Libertarians Call HB2 Controversy a Hobgoblin
by Chris Dooley
H.L. Mencken once warned that "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
You can see this tactic at work in the faux controversy over House Bill 2. The Charlotte city council created a problem out of nothing by requiring all businesses to allow anyone to use the restroom of their "gender identity."
I'm 99.9 percent certain that transgender folks were already using the restroom they were the most comfortable using. However, Charlotte's city council felt compelled to do some unnecessary virtue signaling. They insisted on using the force of law to officially sanction behavior transgender folks were already doing.
So they imposed their idea of no-labels restrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms utopia on businesses that didn't ask for it. In their eagerness to show how enlightened the Charlotte council either didn't consider – or deliberately ignored – the social and political consequences.
Not to be outdone when it comes to social engineering, Republicans in the General Assembly jumped in with their own nonsensical two sense (sic). The GOP rammed House Bill 2 through the legislature to impose their counter-version of which bathroom, locker room, etc. a person could use into state law, and what biological equipment a person needs to use it.
Now the U.S. Justice Department has joined the scrum with a creative interpretation of federal law. They gave North Carolina an ultimatum to either rescind HB 2 or face the loss millions of dollars in federal funds. The governor sued the DOJ, the DOJ counter-sued, and so it goes.
Sadly, neither side in this parody of politics is willing, or seems able, to sit down with the other side and talk. Both sides won't even acknowledging any of the other side's arguments or concerns might be legitimate. They'd rather demonize their opponents by calling them “perverts” or “haters.
Meanwhile, there's a state budget to work on, both the June Congressional primary and November election are in doubt because federal courts haven't ruled on the legitimacy of gerrymandered Congressional and legislative districts, and the state government is still trying to figure out how to clean up major coal ash spills from two years ago.
But, hey, let's all talk about who can use which bathroom.
If Charlotte had just tended to matters that are actually important to the city's operation we could have all been spared this nonsense.
HB 2 shouldn't be called the Hate Bill, or the Head Bill. It should properly be labeled the Hobgoblin Bill.
Chris Dooley is an at-large member of the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina. He lives in China Grove.
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