While the Republican Party rolls on with its obstructionist mentality and still believes that losing the presidency in 2020 was a figment of our imagination, I ask that we take a closer look at Virginia. Former Carlyle Group Inc. executive and now newly elected governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin, presented himself as a typical Republican. He marked himself as a purveyor of low taxes, regulation cuts, and immensely pro-business. Youngkin didn’t appear with former President Donald Trump or tie himself to his agenda. He showed up as a “moderate,” eventually saying he would certify 2020's election results–and even that was flanked with an urge for more “election integrity.”
Youngkin did the delicate dance of not seeming too radical while seizing on the drummed up fears of today; Critical Race Theory and COVID protocols. It’s a strategy Republicans will take with them to the ballot box in both the 2022 and 2024 elections–otherwise, they have nothing to run on. So, the new strategy is not to yell and bloviate like the former president, but to seem as though they are looking out for you.
But, you have to look between the lines. Youngkin opposed a minimum wage increase and is pushing for more voting restrictions–even though he benefited from early voting during his campaign. While being the anti-lockdown, anti-CRT candidate was his loudest claim to fame, Youngkin slipped by typical Republican policies when people weren’t looking.
According to VUSA 9, Youngkin seized on this “don’t hurt our feelings with America’s history” fever back in September:
“We will absolutely remove, rid, the political agenda that has made its way into our classroom by banning critical race theory on day one,” Youngkin said to the crowd who chanted back, “Thank you, Glenn.”
See, those teachers are reading the biography of Malcolm X front to back, so we better stop them. Oh, and they want to keep your children masked the entire time in class–even though there’s a COVID surge going on and hospitalizations are hitting all-time highs. Forget protecting teachers and faculty, where keeping them safe will then keep them in school–and in turn, keep you safe. Nope. Personal rights. Let’s unmask for freedom and then wonder why we must return to remote learning in two weeks.
One of the eleven executive orders Youngkin enacted his first day in office was banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory in schools under the pretense to “restore excellence in schools and ban “divisive concepts.” CRT is not taught in Virginia (K-12) schools, but the way Youngkin touts this as a crusade, you would think so. If you believe the concepts of slavery, segregation, and the fact racism is still pervasive in America’s structure, imagine living through it all.
On an appearance on Fox News, Youngkin said a part from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech in his defense to ban Critical Race Theory–invoking the only quote Republicans know from the legendary civil rights activist. How convenient for Youngkin to state his wish was to not teach things “through the lens of race.”
Future aspiring politicians will see Youngkin’s close victory and use it as fuel to run in upcoming elections. Don’t appear too radical and act under the guise of parents’ rights to slip in restrictive agendas. If it seems too good to be true, it is. Remember that principle at the ballot box in November and beyond.