McAuliffe's Fate Will Serve as Canary In the Coalmine Over Education Policies

AP Photo/Steve Helber, File

It’s not looking good for Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a man nestled so safely into the heart of the DNC that he was considered something of a mainstay in the political world. Now, there’s a good chance that he may be shown the door, and it’s all thanks to parents.

More accurately, it’s all thanks to what America is seeing as the attack on parents and the Orwellian idea that the state should have more of a say in how your kids are raised than you do. As loyal readers may know, RedState has been keeping track of the ongoing war between parents and the government.

It began with the teaching of critical race theory to students with knowledge or without permission from parents. The divisive curriculum sought to divide students based on race, teach guilt to white students, and rewrite the history of America into one of racism, subjugation, and hatred. Families of all races and creeds banned together to demand the cessation of this filth in their children’s schools only to be greeted with pushback and even derision in some cases, by school boards and local leaders.

Soon after that, parents began digging into what they’ve been teaching their children, even more, uncovering an array of sexually inappropriate books that contain graphic depictions of homosexual sex and stories that speak approvingly of pedophilia.

As parents became angrier and more involved, the Biden administration was tapped to send the Department of Justice after parents, an incident that Republican lawmakers have been nailing Attorney General Merrick Garland to the wall for and Tom Cotton demanding his resignation over.

It’s an issue that has become a central concern to many voters, and it’s one that grill-master McAuliffe found himself on the wrong side of.

“Youngkin’s closing message of book banning and silencing esteemed Black authors is a racist dog whistle designed to gin up support from the most extreme elements of his party—mainly his top endorser and surrogate, Donald Trump,” McCaulliffe said recently, bringing out all the buzzwords he can to discredit his GOP opponent, Glenn Youngkin.

This came after Youngkin aired an ad that featured a mother whom McAuliffe had brushed off after she expressed concerns about her child’s future in Virginia schools with all this hard-left indoctrination.

A bold strategy to call Youngkin and his base racists for caring about their children, especially when the people who are making the complaints don’t all make up his base. McAuliffe is effectively pushing his would-be voters into the Republican camp with this, but McAuliffe can hardly be blamed for this response.

As Matt Welch at Reason highlighted, this is pretty much the go-to response for Democrats when people raise this education issue:

“The operative word is not critical, it’s not theory, it’s race,” argued political science professor and go-to conventional wisdom–purveyor Larry Sabato Monday on MSNBC. “That is what matters, and that’s why it sticks. There’s a lot of—we can call it ‘white backlash,’ ‘white resistance’; whatever you want to call it, it has to do with race….This is a post-factual era. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t taught in Virginia schools. It’s this generalized attitude that whites are being put upon, and we’ve got to do something about it. ‘We,’ being white voters.”

Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman maintained that what Youngkin did wasn’t even a racist dog whistle, because “There are no more dog whistles in American politics.” Instead, it’s about “base mobilization” rather than “persuading voters in the middle.” This, again, in a state that hasn’t voted GOP for president in 17 years.

If I can, in a spirit of charity, encourage Democrats to tattoo one headline onto their forearms, as they attempt to recalibrate their political strategy in the wake of either Youngkin’s victory or McAuliffe’s near miss, it would be this, from Fox News’s Juan Williams, writing Monday in The Hill: “‘Parents’ rights’ is code for white race politics.” If you tell parents that attempting to exert influence on their kids’ school policies is just some kind of “Let’s Go Brandon” wink-nudge for hating on the dark-skinned, those parents will rightly tell you to go fuck yourself. Such choices do not successful political strategies make.

Welch’s final words here should be heeded.

The left’s strategy in selling their agenda has been to tell parents they’re racist for even suggesting that public schools should be doing things differently and that they’re all Trumpkin orange-man wannabes for daring to stand against the body politic.

Moreover, at this point, even if McAuliffe does manage to squeak out a victory here it’s important to know that he almost didn’t, and here would be why. The Democrats declared themselves the parents over your children and spit defamations at anyone who complained, including their own voters. It’s damaging to a great degree.

If he does full-on lose, however, then Democrats will know they have a losing position on their hands and they’ll have to slam hard on the breaks and hope their momentum doesn’t carry them off the edge before they can stop.

More importantly, and no matter what, the lesson Democrats need to learn here is that you do not. Come. Between. Parents. And. Their. Children.


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