When it first started, Virginia’s gubernatorial race seemed like a strictly local affair with little national significance. The Commonwealth has gone from red to purple to blue in recent years, its status confirmed when Joe Biden beat Donald Trump by 10 points.
With famed Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a former governor, widely favored to defeat Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin making his first political run, the stage looked set for a predictable arrival.
Then all hell broke loose.
The change began improbably – with complaints from parents about critical race theory and other far-left approaches at schools in Loudoun County, a suburban Democratic stronghold in the state’s north. This was quickly followed by a huge blunder from McAuliffe and a brutal threat from Biden’s Justice Department against the dissenting parents.
In a flash, the race for Virginia became the ultimate referendum not only on Biden’s presidency, but also on much of the culture war engulfing America.
Reflecting strong national divisions, McAuliffe and Youngkin are at an impasse, at 45% each, according to a USA TODAY / Suffolk University poll released Tuesday.
Biden, of course, is proving to be a drag for Democrats, with his approval among Virginia voters at just 41%, compared to 52% disapproval, slightly worse than his national numbers.
But the overriding question centers on schools and the role parents should have in what their children learn and how schools are run. By definition the most local of questions, these questions have spawned a movement that could prove decisive during the mid-terms of next year and even the presidential race of 2024.
If that happens, the credit, or blame, will revert to a flippant remark from McAuliffe. During a debate, he foolishly said, “I don’t think parents should tell schools what to teach,” and Youngkin grabbed him like a liferaft.
He put the commentary in ads and the change in fortunes was almost instantaneous. In Tuesday’s poll, when asked who should have more influence over a school’s curriculum, 49.8 percent sided with parents compared to 38.8 percent who said school boards.
This is the substance of the political revolution.
This finding also reflects the fallout from a well-known Loudoun school board meeting in June when a father, Scott Smith, began berating board members, claiming his daughter was raped in a girl’s toilet. by a boy identifying himself as a girl and that the school had covered him up.
Smith was dragged to the ground and arrested by police – and the left, including much of the media, laughed at him like crazy.
But we now know that Smith was right on both charges. First, an email surfaced showing the school principal speaking to board members about the toilet assault, even though he had publicly stated that “the predatory student or transgender person n ‘simply does not exist’ and that ‘we have no record of any assaults occurring. in our toilets.
Then, on Monday, a family court judge found the teenager guilty of assaulting the bathroom. The boy, who is reportedly wearing a skirt, was allowed to use the bathroom due to a Loudoun policy that allows students to use toilets that match their gender identity, a policy that also fuels parents’ anger. It turns out that the boy is also charged with a second sexual assault, at another high school in the same county.
Still, there’s a good chance these disparate facts have not merged into a potentially decisive political issue, save for the role of the White House. In a classic case of trying to make artificial turf look like a grassroots movement, Biden’s assistants secretly worked with a national association of school boards to draft a letter alleging that the growing threats against teachers and officials amounted to a form of “domestic terrorism”.
Shortly after receiving the letter, Attorney General Merrick Garland asked the FBI, federal prosecutors and US prosecutors to meet with local law enforcement to “discuss strategies to combat this disturbing trend.”
In fact, there is no trend, and the school board association withdrew the letter and apologized for the language, saying the two officials who wrote it did not have the power to do so. to do. Garland has yet to apologize or disband his proposed task force to criminalize parent complaints.
Meanwhile, one of the officials who wrote the retracted letter, Viola Garcia, has been appointed by the White House to a national board that is developing follow-up tests for students. The smell speaks for itself.
The footage reveals that White House Biden’s incompetence continues unabated. Obviously, in trying to help McAuliffe by making his comment about angry parents sound wise, they ended up hurting him and themselves.
They also revealed that Garland’s Justice Department is ready to use law enforcement to drive out political enemies, real and imagined.
Here’s the good news: Many Virginia parents are awake, but not awake. Rightly alarmed by government excesses, they realize that they have ceded too much power to school officials who see them as a nuisance at best.
That alarm was sounded again when Barack Obama campaigned for McAuliffe over the weekend and defended school boards while detonating parent attacks. “We have no time to waste in these bogus and fabricated culture wars, this bogus scandal that the right-wing media are peddling to increase their ratings,” said the former president.
Parent groups were furious everywhere and accused Obama of being as deaf as McAuliffe. The only surprise is that they were surprised. Recall that the Obama Department of Education launched the policy that allows boys who identify as girls to use girls’ toilets.
None of this predicts that Youngkin will upset on November 2. But if he does, or even approaches it, it will be a national shockwave that could affect the next election and everything Congress does until then.
Indeed, the result in Virginia could neutralize what remains of the administration’s sweeping attack on traditional American values â€‹â€‹and culture.
Wake up or go bankrupt
Reader Eric Moore shows that school wars are also everywhere in the Empire State. He writes: â€œHere in eastern New York State, in the rural Cambridge school district, a controversy erupted around the school’s mascot being an American Indian. There was a lot of back and forth between citizens and finally, the school board voted to keep the [team] name the Indians, even though there had previously been a vote to ban it.
â€œJust recently the state education department sent a very threatening letter demanding that the district eliminate the use of the Indian mascot. If they don’t comply, their state aid will be cut, putting the district into bankruptcy. “
Are there enough strawberries in Strawberry Pop Tarts? A court could decide.
Shouldn’t consumers be the judge?