Four months ago, no one would have expected that Glenn Youngkin would cruise to victory in Virginia. The now governor-elect was down big in the polls, running a fairly standard GOP campaign (and that’s not meant to be a compliment).
But reports out of Loudoun County offered a chance at revival. To Youngkin’s credit, he seized the moment, making the fight against racial essentialism and ideologically dangerous school boards the centerpiece of the race. And while some establishment figures screamed at the time that leaning into the culture war over Critical Race Theory was a bad idea, the results now speak for themselves.
Well, at least they speak for themselves to those who think rationally. For Democrats, the results have served as a signal that it’s time to plan another run into the buzzsaw. Instead of accepting that they overplayed their hand in pursuing woke-ness and that parents have a right to protect their children from harmful, racist ideology, the double down has been announced.
NEW: Democratic strategists plan to get aggressive on critical race theory, saying Republicans are putting ‘politicians in charge of the classroom and white supremacists in charge of the curriculum ($) by @ngaudiano @thisisinsider https://t.co/kjrx1M54R7
— Darren Samuelsohn (@dsamuelsohn) November 16, 2021
I’m trying to think of a worse political move than doubling down on calling parents white supremacists, and I’m coming up blank. Heck, if Democrats were trying to throw the election in 2022 to Republicans, what would they be doing differently?
The first miscalculation here is the assumption that parents somehow inherently trust union-backed school administrators and teachers more than politicians. Yes, to some extent, Republicans are getting politicians involved in the classroom. They are doing so because politicians are actually accountable to the voters and have the power to stop the woke onslaught. We saw a shift in thinking in early November’s election as Republicans overperformed across the country. The old ideas that teachers are “heroes” and that schools are above reproach no longer exist, and for good reason.
The second miscalculation here is that leaning into racial divisions will somehow pay dividends for Democrats. Calling parents who don’t want pedophilia and quasi-segregation pushed in classrooms “white supremacists” is not going to somehow galvanize enough far-left support to overcome the Republican coalition. Why? Because many black and Hispanic parents also recoil at the idea of their kids being taught victimology and being singled out for their race. We’ve already seen large demographic shifts in places like Texas and Virginia, showing that the left’s racialized message is not working to rebuild the fabled Obama coalition.
Of course, this news has Republicans rejoicing. They have been gifted an opposing party that is so subservient to the radicals in its ranks that it can no longer make strategically smart decisions. The right move here would be to concede that parents are not enemies and to shift to a totally different issue. Obviously, pushing Critical Race Theory is a losing strategy for Democrats.
But instead, they are just going to scream “racism” louder. Meanwhile, the red tsunami awaits.