Youngkin’s Stand Against Woke Iconoclasts - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Youngkin’s Stand Against Woke Iconoclasts
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin speaks after election, Chantilly, Va., Nov. 3, 2021 (Chirag Nagpal/Shutterstock)

Woke liberalism is drenched in hypocritical sanctimony. It condemns past evils while perpetuating present ones. Progressives responsible for a shameless culture of abortion and other grave evils are in no position to judge admired historical figures such as America’s Founding Fathers. And yet progressives do, demanding that public-school educational materials cast President George Washington and company in a diminished light.

Let’s hope other governors follow Youngkin’s example and prevent America’s public schools from turning into propaganda camps for Biden’s dysfunctional America.

Displaying the common sense that propelled him to victory last year, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin refuses to humor this nihilistic nonsense. It came out recently that plans were afoot at the Virginia Department of Education to change “Standards of Learning” to exclude mentions of Washington as “Father of our Country” and President James Madison as “Father of the Constitution” on statewide tests. But Youngkin has blocked them.

“I disagree with the removing of the nomenclature of George Washington as the father of our country, because of course he was and, of course, James Madison as the father of our Constitution. So all these standards still need significant work,” said Youngkin. “And we’re going to reinforce as part of our curriculum, the role of our founding fathers in our country, we’re not going to erode it.”

Elections have consequences, and one of the happy ones in Virginia’s case is that Youngkin can now uproot the critical race theory propaganda that had been spreading throughout Virginia’s public schools under his Democratic predecessor, Ralph Northam. “We have a new sheriff in town, and his name is Glenn Youngkin. We have a team. I am here,” said Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears, speaking on the suggested educational changes. “We also have a new attorney general, Jason Myers. And it’s not going to happen because these proposals that you’re talking about were made under the previous Democrat governor, his administration. Well, this new administration is not having it.”

Some critics dismiss these disputes over critical race theory as trivial and esoteric. But, in fact, they touch upon the most important philosophical divide between Republicans and Democrats. In order to transform America fundamentally, a goal that means adopting a left-wing political order alien to America’s founding, the Democrats must discredit America’s Founding Fathers. Youngkin is stopping propaganda that if left unchecked would ripen students up for that disfigured America. “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next,” said President Abraham Lincoln.

No one understands that better than the revolutionaries of the left. It is no coincidence that Bill Ayers, the infamous domestic terrorist and the crony of former President Barack Obama, has devoted much of his life to shaping the curriculum at graduate education programs, from which many of America’s public school teachers come. From his perch as vice president for the curriculum division of the American Education Research Association, the nation’s largest organization of education professors and researchers, Ayers had a hugely poisonous influence on public schools. He knew that central to the left-wing revolution is the corruption of children by teachers.

Miguel Cardona, President Joe Biden’s secretary of education, is a product of the public-school educational milieu radicalized by Ayers. Cardona is distributing grants to public-school propagandists for the New York Times’s “1619 Project” in the name of bringing “racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives into teaching and learning.” The Virginia Department of Education’s thwarted scheme to marginalize the Founding Fathers reflects this warped educational philosophy, which reduces “learning” to indoctrination in left-wing politics.

Let’s hope other governors follow Youngkin’s example and prevent America’s public schools from turning into propaganda camps for Biden’s dysfunctional America. The future of the country depends upon the sound education of children — the very classical liberal arts education that led the Founding Fathers to write documents against tyranny. The Left fears such an education because it produces free and critical citizens capable of resisting power grabs. The Left wants Americans not free but servile and dumb. This is why progressives hate homeschooling so much — they sense it could prove an insurmountable defense against their totalitarian designs. (George Washington, who received little formal education, was essentially a homeschooler.) They want to herd all of America’s children into public schools and then turn them into cowed liberals.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s frequent refrain — “Are you homeschooling your children yet?” — is funny and true. But Republicans can’t abandon the children trapped in crumbling public schools. Republicans must not sit on their hands as left-wing revolutionaries replace the education that built the country up with “Alinskyite” propaganda on how to tear it down.

Youngkin is right. The public schools, if anything, should augment the exposure of students to the lives of the Founding Fathers. Compared to today’s slimy and superficial politicians, they were an astonishingly thoughtful lot who deliberated carefully about what constitutes a civilized political order. They studied the past, unlike today’s glib iconoclasts, not to condemn it cheaply and easily but to learn from it.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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