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Dr. David Harsanyi Op-ed: ‘National Conservatism’ Is A Dead End


BY: DAVID HARSANYI | NOVEMBER 16, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/11/16/national-conservatism-is-a-dead-end/

Pat Buchanan presidential campaign, 2000
A rant.

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Since a civil war is about to break out and destroy the modern Republican Party — fingers crossed — let me tell you what grinds my gears.

Young NatCons, many of whom I know and like, seem to be under the impression that they’ve stumbled upon some fresh, electrifying governing philosophy. Really, they’re peddling ideas that already failed to take hold 30 years ago when the environment was far more socially conservative and there were far more working-class voters to draw on. If Americans want class-obsessed statists doling out family-busting welfare checks and whining about Wall Street hedge funds, there is already a party willing to scratch that itch. We don’t need two.

“National conservatism”— granted, still in an amorphous stage — offers a far too narrow agenda for any kind of enduring political consensus. It lacks idealism. It’s a movement tethered to the grievances of a shrinking demographic of rural and Rust-Belt workers with high school degrees at the expense of a growing demographic of college-educated suburbanites. 

The “New Right” loves to mock “zombie Reaganism.” Well, the ’80s fusionist coalition, which stressed upward meritocratic mobility, free markets, federalism, patriotism, and autonomy from the soul-crushing federal bureaucracy, was by all historical measures more successful than the Buchananism that followed or Rockefellerism that preceded. Zombie Reaganism was a dramatic success not only in 1980 but also in 1994 and again in 2010 and 2014. The “shining city on a hill” might sound like corny boomerism, but it’s still infinitely more enticing than the bleak apocalypticism of Flight 93.

Too many conservatives misconstrued Donald Trump’s slim 2016 victory as a national realignment. It was a mirage. Trump, a uniquely positioned celebrity candidate, benefitted not only from Obama fatigue but, more than anything else, the cosmic unlikability of Hillary Clinton. Yes, the GOP needed an attitude adjustment, a stiffening of the spine. There is no denying Trump’s presidency achieved some positive results (most of them, incidentally, also on the “zombie Reaganism” front with deregulation and the judiciary), and he made inroads with working-class voters and Latinos. But Republicans have now blown three elections catering to largely incoherent NatCon populism. 

There is no one reason or person culpable for the right’s failures in 2022, but there are certain types of candidates finding success. Ron DeSantis, Brain Kemp, and (in 2020) Glenn Youngkin can call out crony capitalism without sounding like Ralph Nader’s comms director. All of them have been highly critical of lawlessness of illegal immigration, but none of them come off like chauvinists. All of them supported heartbeat bills and election integrity laws, and above all, they are competent administrators of government.

The white-collar worker in Virginia or North Carolina, living in a multi-use neighborhood, probably isn’t as preoccupied with drag queen story hour or the intrigues of Big Tech or the Justice Department or Chinese tariffs — as important as those issues might be — as Josh Hawley seems to believe. The suburban voter might be more socially liberal these days, but they are still dispositional conservative. And one strongly suspects they would rather see public school reform, bigger retirement accounts, and lower property tax bills than a commissar regulating the internet or some protectionist policy killing economic dynamism. 

Of course, the New Right would like to claim DeSantis as one of their own. Allie Beth Stuckey, like many on the “New Right,” maintains that the Florida governor’s impressive win tells us: “we’re done with the old, corporate tax cuts GOP. We want you to use all the power available to you to crush the entities crushing us.”

That’s a Twitter reality. In the real world, hundreds of thousands of people flock to Florida (and Texas and Arizona) to enjoy an inviting regulatory environment, low taxes, and relative freedom — not to watch the governor teach Disney a lesson. A politician who cuts taxes and opens schools and businesses, despite pressure from the federal government, isn’t “crushing” anyone, he is freeing them. A politician who insists that state-run elementary schools should teach kids math, science, and history rather than identitarianism, myths, and sexuality has a compelling story to tell parents.

DeSantis is also a politician. So he shows up at trendy NatCon conferences, in the same way he used to chase trendy Tea Party endorsements from Club For Growth and FreedomWorks. Despite the left’s claims, DeSantis doesn’t strike me as an ideologue, but rather a champion of normalcy. Maybe incumbents were successful in 2022 because people are sick of drama?

