Their disdain and contempt for parents contributed significantly to their party's electoral loss late last year, as middle-of-the-road parents rose up against school closures, racialized indoctrination, and other school-related controversies. These parents were told their concerns were anti-science, racist dogwhistles, and bigoted fear-mongering. The Biden Justice Department identified them as a national security threat. Then they voted, and Democrats lost. A 2020 D+10 state went R+2 in the span of a year -- yet Democrats seem determined to continue their parental alienation strategy. During Gov. Glenn Youngkin's first address to the legislature, laying out his agenda, he spoke about the role and rights of parents in their children's education. Republican members rose to their feet in a standing ovation. Democrats sat on their hands, stone-faced:
WATCH: Democrats refuse to applaud when @GovernorVA @GlennYoungkin tells parents they “have a fundamental right, enshrined in law by this General Assembly, to make decisions with regard to your child’s upbringing, education and care. And we will protect and reassert that right." pic.twitter.com/TMTVLkI5U4— Matt Wolking (@MattWolking) January 17, 2022
His line wasn't even especially pointed or controversial, but the tribes have spoken: Republicans enthusiastically believe parents have a fundamental right "to make decisions with regard to [their] child's upbringing, education, and care." Democrats aren't so sure, and certainly don't view such a sentiment as an applause line. Youngkin also wasn't kidding when he said this right was "enshrined in law" by Virginia's legislature. The Democratic Party in Michigan similarly allowed the mask to slip recently by posting an anti-parents screed on Facebook, backtracking and deleting it hours later, following irate blowback:
how it started how it's going pic.twitter.com/ckRbnDgUok— Corey A. DeAngelis (@DeAngelisCorey) January 17, 2022
The first post makes a strong case for school choice, which most Michigan Democratic officials oppose. It asserts that parents can send their kids to hand-selected private schools if they so desire. But many parents cannot afford that luxury. School choice advocates would like to level the playing field by allowing education dollars to follow students, not government systems. Defenders (Democrats, unions) of the government monopoly, in which under-privilege students are trapped, oppose that equity-pursuing policy. The second post attempts to "clarify" that Michigan Democrats don't really believe the thrust of their original post. Parents can probably guess which one reflects the party's true views.
Back to Virginia, where blue counties are defying the Governor's new executive order reversing universal mask requirements in schools, allowing parents to make choices on this front for their own kids. Law professor Jonathan Turley tries to untangle the complex legal issues at play and concludes that a recently-passed state law might make it difficult for Youngkin to prevail in court, so long as school districts insist on following CDC guidance (which departs from school masking guidance from the EU CDC, the UK government, etc). Turley wonders if the resistance districts can scientifically justify the basis for requiring paper and cloth face coverings, given their uselessness against stopping the spread of COVID, and Omicron in particular. Others are wondering the same thing, in the Old Dominion and elsewhere:
Unvaccinated children have lower death rates from COVID than vaccinated adults. Any kid over age five can get a vaccine in Virginia, we have so many they can't give all the shots away.— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) January 17, 2022
Oh and Arlington schools in Virginia were closed for a whole extra week for snow. And they didn't even do any Zoom school during that week. Snow was cleared up in a couple days. What did Arlington school authorities think kids were doing that week?— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) January 18, 2022
Mayor Adams is having fun with 20,000 maskless friends at Knicks game today.— Justin Spiro, LCSW (@Jusrangers) January 17, 2022
Tomorrow he will force 3-year-olds to mask for speech therapy and Kindergartners to mask for recess outdoors.
Adult recreation once again takes precedence over children’s developmental needs. pic.twitter.com/7TAhwM7liJ
It's incoherent and transparently politicized. It's not about data or science, as I argued on Fox:
Virginia Gov. @GlennYoungkin is correct on school masking. The data backs his eminently reasonable policy & he should fight jurisdictions who refuse to comply with his pro-parents rights and pro-science executive order — via @marthamaccallum’s show: pic.twitter.com/dFdcAzfCY5— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) January 17, 2022
Read this piece for the facts about the weak-to-nonexistent data on school masking efficacy, versus the known downsides of required child masking across-the-board. Lending their brand to the political fight is the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is urging continued mask-wearing in schools. Youngkin believes that parents should be able to follow this recommendation if they so choose. Critics note that this is the same AAP organization that did not furnish data to a left-leaning journalist asking for the scientific basis for a previous mask recommendation. It's the same AAP that reversed itself on disastrous school closures (from right to wrong), in alignment with the teachers unions. And it's the same AAP that appeared to memory-hole findings on its website about the importance of seeing faces to pediatric development. This is a politicized group that has richly earned public skepticism. Parents are right not to simply accept their declarations from on high, especially with many respected doctors dissenting.
Relatedly, Arlington Public Schools -- first among the Youngkin resisters -- has also declined to provide journalists with scientific evidence defending their stance. Remember, these are the "pro science" people, in their own minds. It seems highly relevant and instructive, does it not, that the same people who were catastrophically and harmfully wrong on school closures for a year -- ignoring the data and outcomes all over the world, etc. -- are largely the same people making hysterical declarations about school masking. They should sit this one out, but their previous wrongness is never a deterrent for more wrongness, or even a catalyst for self-doubt. I'll leave you with another positive element of Youngkin's early flurry of executive orders, as well as a preview of the absolutely incessant attacks that are headed his way for the next four years, no matter how comical or ridiculous the "criticism" might be:
Parts of VA got up to 10" of snow and the former governor left people stranded in the snow on I-95 for 30 hours literally two weeks ago.— Noam Blum (@neontaster) January 17, 2022
This tweet has over 10k likes, by the way. https://t.co/DFDpjVvuVJ