About five or six decades ago,as the Republican Party’s anti-intellectualism reached a fever pitch and they realized they couldn’t win on their policies alone, the GOP decided the way to go was to embrace culture wars – convince voters in the middle that the other team was progressing too far, too fast and somewhere along the line they could get buried. This is why every year we have to deal with the War on Christmas that’s resulted in absolutely zero federal legislation ever getting passed and nearly every election year Republicans try to make an issue out of one that’s non-existent, usually with not so subtle racist subtext to it.
This year, they managed to seize on their opportunity with the Virginia gubernatorial race, going after a gaffe made by Terry McAuliffe and using it as proof that McAuliffe would use critical race theory to indoctrinate children to become anti-American. CRT is the latest culture war target even though no public grammar schools and high schools actually teach it and almost no Republican politicians or voters can actually explain what it is or what it would imply. Given the success it gave them this year, you can count on CRT accusations to surface again in some shape or form in the 2022 midterms.
Fortunately, Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gave the perfect answern at a briefing today that Democratic candidates should memorize and have ready for next fall. She made clear that curricular decisions are left to the discretion of the community through the school board and not to politicians but then pointed out the real issue: Republicans are not being truthful about where we stand and they know it – and CRT histrionics are really just them pretending to be concerned about children as a political football but won’t be there when it matters – as none of them voted for the American Rescue Plan – something that in ordinary times would be a very beneficial piece of legislation with bipartisan support, even if many of them are taking credit. This would force Republicans to either dodge or try to explain their lack of support – and when you’re explaining, you’re losing.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making