What about J.D. Vance, though, David? Different types of candidates appeal to different regions. No one is arguing that Zombie populism is without any traction. Before Vance, there was Rick Santorum, whose message also had a limited allure. Yes, Vance can win in Ohio. Mike DeWine, about the most milquetoast moderate imaginable, can also win in Ohio, and by a bigger margin. Does Vance win Arizona or Nevada? Probably not. Does Blake Masters win in Ohio? Probably. But Americans are moving to Henderson, Nevada, and Boise, Idaho, not Akron, Ohio.

In the meantime, the New Right’s intellectual movement is a Trojan horse for a bunch of corrosive authoritarian “post-liberal” ideas. If a malleable “common good” means jettisoning limiting principles, well, no thank you. Plenty of secular right-wingers like myself have been defending religious freedom on neutral, classical liberal grounds. Today, the New Right tells me those notions are dead. If that’s true, I wonder who will be left to defend them 10 years from now?

By the way, if you’re under the impression that the New Right think-tankers and technocrats who rail against “elites” and “libertarians” and romanticize lunch-pail unionism are going to send their kids to work in warehouses for minimum wage, I have news for you. That’s reserved for the plebs. It’s no surprise that Compact, the New Right magazine standing athwart the “libertine left and a libertarian right,” employs a Marxist editor or that so many anti-woke socialists feel comfortable allying with the New Right. That’s a Twitter realignment, however, not a real-world one.

Fortunately, it’s highly unlikely that the average Republican with a small business is as antagonistic to the notion of individual liberty as the average First Things editor. The average voter tends not to treat every loss as if it were the end of Rome. It’s bad out there. But people who tell you this is the worst era in history or that we’re facing insurmountable unique problems are just as hysterical as the people who tell you democracy is over. Most Americans realize politics is a grind. I’d love to live in a minarchist paradise, but I’m a realist. There are approximately 349,999 million people who think differently. That’s how it shakes out in a diverse, sprawling nation. A national party needs to broaden its message to convince — not just follow the whims — of as many voters as possible. NatCons are headed in the wrong direction.

My friends believe the Republican Party establishment is incompetent and cowardly. Maybe. Thankfully, we don’t have a binary choice. May both factions fail.


David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist. Harsanyi is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of five books—the most recent, Eurotrash: Why America Must Reject the Failed Ideas of a Dying Continent. His work has appeared in National Review, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Reason, New York Post, and numerous other publications. Follow him on Twitter, @davidharsanyi.

Youngkin’s Crusade To Get Radical Gender Theory Out Of Virginia Schools Puts Kids And Families First


BY: CASEY CHALK | SEPTEMBER 20, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/09/20/youngkins-crusade-to-get-radical-gender-theory-out-of-virginia-schools-puts-kids-and-families-first/

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin

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Last week, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin further delivered on his gubernatorial campaign promise to give parents more control over their children’s education. The Virginia Department of Education issued new model policies specifically directed at resisting the radical gender ideology that has become commonplace even in the Commonwealth’s elementary schools.

The New Model Policies

Virginia’s new model policies explicitly state that students’ participation in school programming and use of school facilities such as bathrooms or locker rooms should be based on their biological sex and that modifications should be offered only to the extent required under federal law. They also assert that students who are minors must be referred to by the name and pronouns in their official records unless there is explicit parental approval for the use of something else. And they also declare that schools may not conceal information about a student’s so-called gender identity from his or her parents and that parents must be given the opportunity to object before any gender-related counseling services are offered.

The document reads: “Parents have the right to instill in and nurture values and beliefs for their own children and make decisions concerning their children’s education and upbringing in accordance with their customs, faith, and family culture.” In a rebuke to those officials and administrators who have encouraged wrongly named gender-affirming “care,” it explains: “Parents are in the best position to work with their children and, where appropriate, their children’s health care providers.”

The new model policies are subject to a 30-day period for public comment that begins later this month. Following that period, in accordance with a 2020 state law, school boards across the Old Dominion must adopt policies that are “consistent with” those of the state’s Department of Education. Macaulay Porter, a spokeswoman for Youngkin, noted that the updated guidance “delivers on the governor’s commitment to preserving parental rights and upholding the dignity and respect of all public school students.”

