to push them to make it hurt. A few companies played their part in this dirty little game, so did washed up artists like Boston and a bunch of people that I have never heard of. People started caring again! But, Americans will be Americans. The short attention span resulted in dwindling levels of outrage, McCrory and GOP polling numbers started rebounding and it was back to the well for the Democrats. So, the Democrats, yet again worked behind the scenes to inflict pain on the hearts and wallets of North Carolinians. The NCAA (probably one of the most hypocritical organizations in existence) kowtowed to the pleas of the Democrats and took away sporting events. Then the ACC followed suit (there is also a Carolina blue link between the ACC commish and Cooper, but we will leave that Tar Heel conspiracy for another day). In the land of Michael Jordan, Jimmy V, and Dean Smith, you don’t get round ball taken away without repercussions. People were/are pissed. What started as an ordinance written by a convicted sex offender in Charlotte, NC, was now world news. The plan was working. North Carolinians be damned; Democrats need control. The ends justify the means.
To these actions, I call BS. I scream BS. You should be just as outraged. Before you respond with, “well Republicans are to blame!” or “Republicans do it too!”, please take a deep breath and stop. I am patently against any elected official doing anything that harms the citizenry, with the sole purpose of winning elections. Period. Full stop. While reports of economic impact have been widely over inflated (never trust an economic impact “study”), the state has been negatively impacted by this chain of events. The state will continue face negative impacts from this whole Charlie Foxtrot, until it is resolved. The Democrats are not only ok with that, they are actively pushing for it to continue. The Governor and Legislature had the votes to repeal the bill if Charlotte would repeal their ordinance, as per multiple news sources and conversations that I have had with legislature members. According to news sources, Charlotte’s city council was leaning towards playing along until NC Democrats pushed them to stay the course. Why? Because they wanted HB2 to remain in play. They wanted a pissed off citizenry. They wanted people to still be feeling the squeeze, because all of those things increase the chances of their own reelections and picking up important seats at the table. Forgive my French, but that is utter bull shit. If you aren’t pissed off about how you are being manipulated, well, bless your heart. For those of you that have a pulse and more than two brain cells to rub together, this should be a party agnostic issue. This shouldn’t be red or blue outrage; this should be purple outrage.
As I said, I was against how the GOP handled this. I am, yet again infuriated by their lack of foresight (some Sun Tzu would do them well). I have held that opinion from the very beginning. And unlike many people I do not live in an echo chamber, I have friends that span the spectrum of politics. I also believe that if the shoe were on the other foot, I would be as outraged at Republicans if they were carrying out an abomination like this. I would like to believe that you too are able to take a step back and take a look at this situation, void of party affiliation, or opinion on the actual bill at hand. Why? Because we continue to get manipulated by politicians, whose only aim is to increase their ability to gain power. They continually use us as emotionally driven and uneducated (meaning uneducated on the issues, not just in schoolin’) pawns to serve their selfish purposes. WE let them. Hell, WE encourage it many times. WE, not just Republicans or Democrats or Libertarians have to end the cycle. When Republicans pushed the idea that gay marriage would lead to bestiality or polygamy! WE should have stood up and said “No!” When a certain President’s administration wanted to make it hurt in order to curry favor of the plebes by shutting down open air memorials unnecessarily and placing the blame on the opposition, WE should have said “No more!” When politicians and the media spread outright lies as if they were fact to increase their chances of expanding their “kingdoms”, WE have to say “Absolutely, no more!”
While this specific example is about the actions of one specific party, the overarching issue should not be partisan and our response should be bi-partisan. But, until WE as a citizenry decide that enough is enough and WE as a people decide that politicians and pundits will no longer get a free pass and stand up as one against them…WE will continue to feel the pain. WE will enable this despicable cycle to continue. WE will continue to feed the beast. And WE will be made to care.
So, instead of allowing yourself to be manipulated, try and look behind the curtain. Question the motives. Fight back. Don’t fall prey to the belief that, no matter what, the ends justify the means as long as it helps your “team.” We are better than this…at least I would like to believe that we are.