Democrats attempt to make transformational changes in the American way of life, but the party’s progressive agenda is not playing well in the upcoming election for governor of Virginia. This state that Biden won by ten points last year has become a tossup.
The implosion of Democrats in Virginia is due to the havoc they caused by indoctrinating public school students with Leftist critical race and gender theories. The rape of a ninth-grade girl in the girls bathroom, apparently committed by a boy wearing a skirt and then covered up by school authorities, has enraged parents statewide.
The Democrat-controlled school district had recently adopted a policy that allows students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their so-called gender identity. School districts in more conservative parts of the state had rejected this Leftist policy, which was based on a law passed by the Democrat-controlled state legislature last year.
A recent poll by Cygnal of likely Virginia voters shows the Republican candidate, Glenn Youngkin, tied with powerful Clinton crony Terry McAuliffe, at 48% each. But among parents of school-age children, who represent a quarter of the electorate, the Republican leads by a landslide margin of 56% to 39%.
Another new poll by Emerson College found that education was rated as the most important issue for Virginia voters this year, far outpacing Covid-19. Not only do parents and homeowners have a direct stake in the public schools, but all citizens are affected by what young people are taught there.
School library books are another source of concern for parents. Gender Queer, for example, was found on Virginia public school shelves at taxpayer expense, even in traditionally conservative Virginia Beach.
After verifying parents’ complaints, two courageous school board members called for removing five books with inappropriate sexual content, including the sexually explicit Gender Queer. A sixth book portrays white supporters of Donald Trump as Nazis.
A publisher defended Gender Queer by describing it as resource for people who “identify as nonbinary or genderqueer” and for others to understand what that means. Another objectionable book, Lawn Boy, is about sex between two 10-year-old boys.
Terry McAuliffe may have sealed his own fate last month when he arrogantly declared, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Some 57 percent of Virginia parents disagree, according to another new poll of likely voters conducted by Fox News.
Barack Obama pompously descended on Virginia to denounce what he called “these phony trumped-up culture wars, this fake outrage that right-wing media peddles.” Brandon Michon, a 2005 Loudoun County High School graduate who now has three young children in the same district, observed that Obama is “tone deaf” for failing to recognize that parents are responsible for the well-being of their children.
Virginia had become a lost cause for Republicans because the northern part of the state is now dominated by federal employees, contractors and lobbyists. But even many liberals are drawing the line at gender indoctrination in public schools, especially if their own kids are affected.
Laura Zorc, director of education reform at Building Education for Students Together, observed that the issue of “parental rights is on the ballot in Virginia. This is not a Republican or a Democrat issue – it’s a parents issue.”
Democrats are so desperate that a video featuring Kamala Harris urging African Americans to vote for McAuliffe has been shown at more than 300 black churches across the state. Kamala’s stunt was denounced by former Democrat Governor Doug Wilder, America’s first black governor, for possibly jeopardizing the tax-exempt status of those churches.
Putting gender-confused boys into girls restrooms or sexually explicit propaganda on school shelves does not help African Americans, nor does teaching them that they are perpetual victims of historical white supremacy. McAuliffe would promote these progressive dogmas without doing anything to genuinely help black students toward greater achievement.
The increasingly ideological curriculum compounds the longstanding problem of underachievement in a state where less than 40% of students are rated as proficient in reading and math. Even Virginia’s top-performing Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria has recently turned away from merit by dropping its competitive admission policy in order to seek diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
As usual, Democrats will try to boost their numbers this election through unsupervised mail-in ballots. A lawsuit by the Virginia Institute for Public Policy (VIPP) presented sworn evidence that liberal Fairfax County issued at least 339 absentee ballots to applicants who failed to provide the last four digits of their Social Security number as required by state law.
Fortunately, Virginia does not send unrequested ballots to all registered voters as California and a few other states do. To Democrats’ dismay, early voting in Virginia shows a collapse in turnout by younger voters who previously voted for Biden.
John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work.