A Personal Anecdote

I can personally speak to how widespread the promotion of gender ideology has become, at least in Fairfax County, where I attended school for 12 years and then worked as a high-school history teacher. The very day after Virginia’s Department of Education issued this new guidance, my family attended a picnic in our neighborhood. My two eldest children (ages 9 and 7) were playing a game with other neighborhood kids, including, a bit awkwardly, a teenage girl who attends the local public high school. During the game, and when my wife and I were not nearby to overhear, this teenager told my children that she identifies as both a girl and a boy and that there are “72 genders.”

My wife and I homeschool our children. It wasn’t something I was eager to do — my extended family has been attending county public schools since the 1960s, and I was proud of my experience in FCPS 20 years ago. But I knew things had changed very dramatically in the last two decades, and I wanted to shield my children from ideas and behaviors that are not commensurate with their maturity. Simply put, prepubescent children don’t need seminars in gender fluidity and sexual experimentation. But over this past weekend, an FCPS-educated teenager took it upon herself to impart those ideas to my children.

As confusing as this was for my children — and as upsetting as it was to my wife and me — I do not level much blame at this teenager for taking away part of their innocence and forcing us to have conversations with our children about gender and sex we had been hoping to delay just a few more years. I blame FCPS teachers and administrators who welcomed this gender ideology in schools. And I blame smartphones and social media for proliferating these ideas with little parental oversight.

Protecting Our Children

Left-wing corporate media and Democratic politicians, of course, have been quick to attack Youngkin over his new policy. “Virginia has moved to restrict the rights of trans students in its public schools,” reads a mid-September headline from NPR. The Department of Education’s guidance “calls for the misgendering and outing of children in schools where they’re supposed to be safe. Absolutely shameful,” tweeted Virginia Democratic Del. Mike Mullin

Think about the fact that in my kids’ very first interaction with a public school-educated teenager, she couldn’t help but share the confused, biologically inaccurate gender ideology she has been wrongly told is the most important part of her identity. That speaks to the pervasive nature and aggressiveness of this ideology and its adherents. Think about how many kids have had their lives thrown into chaos by adults who tell them they may be a boy in a girl’s body, “gender fluid,” or some other nonsense that may very well cause them permanent physical and emotional damage.

Thankfully, our kids trust their parents enough and have a solid enough understanding of what makes boys different from girls that we could have a brief, open, and hopefully instructive conversation about what they experienced on a neighborhood playground. Youngkin’s edict aims to ensure those conversations happen in the home, guided by loving parents, and less influenced by the confused ideology of bureaucrats who don’t have your children’s best interests at heart.


Casey Chalk is a senior contributor at The Federalist and an editor and columnist at The New Oxford Review. He has a bachelor’s in history and master’s in teaching from the University of Virginia and a master’s in theology from Christendom College. He is the author of The Persecuted: True Stories of Courageous Christians Living Their Faith in Muslim Lands.

Will A ‘Parental Bill Of Rights’ Finally Enforce Government School Transparency?


Reported BY: RICH CROMWELL | FEBRUARY 10, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/02/10/will-parental-bill-of-rights-finally-enforce-government-school-transparency/

mom holding kid's hand walking into school

The response to Covid-19 has accelerated a growing divide between parents and schools, which is mostly to say between parents and teachers’ unions. From denying students the ability to learn in-person to forced masking to teaching divisive, historically inaccurate curriculum based on critical race theory (CRT), the trend has been to sideline parents from their children’s educations.

In response to this, states are taking action to ensure parents remain the primary decision-makers for their kids. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a parents’ bill of rights in June 2021. Missouri is considering a similar proposal and in Virginia, Gov. Glenn Youngkin issued 11 executive orders on his first day in office, two of which were related to education. Indiana is considering a parents’ bill of rights as part of a push to banish despicable materials that kids shouldn’t be taught.

