Want to avoid laws like North Carolina's anti-LGBTQ measure in the future? Full Frontal host Samantha Bee has a suggestion: Take state and midterm elections more seriously.
"I know state elections aren't fun. They don't have cool concerts or dank memes. But voting in them is important," Bee said. "Just think of it like a mammogram. It's painful and inconvenient, but you gotta do it — because early prevention hurts a lot less than late-stage treatment."
North Carolina's anti-LGBTQ law bans local nondiscrimination ordinances that include sexual orientation and gender identity, and prevents transgender people from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity in schools and government buildings. It has drawn a national firestorm, fueling business boycotts and even a federal lawsuit.
"Boycotts are a powerful tool," Bee said. "But you know what's an even more powerful tool? Not electing a bunch of transphobic numbnuts who are going to wreck the state economy to catch a nonexistent predator."
As Bee pointed out, the anti-LGBTQ law isn't the only thing North Carolina Republicans have done since they took over the state House and Senate in 2010 — the first time Republicans controlled both bodies since 1870. They also loosened gun laws, restricted access to abortion, cut the university system's budget, and passed a sweeping voter ID law, among other measures.
But North Carolina wasn't alone. In the aftermath of the 2010 elections — and all the other state-level elections Democrats have lost since then — Republicans have passed conservative policies in dozens of states. "After the 2010 Tea Party landslide," Bee said, "policy started happening to the states the way sex happens to people who drink with Bill Cosby."
So if you don't like what's happening, Bee has a simple solution: Vote — not just in the presidential elections, but all the elections.