Have You Actually Read North Carolina’s Controversial Bathroom Law? Before You Get Mad, You Should

I’ve never heard so much talk about transgendered people in all my life. Although people say that we don’t know the actual number of transgendered people in American, generally the number is estimated at 700,000, or 0.3% of the US population. Like most Americans, I have met very few transgendered people in my life.

Lately everyone is talking about them because of bathrooms. Or, more to the point, which bathroom someone who has body parts of one sex should use if they identify as a member of the opposite sex. Things seem to have come to a head with North Carolina’s HB2 law. This law has caused businesses to pull out of the state. A few musicians are cancelling their concerts there. At least one movie won’t be released in North Carolina. And now presidential candidates are taking sides.

Depending on who you ask, the law is one of two things: It’s either a simple bill that prevents people born of one gender from being able to use the bathroom of another gender, or its a nefarious plot to stop all anti discrimination laws in the state and foster an environment of discrimination for LGBT people. There are lots of article on both sides. The right sees NC as a champion of conservative values. The left sees the law as a direct attack on LGBT people. There are a lot of opinions floating around out there.

But not a lot of people have actually read the law. Here’s a link to the text of the law. It’s 5 pages. If you’re concerned, you should read it.

Here’s the break down:

Title: Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act
Preamble: Says they have the authority and responsibility to enact laws like this.
Part 1: Describes in detail who can and cannot go into bathrooms and locker rooms.
Part 2: Some pork that doesn’t have much to do with the subject. Basically, the state government says they regulate labor in the state, and their rules supersede any local ones.
Part 3: I think this is the one that gives opponents the most concern. NC says that the state level discrimination laws supercede any and all laws at the local level. Ordinances and laws imposed in a city cannot be in conflict with NC state law. Goes on to reiterate ideas in Part 1 and lays out who will deal with complaints.
Part 4 & 5: Severability and date of enforcement.

That’s it.

So, some history. Charlotte’s city council had voted to approve a transgender bathroom ordinance. The state government quickly adopted HB2 to stop that ordinance from going into effect, and say that the state government has authority over these laws.

No hidden agenda. Just making it impossible for Charlotte or any NC city to pass laws allowing people who are biologically one sex into bathrooms or locker rooms for the opposite sex. And saying that this sort of decision is one that should be made at the state level.

The left says it’s discriminating against transgendered people. The right says it’s protecting people from those who would abuse the system. The left says that’s crazy, what’s the chances of that actually happening?

There’s actually a better even chance that the man in my daughter’s bathroom is a sex offender, not transgendered.

Remember, there are 700,000 transgendered people in America. As of 2015, there were over 843,000 registered sex offenders in the US. Just like LGBT people, there are many sex offenders we don’t know about. (No, I’m not equating being gay with being a sex offender, just acknowledging that there are people who belong to both groups but are not represented in these numbers.) From what we do know, there are more sex offenders than transgendered people. It’s actually more likely that the man in the women’s bathroom is a criminal than a man identifying as a woman. Because the number both groups is so small, it’s also not very likely anyone in my family will ever see someone of the opposite sex in their bathroom.

Which brings us to Part 3. The state government supersedes all local authority on this issue.

I know, right? How dare the state government believe it has authority over cities inside the state? And that laws it passes should take precedence over local ordinances?

I remember a few months ago something similar, on a federal level. An event where a federal branch of government enacted a law that superseded all state level laws. And now same sex marriage is legal in all 50 states. Of course the difference here is that the NC legislature is actually tasked with writing laws, while the US Supreme Court is not.

But fret not, members of the Left. There are avenues you can travel toward righting what you consider a terrible wrong. Unlike the “law” created by the Supreme Court regarding marriage, the people of North Carolina have a recourse to change HB2, if they wish to. They can vote out their officials and vote in people who will repeal it. If the people of NC want anti discrimination laws related to sexual identity and behavior, they can elect people who will pass those laws at the state level.

That’s how representative government works.

#NeverTrump vs #Trumpertantrum: 2016 General Election Concerns and Math

This weekend Ted Cruz swept all of the delegates in Colorado. This led to Donald Trump complaining that voters were being cheated, and that the whole system is corrupt, and rigged. He’s right. It is actually rigged, to favor the frontrunner. Even though Trump has won just 37% of the vote, he has claimed 45% of the delegates awarded, so far. That’s after Cruz swept Colorado. I find it odd that Trump’s campaign didn’t care about the delegate process in Colorado, which has been planned this way for a long time, until after he lost all delegates there. To be clear, Colorado Republicans did vote, just not the way the rest of America did. Frankly, this faux outrage is just sour grapes after Trump’s campaign made some major mistakes in the process there.

There are 16 states left in the GOP primary. Trump has secured 37% of the vote in the previous primaries. In order to win the nomination airtight, he must win 1237 delegates. There are 854 delegates remaining. Trump must win 494 to secure the nomination before the convention. Otherwise it’s a contested convention and many think Trump will not emerge the nominee.