At the national level, Sen. Josh Hawley has also proposed a Parents’ Bill of Rights, although so far it has not gained any traction. Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, now president of Young America’s Foundation, declared “2022 is the Year of the Parent.” In other words, there’s a growing appetite among parents to take a more active role in education, whether through supporting legislation to empower them or taking the initiative to join their local school boards.

On Thursday, January 20, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott added Texas to the list of states attempting to tackle the divide when he announced his own Parental Bill of Rights, which will be voted on and perhaps enshrined into Texas’ constitution in January 2023. The initiative consists of seven points clarifying the fact that parents, not school boards or unions, are in charge of their kids’ educations.

In announcing the proposal, Abbott said, “The role of parents is being diminished by government itself across the U.S. Parents are losing a voice when it comes to their children’s education and health matters. Many parents feel powerless to do anything about it. That must end … Under the Parental Bill of Rights, we will amend the Texas Constitution to reinforce that parents are the main decision-makers in all matters involving their children.”

A key point in Texas’ proposed amendment, which could serve as a model starting point for other states reads, “Expand parents’ rights to access course curriculum and all material that is available in any education setting for their student through online posting and other methods so parents know what topics will be taught.” While Texas parents can currently get those materials, it requires an information request rather than the click of a mouse.

Submitting an information request is an unnecessary burden, particularly in an age in which schools are teaching children to be racists, encouraging them to be climate change alarmists, and pushing ludicrous and dangerous ideas about changing your sex or being “two-spirit.” Granted, two of those occurrences are from California, a state parents should just move away from rather than attempt to reform.

Even in Texas, though, there are leftist salvos in the culture war. Just last October, a mom in Keller, who with her husband had moved their family from California to avoid such things, discovered their new town’s library was offering a book featuring graphic depictions of oral sex. Parents in Leander, a town north of Austin and part of its greater metropolitan area, also discovered books with depictions and illustrations they don’t want their children to have access to without their permission.

While all these initiatives are worthy ideas, and Abbott’s proposal is the strongest yet, the jury is still out on whether they will resolve the issues parents are seeing with schools.

For starters, parental bills of rights require parents to actually be involved, which doesn’t always happen, even in the age of Zoom schooling. As a result, these various bills, amendments, and executive orders could result in nothing more than “won’t somebody please think of the children” activity. As the great men’s basketball coach, known for also educating his players, John Wooden said, “Never mistake activity for achievement.”

Elected officials such as Abbott, DeSantis, and Youngkin may be leading the nation on this front, but they’re doing so in response to their constituents. Youngkin’s victory was likely sealed, in fact, when his opponent Terry McAuliffe said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Given that Youngkin’s implicit message is Stop messing with our kids, you freaks!,” the tide on parents shipping their kids off to school and hoping for the best seems to be turning.

Parents’ bills of rights could still turn out to be gimmicks, an activity that doesn’t lead to achievement, but our kids’ educations are not the government’s job. But at least for those of us who do send our kids to government-run or -funded schools, such measures offer us a way to take more charge and ensure that we approve of what’s being taught in the classroom and offer recourse for times when we have legitimate criticisms.

The work is still up to us parents, but governors and legislatures can give us the tools we need to do that work more effectively.


Richard Cromwell is a writer and senior contributor at The Federalist. He lives in Northwest Arkansas with his wife, three daughters, and two crazy dogs. Co-host of the podcast Coffee & Cochon, you can find him on Facebook and Twitter, though you should probably avoid using social media.

‘Who Better To Help Make That Change But Me?’: Winsome Sears Says Democrats Are Losing Grip On Two Key Demographics


Reported by SEBASTIAN HUGHES | CONTRIBUTOR | December 27, 2021

Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2021/12/27/winsome-sears-glenn-youngkin-virginia-democrat-black-voters/

Glenn Youngkin Campaign Holds Election Night Event
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Winsome Sears, the Republican lieutenant governor-elect of Virginia, told The New York Times that Democrats are at risk of losing Black and immigrant voters. As an immigrant from Jamaica and the first black woman elected to statewide office in Virginia, Sears told the NYT she was the perfect person to kickstart her demographic’s political realignment in America.

“The message is important,” Sears told the outlet. “But the messenger is equally important.”

“The only way to change things is to win elections,” she said. “And who better to help make that change but me? I look like the strategy.”

