Regarding Ned Barnett’s May 15 column “Lawmakers slow to truly protect N.C.’s children”: North Carolina voters need to keep firmly in mind the concept of the red herring, the use of a smelly fish to distract dogs from the scent they are following.
In politics, red herrings are tactics to distract residents from the real objective of laws or executive actions. Our General Assembly and governor have stuck particularly smelly red herrings in our faces.
First was the voter ID law. While requiring IDs at polling places seems reasonable, that was a red herring to mask the real purpose of the bill: suppressing Democratic voting.
Now we have the red herring in House Bill 2 of protecting children in restrooms, which means to mask the real purpose of suppressing local autonomy, gender rights and discrimination suits.
As Barnett’s column aptly argued, if the General Assembly cared about protecting children, it would have followed the advice last year of the N.C. Coalition for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse. The legislators would have put money where their mouths are.
If we let their red herrings distract us, our legislators will keep stinking up the place with them.