But as we continue through this contentious primary, more and more people seem to be hinting that if Trump is not the nominee at the convention, they will walk from the GOP. That’s very similar to the #NeverTrump movement, who say that if Trump is the nominee, they will not vote for him. It looks like no matter what happens some group won’t support the GOP nominee. Whether it’s caused by a massive #trumpertantrum or people who are #nevertrump, it’s becoming clear that the eventual nominee won’t have the support of the entire GOP primary voting body.

That sounds bad. I’ve been #NeverTrump since before there was a hashtag. But this doesn’t look good for the general election: Either Trump’s gonna take his millions of voters and go home if the nomination is stolen from him or millions of #NeverTrump-ers will never vote for Trump if he is the nominee. How can we hope to win the general election.

Let’s look at the math.

#Trumpertantrum:

To date, Trump, who has earned just over 8 million votes so far, has just 13.3% of the number of votes that Romney earned in his failed bid, in the 2012 general election. 13.5% of what McCain received in 2008. Only 12.9% of what Bush received in 2004, where he won. 16% of Bush’s 2000 presidential win. (Where he lost the popular vote, but won the electoral college)

8 million votes is a big number, more than any other 2016 GOP primary candidate, so far. But that is a small percentage of the overall general election votes. And, if the GOP turnout continues to be as large as it has been in the primaries, we should see more GOP voters than the last several elections have seen. Frankly, most of them won’t care about the primary. I used to be one of those voters, I rarely voted in the primary, but always voted in the general. This primary has brought more people into the action, but there are tens of millions more GOP voters who have not participated.

If all of Trump’s voters walked, it would be a blow, but one that could be overcome in the general election. But according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, Only 35% of his voters would walk. 2/3 would still vote for a brokered candidate. Based on current numbers, a non-Trump GOP candidate would lose 2.8 million votes in the general election. Not all 8 million. Obviously these numbers will change as the rest of the primaries are held, but the percentages will likely stay the same. A Trump campaign that is defeated at a brokered convention will take about 1/3 of his votes with him. Votes that probably won’t switch over to the Democrat candidate.

Losing a third of Trump’s voters in the general election will hurt, but it doesn’t have to be a death blow to the general election chances of the GOP. If the Democrats field an unpopular candidate like Hillary Clinton, GOP voter turnout should outpace Democrat turnout. Unless the GOP also fields an unpopular candidate. More on that later.

#NeverTrump

Compare Trump’s 1/3 walk away votes with polls showing that a full 35% of Republican primary voters won’t vote for Trump in the general. That isn’t 35% of Cruz supporters, that’s 35% of all Republican voters. #NeverTrump isn’t just Cruz supporters. Members of #NeverTrump come from the 63% of primary voters who did not vote for Trump. If that percentage holds, half of Republican voters in the GOP primary who didn’t vote Trump won’t support Trump as the eventual nominee.

There have been 22 million votes cast in Republican primaries this year, so far. More will follow as the rest of the Primaries happen. If 35% of those Republicans follow through with their claim of #Nevertrump, that is a much bigger number that the third of Trump’s 8 million voters. At this point, it’s more than 7.7 million GOP voters that will not vote for Trump. If the percentage of #NeverTrump holds, that number will grow.

Is that the death knell for a Trump presidential bid? Not necessarily, but with Trump’s growing unfavorable ratings it doesn’t look good. If 35% of your base will not vote for you, and your unfavorable numbers are far below your opponent’s (10 point difference), it becomes very hard to get out enough votes to win in the general election.

Nominating Donald Trump almost certainly hands the general election to Hillary Clinton. And, if the #NeverTrump people choose to not vote at all, it harms other GOP candidates down the ballot.

Nominating Ted Cruz will alienate some Trump supporters, but in the end, the deficit is much smaller. Plus, Cruz has actually beaten Clinton in some polls about the General election. Cruz currently trails by 2.5 in this Real Clear politics average, while Trump trails by over 10 points. Obviously, things will change during the general election cycle, but a Cruz nomination has much less to overcome than a Trump nomination going into the general election.

A #trumpertantrum walkout of Trump supporters is much better than a #NeverTrump revolt against the GOP nominee.

Anatomy of a Lie: What Trump’s Defense of Lewandowski Tells Us.

On March 8, 2016 Corey Lewandowski grabbed the arm of Michelle Fields, a reporter who was walking beside Donald Trump.

That is a fact, and at this point, no one disputes it. Here’s a timeline of the events. Why is this a big deal?

It didn’t have to be. If you look at the timeline, Fields was grabbed, and her boyfriend complains on twitter. The Trump campaign becomes aware of the complaint. This is the critical moment in this controversy. The Trump campaign has the choice in how to respond. The simplest thing would be for Lewandowski to call up Fields, and say, “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I grabbed you that hard. I certainly didn’t intend to hurt you. Please accept my apology.” If this happened, none of us would ever know about the incident.

But that is not what happened. Instead, they deny it. And they start to insinuate that she has been known to make up stuff, and she is just someone seeking attention.

Lewandowski claims he never touched her, and has never met her.
Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 1.45.51 PM

In her defense, Fields tweets out pictures of her bruises. An eye witness steps forward- another reporter confirms Fields account.

