To reasonable Americans, it would appear that the backlash over North Carolina's HB2 legislation is the reaction to an egregious injustice. The "bathroom bill" is a far-reaching piece of legislation that denies basic rights to LGBT individuals. The boycotts from companies and entertainers are part of a collective outrage over the unfairness and violation of equality.
North Carolina governor Pat McCrory sees it differently. He believes the response to HB2 is a diabolical, left-wing, "Orwellian" plot to unseat him from the governor's office. It is all about him, not about justice. "You've got to be politically naïve if you think this is not coordinated by a very effective - a very effective - group," he told the New York Times this week.
Many people think that Governor McCrory is delusional and egomaniacal, that he is blind to the fact that his promotion of this bill has been the cause of his state's woes. But those people are wrong! I cannot keep silent any longer. There is a plot underway to ruin his bid for reelection and it has been orchestrated by ... me! I thought that Gov. McCrory would never detect the grand scheme against him, but he is just too brilliant.
It is time to come clean.
It all started when Bruce Springsteen agreed to have lunch with me. We huddled in my basement so no one would suspect the true nature of his visit. "Boss," I said, "Cancel your concert in North Carolina. Issue a statement about human rights being violated, yada yada yada. It will be our little secret that we really just want to get rid of the Republican governor of North Carolina." I had never met Mr. Springsteen before and found him to be surprisingly agreeable and most affable. While we lunched, Bryan Adams skyped in from Canada. He decided to cancel his concert in Mississippi to trick people into thinking that these celebrity boycotts were statements against inequality. We all had a good Orwellian laugh, knowing we had secretly started the ball rolling in our bid to foil Mr. McCrory.
From here, it was easy to get more celebrities to boycott the Tar Heel state. Ringo Starr, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas all followed suit. To shake things up, I enlisted one of my favorite performers, Cyndi Lauper, to try a different tactic. "Cyn," I said over a nice arugula salad, "You've been a longtime advocate of the LGBT community. Don't disappoint your fans. Keep your concert date but give the profits back to the community so they can pretend to fight HB2." We thought, at the time, that this would distract from our master plan to ruin Gov. McCrory. I had margaritas with Jimmy Buffett and he decided to do the same.
Getting businesses to join the cause took some effort. I could not possibly get all the CEOs of all these companies to have lunch in my basement, so I had to go out to each company door-to-door, Erin Brockovich-style. Ultimately, I got over 160 big-name companies to sign a letter calling for the repeal of HB2. Bank of America was the big "get" here, as they do much of their business in North Carolina. PayPal went ahead and canceled plans to expand into North Carolina, without any prompting!
One problem was arising at this point, however: Gov. McCrory was getting suspicious. While it appeared that these businesses were taking a stand against discrimination, the governor thought the effort was "well-coordinated" and that the outrage voiced in the letter was "more political theater than reality." How did he figure this out?
I kept focused and continued with my master plan. Next came the pulling of conventions and other big events from North Carolina. It worked! Millions of dollars of potential revenue were stopped with multiple convention cancelations. I started working with the NBA to get next year's All-Star game moved out of the state.
But all this planning came to a screeching halt this week when Governor McCrory made it clear that all of the boycotts, bans, and rebukes were not about HB2 but, rather, were part of an orchestrated effort to defeat his reelection bid. "The entire matter," he stated, has been orchestrated "to give Democrats an advantage in a tight governor's race."
Oh well. I must throw in the towel. It was all worth it, though. I got to have lunch with Bruce and Cyn. And some of the CEOs gave me some complimentary products from their companies.
Note: the above story is nonsense, a product of my overactive imagination.
Note: HB2 is nonsense. Belief that outrage over HB2 is an orchestrated effort to unseat a Republican governor is a product of Gov. McCrory's overactive imagination.