In case you haven’t heard, PayPal has reversed its decision to expand in North Carolina out of protest in the wake of the passage of HB 2. Because of that, Charlotte is going to miss out on 400 jobs, even though it was their City Council that passed the transgender non-discrimination bathroom ordinance in the first place.
Conservatives aren’t backing down, though. In fact, something very interesting is starting to come about: a complete reversal in the views of the political parties on big business. The liberal position is now, “Big business knows best.” Conservatives, on the other hand, are starting to point out big business hypocrisy.
For an example of this, look no further than the Republican primary in the newly drawn Ninth Congressional District, which contains part of Charlotte. Both Rep. Robert Pittenger and his primary challenger, Rev. Mark Harris, are pointing out that PayPal does business in countries where homosexual behavior is illegal. It goes to show that, at least in GOP primaries, you can’t go wrong by standing up for HB 2 and against the corporate establishment.
But this isn’t just limited to Republican primaries; Governor McCrory and Senator Berger are making the same arguments – that PayPal does business in places like Cuba and Saudi Arabia, so to single out North Carolina for criticism is hypocritical. Republicans are bashing big business because big business is now aligned with the progressives.
For years, corporate and Christian America lived together in an uneasy marriage. By mutual agreement, the evangelicals agreed not to rail against the excesses of corporations. In return, the corporations agreed to keep quiet on the social issues. The problem is that big business hasn’t upheld their end of the bargain, and a divorce is coming soon.
Instead, corporate America is going to cast their lot with the progressive Left. The new arrangement: big business will fight for the progressives in the culture wars. In return, the progressives will ease up on their criticism of the business elite.
The fight over HB 2 shows that the future of the Republican Party is the economic populism of Donald Trump combined with the social conservatism of Ted Cruz. The Democrats’ future will be an uneasy alliance between big business, racial minorities, and social justice activists. Obviously, this coalition will show cracks with time but for now the alliance has worked well for all involved, which accounts for the certainty of HB 2 opponents that they are indeed on “the right side of history.”
John Wynne is the “conservative voice” at PoliticsNC, where he also provides polling analysis and commentary on legislative campaigns. When not writing about politics, he enjoys gardening and listening to opera. Contact: email@example.com.