Sears, who won alongside Republican Virginia governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, attributes her own identification as a conservative to listening to debates over abortion and welfare during the 1988 presidential election, the NYT reported. She later ran in a majority-black district for the House of Delegates in 2001, winning a seat that had been held by a Democrat for 20 years.

Sears argued that Republicans never even tried to sever the historic relationship between black voters and the Democratic Party, which is partly why she decided to run for lieutenant governor, the NYT reported.

Glenn Youngkin Campaigns In Final Days Of Virginia Gubernatorial Election

Virginia Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears gestures as she delivers remarks to supporters at the Old Town Alexandria Farmers Market on October 30, 2021 in Alexandria, Virginia. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“I just took a look at the field, and said, ‘My God, we’re gonna lose again,’” Sears said. “Nobody was going to reach out to the various communities that needed to be heard from: women, immigrants, you know, Latinos, Asians, Blacks, etc.”

Jennifer McClellan, who campaigned for the Democratic nomination for governor before losing to former Gov. Terry Mcauliffe, agreed that her peers should not take black voters for granted, but said it was wrong to assume they supported Sears’ conservative ideology. 

“The vast majority of Black voters disagree with her on abortion, on school choice, on guns,” McClellan told the NYT. “Those aren’t necessarily the issues driving Black voters anyway. It’s the economy, it’s health care, it’s broader access to education.”

John Fredericks, a conservative radio host, agreed that Sears’ principles might have risked her chances of victory had her campaign actually raised enough money to broadcast her politics, the NYT reported. He called her general election campaign “a train wreck from start to finish.”

If You Let Government Parent, Don’t Be Surprised When It Claims Your Kids


Reported By Julie GunlockNOVEMBER 16, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/11/16/if-you-let-government-parent-dont-be-surprised-when-it-claims-your-kids/

Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial win in Virginia sent a clear message to government bureaucrats: treat parents with more respect. Parents are paramount to their kids’ welfare and education, and they have a right to be angry when treated otherwise. Yet parents should also reflect on how we got here and consider how they share at least some of the blame.

For decades, public schools have encroached on some basic parental responsibilities — from feeding kids to health care to helping with homework. Is it any wonder school officials view themselves as the leading authorities on your children?

Consider that, today, a huge number of kids are dropped off at schools before the classes even begin, as early as 6:30 a.m. Kids are watched and fed a simple breakfast. This program, known as “before care,” allows parents to head to work early, which may be necessary for parents who work an early shift. Yet it’s also used by parents who want an early start to the day and a hassle- and kid-free morning.

Many parents also seem happy to let schools feed their kids. The school lunch program, originally designed to help low-income families, is now feeding any child, regardless of need. In fact, according to the School Lunch Association, 7.7 million students paid full price for a school lunch in 2019, meaning the child’s family did not qualify for a reduced or free school lunch.

The full price for a school lunch varies but it averages at about $2.48 for elementary school and $2.74 for high school. Even with rising inflation, that’s enough to make a simple meal for a child. Yet so many parents who could easily do this themselves instead opt to let the school feed their kids because it’s convenient.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also funds weekend, holiday, and summer meal programs. This is on top of the generous food assistance that’s already provided to needy families through various programs. During the COVID shutdown of schools, even wealthy moms partook of these free food giveaways, since the USDA waived all requirements to show enrollment in the school meal program.

Working late? No sweat! Like the “before care” program, most schools now offer “after care” programs so that parents can work late. Participating students are typically assisted with their homework and fed. Not having to do homework with your kid sounds nice, but it also robs parents of knowing what is being taught and how their kid is doing with his or her schoolwork.

Students are even able to seek medical treatment without their parents’ consent. In Alexandria, Virginia, the high school’s “Teen Wellness Center” will alert parents if a child is seen for a cold, acne, or a few other minor illnesses. But parents are not informed if their child is there for a pregnancy test, diagnosis, and treatment of a sexually transmitted disease (including HIV), a prescription for birth control, “behavior change counseling,” mental health counseling, or substance abuse counseling. These services are all offered free of charge, so at no point would a student need to inform a parent.