Twitter gets involved. People say that if the incident was so bad, why didn’t she file a police report? There were tons of cameras, if the event happened, why didn’t anyone get video of it? Then audio of the incident comes out. Trump campaign is still denying everything. Then a few videos come out, none clearly show what happened, but you can see that Lewandowski was there. The Trump campaign story starts to change. Suddenly it might have been a Secret Service agent who grabbed Fields.

Eventually Fields does file a police report, and on March 19, 2016 the Jupiter PD serves a warrant for Lewandowski. They also release a security camera video that shows the incident. For the first time, we can all see what happened. We can’t feel what she felt, but we can see that Fields was walking beside Trump. Lewandowski approaches from behind and grabs her arm, hard enough to stop forward motion.

In an unsurprising move, the Trump campaign’s story changes again. They throw out all sorts of things, and Trump himself gets involved. He suggests that nothing really happened. He suggests that Lewandowski was trying to protect him, because she was holding something in her hand. He suggests that she was touching him, and maybe he should “sue” her for that. They suggest that Fields changed her story because the video didn’t show her falling to the ground. (She only claims that she almost lost her balance and fell to the ground, not that she actually fell.) And mostly he repeats that he is loyal to his people, so he won’t fire Lewandowski over this.

Let’s say that Fields has totally overblown this. Even that she created those bruises herself. There are still huge issues with how the Trump campaign handled this incident, ones which give you glimpse of what a Trump Presidential Administration would be like.

1. Trump doesn’t de-escalate. He blows stuff up. In this entire campaign, has there ever been a time when Trump reacted in a calm manner to any adversity? Recently his wife described his temperment:
Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 3.11.15 PM

If Trump perceives an offense, he acts like a child. When an anti Trump PAC, which was not associated with Ted Cruz, published a tasteless ad with pictures of his wife, Trump threatened to “spill the beans” about Cruz’s wife, retweeted a demeaning photo of her, and generally made a jerk of himself for a couple of weeks about it. What happens when President Trump is offended? Presidents cannot be so thin skinned.

2. Trump is not a good judge of character. Lewandowski is not nice guy, he is a liar and a jerk. The Secret Service seemingly had no issues with Fields talking to Trump. There was no security threat. The only reason to grab her was to stop her from asking questions. But you can stop reporters without grabbing them. Then, he lied about the incident.

It might be understandable for Trump to not have realized what had happened. Even to have believed his campaign manger at first. But once that tape comes out, it is crystal clear that his manager lied about the event. He said he had never touched or or even met her. He personally tried to destroy her credibility. Now that there is video evidence that shows not only has Lewandowski met Fields, but he did in fact grab her… Trump should have admitted his campaign manger was less than truthful about the incident. Instead, he changed the story once again to help provide cover for his employee.

3. Trump will work to protect his people, even if they have done things that are wrong. Trump values loyalty over right and wrong. It is the changing story from the Trump campaign that is the most telling about his possible administration. If you tell the truth, you don’t have to change your story. What happens when a member of the Trump administration is accused of wrong doing? Will we see Trump using his bully pulpit to silence critics? Will he cover up and deflect facts so that his employees are protected? If allegations are proved to be true, will he continue to try to protect them, or will he do the right thing? His behavior in this incident indicates he will be more concerned with protecting his people than seeing truth come out and right be done.

This whole event could have been handled with an apology, they didn’t give one. Once it became clear that his employee had lied, Trump could have walked back his position, he didn’t. Trump and his campaign have bent over backwards to protect their employee. While loyalty is admirable, being loyal at the expense of truth and what is right is not.

UPDATE: Two reports have surfaced. 1. The DA has declined to prosecute Lewandowski. Already Trumpkins are touting this as proof that nothing happened. Even though video shows that something did, in fact, happen. In reality, it just means that the DA has decided not to prosecute. We don’t know what was said and done behind closed doors intros process. Which brings us to the 2nd rumor, one with Fields herself indicated was true… 2. Fields was asked if an apology from Lewandowski would suffice. Fields tweeted: “For those asking, office of prosecutor asked 2 weeks ago if I’d be ok with an apology from Corey. I said ya but haven’t heard back about it” If you remember, it was the insistence of trump supporters to either put up or shut up, referring to filing a police report, that pushed Fields to file a report. And the Police thought there was enough evidence to warrant an warrant, so to speak. Something happened.

All of this actually amplifies my point. Even after the arrest, Fields indicates she is willing to accept an apology to let it all go away. Short of an apology, she is now hinting at a civil suit for the smear Lewandowski did to her reputation. Let’s be clear, she’s not suing because he grabbed her, she would be suing because he publicly lied about what happened and tried to harm her reputation. All of this could have gone away if the Trump campaign would have simply apologized. Even if it was nothing, even if they were totally in the right. Be the bigger man, apologize. Simply say, “Hey, I didn’t realize you felt hurt by that. I am sorry. It was not my intention to harm you.” But no, and here we are weeks later still talking about what I’m sure Trump thinks is nothing. Poorly handled, on all levels, by his campaign.