Commentary: On Critical Race Theory, the Left’s Manipulations and Double Standards Are No Match for the Truth

"End Racism Now" sign and "Black Lives Matter" in a crowd

People old enough to remember the academic culture wars of the late 1980s and early ’90s have a special insight into this year’s controversy over critical race theory. I don’t mean insight into the identity politics of the old days and into the identity politics of 2021, though the basic features are the same whether we are talking about the English syllabus in college in 1989 or the equity lesson in elementary school this fall. I mean, instead, the particular way in which liberals have handled the backlash once the trends in the higher education seminar of yore and in the 6th grade classroom of today have been made public. 

Here’s what happened back then. In the 1970s and ’80s, a new political awareness crept into humanities teaching and research at elite universities, casting the old humanist ideals of beauty and genius and greatness as spurious myths, as socially constructed notions having a political purpose. We were told that they are not natural, neutral, or objective. No, they are Eurocentric, patriarchal, even theological (in that they presumed a transhistorical, universal character for select masterpieces). Shakespeare, Milton, Bernini, et al., were not on the syllabus because they were talents superior to all others. No, they were only there because  the people in control were institutionalizing their biases. This whole canon thing, the revisionists insisted, was a fake. As Edward Said put it in “Secular Criticism,” “The realities of power and authority . . .  are realities that make texts possible,” and any criticism that skirts the power and authority that put Shakespeare on the syllabus and not someone else is a dodge. 

They could diversify, then. That’s what the skepticism enabled them to do. They could drop requirements in Western civilization. They needn’t force every student through a “great books” sequence. The “classics” are just one possibility among many others. That was the policy outcome at one tier-one campus after another. 

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‘We’re Still Here,’ Loudoun Parents Say, ‘We’re Not Spiking the Ball Because Youngkin Won’

“We are still here” even though the election is over, about 150 parents reminded the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) school board outside its Tuesday meeting.

Concerned community members, parents, grandparents and students spoke out during the meeting to tell the school board that although Glenn Youngkin won the gubernatorial race last Tuesday, the problems at LCPS still remain.

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Commentary: Virginia Paves the Way for Trump’s Return

There has been a great deal of discussion of the widespread Republican victories last week, many of them belaboring the obvious. Fundamentally, the United States is a political society based on personal freedom, a free market, and on democratically legislated and responsibly enforced laws. The current administration’s belief in virtually unrestricted immigration, higher taxes, authoritarian regulation—including COVID vaccine mandates, and a heavy redistribution of wealth from those who have earned it to those who have not—are all antagonistic to the ethos that the United States has had for all of its history. In the circumstances, some sort of reversal was almost inevitable and is the off-year American electoral custom. 

Those who were surprised by the Republican victory in Virginia and the near-dead heat in New Jersey had not recognized the extent of the affront to traditional democratic voters of the Sanders-woke-leftward lurch.

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Twitter Users Slam Article Claiming White Women ‘Killing America’

Twitter users criticized a Wednesday article by Wajahat Ali which argued white women are “killing America” by voting for Republicans.

“The cult of Karen will always turn on people of color on a dime to uphold oppressive systems that ensure they remain influential and powerful handmaidens of white,” Ali claims.

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Commentary: McAuliffe’s Defeat Shows Abortion Extremism Doesn’t Win

Terry McAuliffe

I woke up Wednesday morning so grateful that my state, Virginia, had voted out abortion extremism. Abortion activists were supposed to sweep Terry McAuliffe back to the governor’s mansion. McAuliffe spent millions of dollars on ads blasting Glenn Youngkin for being pro-life and brought in outside speakers, including former President Obama, to campaign on the issue of abortion. Instead of keeping Virginia blue, these efforts may have propelled Youngkin to victory. The 5% of voters who said abortion was their top issue in the 2021 election backed Youngkin by a 12-percentage-point margin. 

Some policy analysts seem shocked by how abortion radicalism blew up in McAuliffe’s face, but they shouldn’t be. More than three quarters of the American people support significant restrictions on abortion and are making their voices heard at the polls. Instead of listening to them, McAuliffe pandered to an extreme base that makes up a tiny portion of the electorate. 

Protecting the most vulnerable is a winning issue, it should be a bipartisan issue, and Youngkin’s success paves the way for a wave of pro-life candidates in 2022 to win in purple and blue states by calling out the extreme pro-abortion views of their opponents. 

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Commentary: Youngkin Shock Win in Virginia Vote of No Confidence in Biden, Portends Red Wave for GOP in Congress in 2022

This is one of the greatest votes of no confidence in the 21st Century.

Against the destructive policies of President Joe Biden, a torrent of spending that has brought back memories of the 1970s — surging inflation as the middle class are taxed their savings at the grocery store and then scenes of American defeat overseas in Afghanistan that stranded hundreds of Americans and thousands of American allies, who now suffer under the tyranny of the Taliban.

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Commentary: Low Characters of the Elites in Ludicrous Situations

sock and buskin masks

Reflecting on the unfolding disaster that is our social and political life in the United States during the consulship of Biden, I cannot help but think of Aristotle’s description of the structure of Greek tragedy. Obviously, the parallels are not exact. For one thing, tragedy as Aristotle understood it was a quick affair, its action over within a single day. Our national tragedy, by contrast, seems to lumber on indefinitely.

