The fallout from Glenn Youngkin’s victory in the Virginia governor’s race continues to upend politics across the country. Election analysis has run the gamut from the silly (it was “white backlash”) to the comical (“It wasn’t really a rejection of Joe Biden”). But where the analysts are really having a difficult time is in pigeonholing the parental revolt that is taking place across the country, not just in Virginia.
Teachers and their unions shouldn’t be questioned because, after all, they have degrees in education and have always told parents what’s best for their kids.
“Voters will tolerate a certain level of woke bulls— in their lives,” Jeff Roe, one of Youngkin’s main strategists, told Politico, “but draw the line when it screws with their kids.”
“Democrats always have underestimated how many Democrats were mad at the school closures,” says GOP strategist Rory Cooper. He thinks that “If they [had] opened up the schools in the fall of 2020, Terry McAuliffe wins” — a “what if” scenario that’s being repeated across the country.
“I think that you could sum up the entire election with: The schools aren’t working,” said Cooper.
The political ramifications of that statement are profound and should frighten the bejeebers out of Democrats. When it comes to which party is more trusted to educate children, Democrats have always held the upper hand. But something significant happened in Virginia the past couple of weeks that may have altered that equation. Parents — both Republican and Democratic — realized they had lost control of their children in a critical area: education. What’s more, the schools were refusing to hand control back to the parents.
And most of them didn’t like it.
“Having school-choice people in the same room with a CRT person with an advanced math [person] along with people who want school resource officers in every schools—that’s a pretty eclectic group of people,” Jeff Roe told my colleague Ryan Lizza last week. “It wasn’t just CRT,” said Kristin Davison, another top Youngkin adviser. “That’s not what we were focused on here; it was more ‘parents matter.’” Parents matter—“as clear of a mandate as you get in politics,” as Cooper put it in the Washington Examiner. “Parents said our schools are broken and elected the candidate who promised to fix them.”
“Parents matter.” Perhaps being at home with the children during the pandemic and seeing firsthand how awful the schools were performing angered parents and gave them the confidence to challenge the powers that control their child’s education.
It’s not a race question, as desperate left-wing activists want you to think. It’s a question of who influences their children and the hopes and dreams parents have for their children’s future. Parents want their kids to grow up tolerant, generous, and kind. When schools are hell-bent on telling their children that they are oppressors and that they come from a long line of oppressors and that their “victims” are powerless to change that without the help of radical activists, strong pushback should be expected.
It’s not “race” that’s the issue. It’s “who’s in charge?” And parents are not about to surrender their authority or responsibilities to a bunch of race-baiting, arrogant elitists who want to use their kids’ education as a social science experiment.