Those who advocate for keeping children’s medical care private from parents often cite concerns about abuse arising from a parent finding out about their child’s sexual activity or its consequences. Yet school officials seem less concerned about the harms that could result from letting a child navigate these traumatic and potentially life-altering health conditions without assistance from their parents.

As for discipline, parents rarely have a place at the table. While schools used to be willing to contact parents, share information, and work as partners in setting kids on a better path, today, restorative justice programs cut out parents (and law enforcement), and reduce discipline to a performative joke.

If parents want to be respected by school officials, they need to stop ceding parenting basics to others. By placing these duties in the hands of teachers and school officials, parents have weakened their case that they are the primary caregivers for their children. I’m glad parents are fighting for their rights, but they should never have given up so much authority over their children’s upbringing in the first place.

Julie Gunlock directs the Independent Women’s Network and its Center for Progress and Innovation. She is the author of “From Cupcakes to Chemicals: How the Culture of Alarmism Makes Us Afraid of Everything and How to Fight Back.”

Matthew Cochran Op-ed: Amid The Parent Surge, Republicans Can Either Lead, Follow, Or Get Out Of The Way


Commentary By Matthew Cochran | NOVEMBER 9, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/11/09/amid-the-parent-surge-republicans-can-either-lead-follow-or-get-out-of-the-way/

Americans have two political parties, both of which we loathe. We take turns punishing one by rewarding the other. Our political elites depend on this vicious cycle, and it’s why the only thing both parties ever seem to agree on is screwing ordinary Americans like a two-headed weasel in heat.

It’s easy to think it’s merely that vicious cycle at work in Virginia’s recent election upset: Democrats came out hard in favor of enabling bathroom rape, teaching kids that white skin is evil, and alerting the FBI about parents who expressed concern over such things.

So they got punished for it, and now Republicans have a new opportunity to squander. After that, Americans would normally punish the GOP for failing their mandate by reelecting Democrats who finally rediscovered how to shut up about their true intentions for five minutes.

But the opportunity presented to Virginia Republicans goes beyond another chance for the GOP to suckle on a fresh serving of voters’ goodwill. The massive rightward shift in Virginia wasn’t just business as usual. It was driven by a growing number of parents choosing to reclaim their authority over their households.

Parents Awaken to Their Responsibilities

Providence has given parents the awesome responsibility to raise and provide for the well-being of their children. Like any true responsibility, it comes with the authority to carry it out. When parents are unable to fulfill those responsibilities alone, they delegate.

For example, if parents cannot reliably protect their household from murderers, rapists, and robbers, they collaborate with institutions that can. If they cannot adequately educate their children alone, they enlist the help of teachers. This delegation is ultimately why any and every government institution exists: to assist families in some way or another.

It is precisely this authority Democrat Terry McAuliffe openly tried to usurp. As a result, the election became a referendum on whether children belong to the state. Enough parents were willing to say “no” that a blue state turned red overnight.

Parents can be tricked into delegating their authority to the unfit if they can plausibly tell themselves their children will be fine. The public school system is proof enough of that.

But the past couple of years have rapidly eroded that plausibility. We’ve seen schools forcibly cover children’s faces and isolate them from friends over an illness that poses virtually no threat to them. Remote learning also exposed their curriculum to an extent most parents had never witnessed before. The promotion of sexual degeneracy by schools is likewise coming home to roost more and more often.

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied

It’s also not just Virginia and not just the schools. Our state and federal governments have spent two years devastating our economy, stripping our stores bare, and inflating our currency, making it harder than ever to care for our children. Our media has spent even longer lying to us about all this and more, and it is only doubling down on censorship for the sake of our elites. Worst of all, the Biden-Harris administration has tried to threaten our families with destitution unless we submit to vaccines whose risks often far outstrip any potential benefit.

These are not things parents will forget—especially when committed by those to whom we delegated our authority for the sake of our children. There are also limits to how long any parent is willing to simply wait and hope for improvement before taking action for our children’s sake.

This reclamation of authority by parents is still a work in progress, certainly—McAuliffe only lost by two points, after all. But it is in progress, and it’s not easily reversible.