Then there is the question of the character of the protagonist. Aristotle’s chap is “a man who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty.” Sound like Joe Biden? Almost, maybe, but not really. Rudy Giuliani was not talking through his hat when he invoked the specter of the “Biden crime family,” as the words “laptop,” “China,” and “10 percent for the big guy” remind us.

There are many other differences between tragedy in Aristotle’s sense and the disaster we are suffering through. Still, when I think about the development Aristotle traces from ἁμαρτία (the tragic flaw) through ἀναγνώρισις (recognition) to περιπέτεια (the sudden reversal of fortune) to καταστροφή, the “catastrophe” that ties up the loose ends and consummates the action, I think “We’re somewhere on that road,” though exactly where is hard to say. Have we achieved the enlightenment of recognition yet? I am not at all sure about that.

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Commentary: Virginia’s Governor Race a Referendum on Education Reform

Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin

Loudoun County, Virginia, an affluent suburb of Washington, D.C., represents the contentious zeitgeist bedeviling the body politic. As I reported elsewhere last year, the Loudoun County school board has become ground zero in an escalating culture war in which concerned parents oppose leftist indoctrination posing as curriculum.

The latest salvo—launched in the heat of a dead-even gubernatorial race in Virginia, and in the wake of U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s much-criticized memo suggesting that disgruntled parents opposing school boards pose a national security threat—is captured in a Washington Post column with the provocative headline “Parents claim they have the right to shape their kids’ school curriculum. They don’t.”

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Trump: If My Base Turns out to Vote for Youngkin, He Will Win Virginia Gubernatorial Race

Donald Trump sitting at desk

Former President Trump said in an interview on Saturday that Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin will win if his base turns out to vote.

“I think he’s gonna do very well,” Trump said of Youngkin on Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine”.

Trump compared former Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s comment in a debate with Youngkin, saying parents shouldn’t tell schools what to teach their children, to Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment of Trump supporters during the 2016 presidential race.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: Youngkin vs. McAuliffe and Their Two Opposing Strategies

Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin

Virginia was supposed to be a solid blue state. Joe Biden carried it by 10 points. Since 2013, Democrats have won 13 straight statewide elections. Terry McAuliffe is a former governor who started this race with a massive name recognition advantage and presumably a substantial advantage in knowledge about state government.

Yet, today the race is too close to call. If McAuliffe does win, he will barely squeak through in a state the Democrat should be carrying handily.

And, of course, there is a distinctly real possibility (I would say a probability) that Glenn Youngkin will become the next governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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Prominent Liberal Watchdog Group Files Hatch Act Complaint Against Jen Psaki

A prominent liberal watchdog group filed a Hatch Act complaint against White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday, saying her apparent endorsement of Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McCauliffe during a White House press briefing may have violated federal law.

“By mixing official government business with support of a candidate for partisan political office in the weeks before the election and engaging in political activity while on duty, Ms. Psaki appears to have used her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election, political activity that is prohibited by law,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) said in its complaint filed with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC).

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Commentary: The One Number That Puts Youngkin in the Governor’s Mansion

Some more thoughts on the FOX News poll showing former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe up by 5 points over Republican challenger Glenn Youngkin just three (and now two) weeks out from the November 2nd election.

One of the numbers in the poll? McAuliffe’s support among black voters at +63. Which is shorthand for a 79/16 gap — which sounds atrocious (and quite frankly, is atrocious for a party built on the premise that all men should be free).

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Commentary: Virginia, Not California, Will Provide Lessons for 2022

In the wake of a big statewide campaign win of any kind, political pundits rev into overdrive with broad pronouncements about the takeaways and what the result reveals about the mood of the nation. Often, the results are more prosaic — simply the political status quo for that particular state or district in that specific slice of time.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s smackdown of the recall was no different this week. Few longtime state politicos were surprised by his ability to win big in solidly blue California.

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McAuliffe Fundraising Prowess Becomes Liability After Vineyard Gala, Disabilities Snub

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe is famous for his voracious fundraising, from his roles as head of the Clinton money machine to his success the last time he was governor. But now his fund-raising is earning him some infamy.

McAuliffe, in a close race to reclaim the Virginia governorship against GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin, has for decades raised millions for his party and some of its marquee candidates including former President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary Clinton, a two-time White House candidate.

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Trump Calls Democratic VA Candidate Terry McAuliffe Bill Clinton’s ‘Bagman’ in Youngkin Endorsement

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Republican nominee for governor Glenn Youngkin in a Tuesday message that called Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe Bill Clinton’s “bagman.”

Trump’s endorsement comes after Youngkin, the former CEO of the private equity giant Carlyle Group, won the Republican nomination for Virginia governor Monday, the New York Times reported. The Virginia election will be one of only two state elections choosing governors in 2021.

“Congratulations to Glenn Youngkin for winning the Republican nomination for Governor of Virginia,” the former president said. “Glenn is pro-Business, pro-Second Amendment, pro-Veterans, pro-America, he knows how to make Virginia’s economy rip-roaring, and he has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

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