On education, Terry McAuliffe said the silent part out loud
Americans think public education should prepare children to succeed in the modern world and to have general knowledge of their country and government. Leftists, though, believe education is about indoctrination. Lately, this has involved teaching children Critical Race Theory and pushing transgenderism. Parents are appalled. That's why it mattered that, during the gubernatorial debate in Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe said the left's quiet part out loud: "I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach."
America's founders strongly supported education. Here's George Washington:
A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing ... than ... communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?
For more than two centuries, Washington's vision mostly held sway. Education was about reading, writing, and arithmetic. With increased immigration after the Civil War, education was used to create a common American culture. After WWII, when America was the major player in the world theater, schools expanded the breadth, if not the depth, of what children should know.
Also, after WWII, leftists pushed to teach children that America is a cruel, hate-filled country and that socialism is the only good and fair system of government. In the 1960s through 1980s (my years getting educated), these principles were like a silent current underlying education but they were never overt.
Beginning in the 1990s, though, and with accelerating pressure over the last 20 years, leftism has aggressively taken over classrooms. The anti-American history book by the open socialist Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States, is the most used American history textbook in colleges and high schools. In California's best high schools, students don't read Twain, Shakespeare, Dickens, or Austen, but they will read about life in a South African brothel, complete with incomprehensible dialect writing. And then there's climate change's lesson, which is to give government power or we're all going to die.
Parents mostly accepted this as the price of a modern education. You can't fight the system because the teachers (many of whom are uneducated and vindictive) will make your child suffer.
Things changed in 2020. COVID lockdowns meant that kids sat at the kitchen table and listened to their teachers — and, for the first time, parents heard those teachers. What they heard horrified them because it had gone beyond "America bad" and "we're all going to die." The new classroom dialectic was that Blacks are perpetual victims and Whites are inherently evil. Moreover, "White values," such as self-discipline, accuracy, ambition, and grammar, are also inherently evil.
Then there was the obsession with transgenderism. It's one thing for children to be taught to be tolerant of differences. It's another thing to encourage children to abandon their biological sex or for pornographic books encouraging pedophilia to sit on the library shelves.
No school districts have been more prominently featured this aggressive cultural Marxism than two in Virginia: Loudoun and Fairfax. Consequently, no parents have been more active than the ones in those counties in pushing back against the cultural Marxism being foisted on their innocent children. So it happened that, in the increasingly close gubernatorial race in Virginia, with former governor Terry McAuliffe representing Democrats and Glenn Youngkin seeking the Republican vote, education came up during the candidates' debate.
Youngkin decried it, in the context of schools making pornographic material available to students. He raised the fact that when McAuliffe was governor, he vetoed legislation that would have sent a notice to parents when school materials were sexually explicit.
McAuliffe, instead of acknowledging that we're not looking at the old "birds and the bees" stuff, pushed back. When he's back in the governor's mansion, he said, "I'm not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions."
And then McAuliffe uttered the magic leftist words: "I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach."
Terry McAuliffe: "I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach." pic.twitter.com/7S15pTv1gY— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 28, 2021
There it is: leftists don't view "public schools" as community schools that reflect the values of the parents who entrust their children to those institutions. Instead, these are government schools, where the government (read: leftists) imposes on children the values that benefit the political party that controls schools (read: almost invariably Democrats through the hard-left teachers' unions).
Unsurprisingly, by Wednesday, Youngkin had put out a powerful 30-second ad:
Parents will put up with a lot, but when they think their children are threatened — being accused of being racists or perpetual victims or being encouraged to embrace damaging alternative sexual behaviors and identities — they will fight back with Mama Bear fury. The one thing that might still save America from Democrat depredation is parents.
Image: Terry McAuliffe. Twitter screen grab (image edited).
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