Once a parent realizes someone has threatened his child, he will never trust that person again. If parents cannot disassociate the people threatening them from the institutions these people run, then they will not trust the institutions either.

Nobody who’s gotten a good look at the true face of progressivism is going to forget it anytime soon. This new dynamic is not stopping. It is accelerating.

If Republicans Don’t Use Their Power, They’re Toast

That brings us to the opportunity for Republicans. I’ve seen a lot of people are calling this a seismic shift in government. But the only reason parents voted for Republicans is that they still hold out hope that the GOP might willingly serve on their behalf.

Should that hope prove false, parents won’t stop trying to reclaim their authority; they will just start doing so in even more earth-shaking ways. One way or another, America’s vicious two-party cycle is not going to persist for much longer. This is the bare minimum Republican office-holders need to do to keep that hope alive.

First, education needs to be addressed, and a few token policy changes aren’t going to cut it. Those faculty and administrators who betrayed parents’ trust need to be removed.

The person who was distributing pornography to your children in school, for example, won’t suddenly become trustworthy because someone makes a rule. The same is true of teachers and administrators who hate your child because of her skin tone. Those people need to go—some fired, some even prosecuted.

Public universities that train teachers to act this way likewise need to be addressed. No program peddling degeneracy and critical race theory to aspiring educators should receive any state funding.

To the timid who complain, “But that’s cancel culture!” I simply respond, “Yes.” If someone starts shooting at your children, you aren’t “sinking to their level” by returning fire. It is parents’ moral obligation to fight back. Leftist institutions chose to escalate to this level of aggression, and they can choke on the consequences.

Yes, this will certainly be a long and difficult battle, which is why parents should immediately be given school choice until it’s resolved. Let parents take their tax dollars away from these errant institutions so they can enlist the help of real schools instead.

Faith In Election Integrity Must Be Restored

Republicans’ second job should be to decisively end voter fraud in their municipalities so parents are guaranteed a voice in their government. There is no point in winning votes if we lose on counting votes.

Do a full forensic investigation of elections you won whether you think there was fraud or not. Prosecute every violation you find whether it made a difference in the outcome or not. And after the investigation, enact common-sense fraud control to address everything you found.

Americans deserve to have confidence in their elections, and parents need to know they still have a say. Republicans need to teach by example that any state or municipality that refuses to transparently ensure the fairness of its elections is doing so because they have something to hide.

Third, Republicans need to use their state and local offices to protect people against the corporations and the federal government that are actively attacking families. Ban corporate mask and vaccine mandates. Provide compensation and other assistance for people being fired for their consciences. Enact laws explicitly holding corporations responsible for the side-effects of any medical treatment they mandate. And, of course, prevent schools from forcing vaccines and other procedures on students—or encouraging such things behind their backs.

Sanctuary States for Right Voters

Now that federal officials are trying to classify outspoken parents as domestic terrorists, states and municipalities will also need to protect their people from those agencies. Republicans should be as diligent about creating sanctuary cities for their own people as the Democrats are about creating sanctuaries for illegal aliens.

Republicans and other conservatives have been great at making careers out of complaining about the left, but that isn’t going to cut it anymore. Parents are finally acting like parents again and taking back their God-given authority. They are offering Republicans a chance to assist them. They aren’t going to stop taking action just because Republicans fail yet again.

Neither are they going to stop because leftists call them racist for the thousandth time. Not only is everyone growing numb to such histrionics, they cease to matter when our children are under threat.

The left can complain about white women voting for white kids all they want, but mothers and fathers are almost always going to vote for their children—not because they’re white, but because they’re their children. No adequate parent really cares about someone’s motive for viciously attacking his family; parents are still going to defend their kids no matter what it takes.

Matthew’s writing may be found at The 96th Thesis. You can also follow him on Twitter @matt_e_cochran or subscribe to his YouTube Channel, Lutheran in a Strange Land. He holds an MA from Concordia Theological Seminary.

‘We Do Not Co-Parent With The Government’: Virginians React To McAuliffe’s Dismissal Of Parental Oversight In Education


Reported by HAROLD HUTCHISON | CONTRIBUTOR | September 29, 2021

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/we-do-not-co-parent-with-the-government-virginians-react-to-mcauliffes-dismissal-of-parental-oversight-in-education-2655198366.html/

Candidates Participate In Final Debate For Virginia's Gubernatorial Race
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe generated reactions across the country after making a controversial statement about parental involvement in education during the Sept. 28 gubernatorial debate with Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin.

