The Democrats have long been the party hostile to parental rights. They support laws that permit teen abortions without parental consent or even notification. They encourage children to pursue “gender-affirming care” behind their parents’ backs. They run candidates like Terry McAuliffe who say, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” But all of this opposition to parental rights is catching up with the party politically. Its strategists fear a parental backlash at the polls this fall. Out of this anxiety has come the Biden administration’s latest scam: the U.S. Department of Education’s National Parents and Families Engagement Council.
Miguel Cardona, Biden’s secretary of education, announced the creation of the council on June 14. “The National Parents and Families Engagement Council will serve as an important link between families and caregivers, education advocates and their school communities,” he said. “The Council will help foster a collaborative environment where we can work together to serve the best interest of students and ensure they have the academic and mental health support they need to recover from the pandemic and thrive in the future.”
This is the same secretary of education who won’t say whether schools should inform parents if their children are “transitioning.” It is also the same secretary of education who participated in a scheme to unleash the FBI on complaining parents at school board meetings.
His new council is obviously designed not to serve parents but to bamboozle them. It is a pathetic political prop, as evident in the left-wing composition of the council — just a bunch of progressive groups, such as Mocha Moms, that support the agenda of the Democrats.
“The Biden administration claims it formed the recently unveiled ‘parents council’ to better reflect families’ views in public schools — but its members include Al Sharpton’s community organizing group, activists who lobby to teach ‘comprehensive sex education’ including gender identity theory in school, and open borders groups,” reports the Washington Stand.
The Biden administration seeks the votes, not the input, of parents. Its multiple propaganda projects — from critical race theory to gender theorizing in elementary schools — depend upon driving a wedge between parents and children. All of Biden’s executive orders and policies in favor of transgenderism presuppose that the autonomy of the child trumps the wishes of the parents. Biden wants to make it a crime for parents to seek psychiatric treatment for their confused children. Beneath all of his hysterical blather about the evils of “conversion therapy” lies the totalitarian assertion that the state, not parents, knows what is best for children.
Hillary Clinton once famously took the position that children have a right to sue their parents and promoted the mantra that “it takes a village” to raise them. Spelling this position out even more explicitly, the liberal pundit Melissa Harris-Perry has said that “we have to break through our kind of private idea that ‘kids belong to their parents’ or ‘kids belong to their families,’ and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.”
This is the anti-parent collectivism at the heart of the Biden administration’s policies, and it explains why Biden is such a shill for the crumbling public school system. He needs to herd as many children as possible into it so that the state can propagandize them for cowed citizenship in the fundamentally transformed America to come. Pesky parents are seen by the left as an impediment to that transformation. Much of the left’s rhetoric is designed to fool parents into surrendering their natural rights to the “experts” of the state.
Even the name of Biden’s hastily assembled council sounds suspicious, implying that “parents and families” are distinct entities, with the latter representing an interest separate from the interest of biological parents. The Department of Education’s press release about the council also refers nebulously to “caregiver representatives from national organizations” that will work with it — meaning left-wing activists opposed to parental rights.
The tone about parents in the press release is condescending. “Parents provide critical perspective, and they should always have a seat at the table whenever decisions are made that impact their children. And this is more important than ever in the effort to help students recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Anna King, president of National Parent Teacher Association, is quoted as saying in the release. How big of her! How reassured parents must be to know they get “a seat at the table.”
But even that patronizing is bogus. On the issues most crucial to the left, the Biden administration seeks to exclude parents. Wherever parental rights and wokeness collide, Biden supports the latter. “As I said last year, especially to our younger transgender Americans, I’ll always have your back,” he has said. This means turning his back on parents. He clearly considers self-mutilation a “civil right” beyond the control of parents.
The party’s problem with parents is not cosmetic but philosophical. The success of its agenda is staked on the diminution of parental rights. Biden’s new council of “parents” at the Department of Education will not correct that problem but conceal it, and thereby give insulted parents yet another reason to vote Democrats out in the fall.