As the Government Affairs intern at the John Locke Foundation, I spend a goodly amount of time down at the state legislature attending committee meetings and tracking bills through the legislative process. Because of that, I have had a front row seat to what can only be called the chaos of the opposition to H.B. 574, H.B. 808, and S.B. 49 over the last few weeks.

From barely being able to get a seat in the House Committee on Health, to seeing protestors scream at and berate Rep. Tricia Cotham as she chaired the House Committee on K-12 Education, to changing my lapel pin out from that of the John Locke logo to the N.C. flag amidst the growing crowd of angry protestors throughout the legislative building on the days that these bills were presented on the floor, I have been able to see it all.  

Yet, while none of this behavior is in any way surprising, it is hard to understand the governor’s statement after vetoing all three of these bills. One must be well versed in logical acrobatics to even take this seriously, much less believe that the argument holds water.  

After vetoing bills that would allow parents to know what their children were being taught in schools, allow parents to be the arbiter of their children’s healthcare, and allow parents to better choose where to send their children to school, the governor stated that the bills would “invade the rights and responsibilities of parents and doctors.”

In what world does expanding and further defining the rights of parents subsequently invade the rights of those same individuals? The assertion is prima facie ludicrous.  

This latest statement comes after a long session of opposition by the majority of N.C. Democrats to any kind of expansion of parental rights in this state. Whether it be their opposition to the Charter School Omnibus bill in the state Senate, or the opposition to the Choose Your School Choose Your Future bill in the state House, or their opposition to all three of the most recently vetoed bills, the majority of N.C. Democrats have made it clear that they do not want informed and involved parents in children’s lives.  

While Cooper claims that Republicans are passing these issues only for campaign purposes, it has become increasingly clear that our lame-duck governor is pandering to an increasingly small sect of North Carolinians intent on imposing an unpopular social reconstruction.

To say that the individuals brought in for public comment by EqualityNC, or any of the other left-leaning organizations, are representative of the North Carolinian populace is laughable. Most North Carolinians do not take weeks off work at a time to scream incoherently at law makers while onlookers stare in stunned bemusement. Furthermore, nearly seven out of 10 North Carolinians support these measures or legislation similar to them. 

It would seem that Gov. Cooper would be the one vetoing bills out of purely political reasons, while leaders in the state House are simply implementing policies supported by a majority of the residents of the Old North State. Cooper would do well to listen to the voters of this state rather than release logically incoherent statements pandering to his party’s leadership.