The Fight Over CRT Has Conservative Inc. Gasping for Air

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

While the war over teaching Critical Race Theory has expanded on multiple fronts to include all levels of government and bureaucracy, a splinter battle is taking place on the right in regards to exactly how to respond to it, and in some cases, if it’s even objectionable in the first place.

There was a time where opposing illiberal indoctrination of children was a universal principle on the right. At least, it was when there was no chance of actually succeeding in stopping it. Now that it appears conservatives may have actually gotten the drop on a major cultural issue, the establishment class is working against the very outcomes they once claimed to desire.

That came to a head yesterday when David French and several other ostensibly right-leaning minds rushed to The New York Times to pen a rebuke of figures like Gov. Ron DeSantis who have dared to use the state legislative process to eradicate CRT from school curriculums. Instead, the suggestion was that parents should simply sue if they encounter a problem. You know, because parents have hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of their life to spend in court in the hopes of receiving a narrow victory that won’t even be relevant by the time it arrives. That’s the pure brilliance of Conservative Inc. on display.

Of course, the fact that the Times article in question also completely misread the very laws that were being commented on also represented a problem.

Later, Thomas Williams, who co-authored the piece with French, would claim that it’s authoritarian for parents to affect school curriculums via their elected officials.

The charge to “propose better curriculum” is a purposeful misdirect from the issue. You do not need to propose better curriculum in order to not teach CRT. You simply need to not teach CRT. To do so would be an affirmative decision and one well within the purview of state representatives to be involved in.

As to enforcing civil rights laws, that is perhaps the most beltway take I’ve ever seen. It is asking parents to abdicate their power of representation via elections to instead fight lengthy, expensive, uncertain battles through the court system. It’s an asinine suggestion that is meant to be ineffective while giving the appearance of offering an alternative solution. As I said in my write-up on the Times article yesterday, the losing is the point.

Regardless, getting back to French and other Conservative Inc. thinkers, claiming it is authoritarian to limit the power of government employees and public-sector unions is certainly a take. It’s amazing how malleable principles become when they conflict with the gravy train. There is no logical argument that it is authoritarian for parents via their elected representatives to oversee and check the bureaucratic state, which public schools are part of. In fact, the opposite is true, and until five minutes ago, all conservatives agreed with that notion. Yet, here we are, with some on the right actually making that case. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence they are doing so in the pages of the Times, a far-left newspaper.

Conservative Inc. is gasping for air, desperately trying to present themselves as the only principled figures left in the country. The reality is that they are shifting their views far more than those they continually criticize. Their arguments against stopping CRT are conveniently crafted to ensure defeat while also placating their true intended audience, which isn’t conservatives but left-leaning urbanites.

These people have no new ideas and are unwilling to engage on the most important issues.

This is correct. The supposedly most intellectual thinkers on the right were content to sit on the sidelines while CRT overtook schools. They were fine with waiting for it to become so ingrained that it couldn’t be removed. That would have meant more lawsuits and more money for lawyers like French and think tanks that only exist to fight problems they refuse to solve. Now, these grifters are objecting, insisting that conservatives lose yet another major cultural battle, this one dealing with something as serious as the mental health of children.

But I’m sure they’ve got another tax cut to plug in a few years.