By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
March 9, 2023
Governor Roy Cooper delivered before a joint meeting of House and Senate members of the General Assembly his last biennial State of the State address, Monday night. The State’s constitution bars Cooper from running for Governor a third time.
WUNC’s Capitol Bureau Chief, Colin Campbell, explained during an interview by Marshall Terry of WFAE that the speech “was sort of a pragmatic final speech for the governor recognizing that he’s going to have weakened political power this year with Democrats holding fewer seats….”
Campbell added, “Obviously, Republicans have pretty close to a veto-proof majority in both chambers, which will mean Cooper has limited bargaining. So what you didn’t hear from Cooper was any sort of major-scale policy proposals. It was largely a recap of a lot of themes we’ve heard before and a lot of sort of playing defense for what the legislature is going to do and his views on some of the hot-button issues that they’re likely to take up that are likely headed to a veto on the Governor’s part.”
Regarding some of those “hot-button” issues which the Governor implied would likely receive his veto, Cooper instructed:
“Use public schools to build a brighter future, not to bully and marginalize LGBTQ students. Don’t make teachers re-write history. Keep the freedom to vote within reach for every eligible voter. Leave the decisions about reproductive health care to women and their doctors.”
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, took umbrage with the Governor’s speech, especially his comments about “culture wars,” and issued the following response:
I think comedian Milton Berle said, ‘Hypocrisy is okay if you can pass it off as politeness.’ Polite was the tone of the Governor’s State of the state speech. Still, his remarks were peppered with rank hypocrisy, especially his admonitions for Republicans to avoid the culture war issues.
Governor Cooper’s remarks lauded all the economic progress made by North Carolina in the last six years. Look what we have accomplished together, he said in so many words. His speech reminded me of what Ronald Reagan said about the Democrats after their National Convention in 1992. The former President, then a private citizen, said in his speech at the National Republican Convention the same year that he had listened to the Democrats talk about all ‘we’ accomplished. Reagan said he ‘couldn’t help wondering who exactly they mean by ‘we’?
Republican majorities have worked to make our great State one of the best places for business in the country while the Governor and his Democratic colleagues smeared, resisted, and fought them every step of the way.
As Senator Phil Berger said in a statement recently, ‘For the past six years, he [Governor Cooper] has pushed for radical left-wing legislation that would hurt your families. If given the chance, Governor Cooper would go on a spending spree with your money. The Republican-controlled legislature has been your shield against him.’
I’m not saying these things as a political partisan but as a truth-teller.
The Governor then challenged the Republican majority to stay away from the ‘culture wars,’ throwing HB 2 in their faces and arguing that the so-called ‘bathroom bill,’ partially repealed (not fully repealed as he said), had been bad for business. Therefore, suggesting Republicans should learn their lesson and stay away from culture war issues, lest they once again risk injuring the economy.
Unfortunately, HB 2 is still the paper boogeyman that makes some Republicans tremble or hang their heads in unnecessary shame and embarrassment.
But if we look carefully at North Carolina’s economy between March 2016 and March 2017, when the law was in effect, we discover a different story. According to a report by the State’s Fiscal Research Division, North Carolina’s gross state product continued to grow steadily as it had since 2012, when the State recovered from the Great Recession. Industry employment continued to rise at the same rate.
Moreover, according to Site Selection Magazine, North Carolina tied with Texas as the best place to locate a new business. CEO Magazine rated the State as the third best place in the nation to do business. Also, two months after HB2 took effect, the Tax Foundation elevated North Carolina from 44th to ninth place in a favorable tax climate. That same year the American Legislative Exchange Council praised the State for its Economic Outlook, bumping its rank from eighth to second.
HB 2, bad for business? Culture wars, bad for business? It’s a bald-faced lie, a bullying tactic the Governor and other leftists have used to ad-nauseum, and it’s about time everybody caught on.
No sooner had the Governor admonished Republicans to “keep off the front line of those culture wars,” he started lobbing culture war grenades at them:
In other words, it’s not front-line culture wars if you believe teachers and public school administrators should have all the power over our children and parental empowerment is not fundamental to a child’s successful education. It’s not a culture war issue if parents have no problem with their children being instructed on gender identity, sexual activity, and sexuality as early as kindergarten through fourth grade. It’s not a culture war issue if you believe the public schools should create, share and store our children’s biometric data, blood, DNA, and video or voice recordings without parental consent. It’s not a culture war matter if children are taught Critical Race Theory (CRT), an approach to history that sees everyone and every historical event through the lens of race – an erroneous teaching that pits Americans against each other and contends the Civil Rights movement provided only ‘token’ solutions to racism. It’s not a culture war issue if you aren’t concerned about the integrity of the vote. It’s not a culture war issue if you don’t believe it’s grossly immoral to destroy the life of a helpless, vulnerable unborn child in the womb for any reason.
It’s only a culture war issue if you oppose these things. Rejecting these warped, sick, and extremist values makes you a culture warrior and a danger. How dare anyone! Can’t you see, it isn’t good for business? People must understand that our lives consist wholly in the things we possess. Stop the culture wars! Never mind that we leftists started these culture wars. You stop it! Give up! Roll over! Cave to the pressure! It’s the economy, stupid!
How long, O Lord? How long will you tolerate those who speak softly but whose mouths are full of lies, from which darts and arrows fly? May your light shine in the darkest places, and do not allow pretenders to hide what they do. Make us wise to their ways, and forgive us for not loving the truth supremely.