“I’m not gonna let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions,” said McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee who previously served a term as governor from 2014-2018. He went on to boast of his 2016 veto of legislation that would have allowed parents to block sexually explicit books.

Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools recently were forced to pull two books, “Gender Queer” and “Lawn Boy,” after explicit material was revealed by Stacy Langdon, a mother, during a school board meeting on Sept. 23. Neighboring Loudoun County has been the flashpoint for debates over the use of critical race theory (CRT) in schools.

CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.

“Terry McAuliffe believes that parents should have no say in their children’s education so that he and his radical special interest allies can keep pushing their political agenda into classrooms. As governor, McAuliffe shut down parents who wanted a better education and more choices for their children, and his disastrous policies and lower standards have led to plummeting SOL scores and more students being left behind” Youngkin campaign spokesman Christian Martinez said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Glenn Youngkin will get politics out of our schools and be a champion for parents and students.”

“The public schools in Virginia do not exist to raise our children, they exist to teach them math, science, reading, writing, and history. They definitely shouldn’t be providing pornographic material, encouraging gender confusion, and teaching children that they are either oppressed or oppressors,” Ian Prior, a Loudoun County parent and executive director of Fight for Schools, told the DCNF.

“Well, it’s unfortunate that one of our governor candidates, McAuliffe, feels parents do not have a right to their own children in the schools. We do not co-parent with the government, we do not co-parent with teachers or with the school board. We are the parents and ultimately, we have the final decision over our children,” Patti Hidalgo Menders, the president of the Loudoun County Republican Women’s Club and a parent with children in Loudoun County Public Schools, told the DCNF.

“We have every right to know the materials they are reading in the schools. That’s our right as a parent,” she added.

“The intentional efforts made by certain elected officials starting from the school board all the way up to a gubernatorial candidate like Terry McAuliffe to silence and shut out parents from their children’s education and insert themselves as the government as the primary educator instead of the parents being the primary educator of the children is appalling.” Elizabeth Schultz, a former member of the Fairfax County school board who has a child in middle school said.

“Every parent, regardless of their political affiliation, regardless what age their students are, should be repelled by the notion that the government alone is in charge of what your children learn,” she added. 

Across the country, parents have been speaking out about the use of critical race theory in classes. In Missouri, an online training seminar became controversial when the trainer, Dr. LaGarrett King of the University of Missouri, coached teachers on how to sneak teaching social justice past “Trump country” parents. In Loudoun County, several school board members were part of a secret Facebook group that sought to publically expose parents who opposed the use of critical race theory in school curricula. The revelation triggered a recall campaign targeting six of the members. Loudoun County Public Schools denied using critical race theory, but evidence provided by parents contradicted that denial.

McAuliffe’s remarks also drew criticism on social media.

“Terry McAuliffe should learn Virginia law. #VAgov § 1-240.1. Rights of parents. A parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child,” McAuliffe’s opponent, Glenn Youngkin, posted on Twitter,

Radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt vowed on Twitter that he was playing McAuliffe’s comment “coming into every break” during his program.

“Last night on the gubernatorial debate stage Terry McAuliffe stood before you and said ‘I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach’. The choice is CLEAR. Vote @GlennYoungkin,” Aliscia Andrews, a Loudoun County parent and former Republican candidate for Congress, tweeted.

Julie Perry, the Republican nominee for the 86th House District for the Virginia House of Delegates, noted McAuliffe’s endorsement of her opponent on Twitter, and after quoting his remarks, asked if her opponent would “distance herself from the top of her ticket.”

Steven Law, whose Twitter profile describes him as CEO of the Senate Leadership Fund, noted in a tweet that the issue with McAuliffe’s statement went beyond what he said.

In July, campaign finance disclosures revealed that McAuliffe’s campaign received $250,000 from the American Federation of Teachers. The Virginia Education Association’s political action committee has endorsed McAuliffe’s candidacy.

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