Virginia, the ”Old Dominion” state that is the home of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, has become a solidly blue Democratic state over the past two decades. Indeed, between 2001 and 2021, both the Virginia House and Senate flipped from Republican to Democratic control and Democrats won three of the last four governor’s races. In 2020 Joe Biden crushed Donald Trump in Virginia by ten points and currently all statewide offices (Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General) are held by Democrats. The state was viewed as an unassailable liberal stronghold.
But then Critical Race Theory and transgenderism became the hottest political issues in Virginia in 2021 and the political landscape completely changed. In large part because of these issues, on November 2 the solidly blue state of Virginia turned bright red and the Republicans ran the tables. Republicans won all statewide offices and retook control of the Virginia House. (The Virginia Senate was not up for election this year; its next election is in 2023.) Political commentators stood with their mouths gaping over the complete turnaround in Virginia.
What is Critical Race Theory or CRT? It is a Marxist theory that holds that America is and always has been a racist country and that all white people today are “oppressors” while all minorities are the “oppressed.” It is identity politics on steroids and was increasingly being taught in Virginia public K-12 public schools. Indeed, the Virginia Department of Education and many left-wing local school boards were openly supporting the indoctrination of public-school students in CRT. Under CRT curricula in public schools, students were being taught how evil and racist America was and in some schools children were asked to identify themselves as either a member of the oppressive class or a member of the oppressed class. Indeed, after being taught the warped views of CRT at school children began telling their parents they were ashamed to be white.
What is transgendersism? It is the radical belief that a person’s gender is not determined by that person’s biological sex—a belief that opposes what has been held by almost all people and all cultures from before recorded history until the last few decades (and which is still held by most people in the world outside of radical LGBT circles in the West). The leftist Virginia Department of Education jump-started the debate about transgenderism earlier this year when it adopted model transgender policies. Among other things, the policies: 1) forbid schools to notify parents if their child was dealing with transgender issues; 2) force all school staff use the pronoun that correspond with the gender identity of a student; 3) allow students to participate in sports and other school activities consistent with their gender identity; and 4) allow students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity. In brief, the policies compel school staff to speak lies and compel parents to sit back while biological males use the same bathrooms and locker rooms of their biological daughters and as stronger and faster biological males compete against their daughters in sporting competitions. Significantly, these radical policies were not mere suggestions; rather, the leftist Democratic-controlled Virginia legislature required that “Each school board shall adopt policies that are consistent with but may be more comprehensive than the model policies developed by the Virginia Department of Education.” Those were fighting words.
Significantly, Virginia parents and teachers began to fight back against the CRT indoctrination of their children and against transgender policies that would endanger their daughters. They increasingly began to speak up at local school board meetings, where left-wing school board members tried to shut down debate on the issues or disingenuously claimed that their schools were not teaching CRT and that there were no incidents regarding school transgender policies. Indeed, when one teacher in Loudoun County (DC suburb) spoke out against his school district adopting the radical transgender policies on the grounds that it would infringe his religious beliefs and force him to lie, the school district suspended him. As the teacher said: “I’m a teacher, but I serve God first. And I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa, because it is against my religion. It’s lying to a child. It’s abuse to a child.” (A court soon overturned the suspension.) The same Loudon County School Board ignored (and even had the chutzpah to deny) the fact that a female student in a local school had recently been raped in a girls’ bathroom by a biological male dressed in a skirt. (The boy was convicted of the rape in October.) Indeed, left-wing school board members and their allies began to cyberbully parents opposed to their agenda, put out anonymous fliers maliciously attacking such parents, and accused those opposing CRT of being “white supremacists.”
In good part based on the opposition to CRT and transgender policies in school board meetings across Virginia, the left-wing National School Boards Association sent a highly-publicized letter on September 29 to President Joe Biden calling for federal law enforcement to help suppress, among other groups, parents expressing opposition to CRT and radical transgender policies. The letter even stated that parents’ opposition to CRT and radical transgender policies “could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.” Based on this letter, which it was later discovered was written in collusion with the White House, US Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered the FBI to investigate parents who allegedly were making threats against school board members. (It is significant to note that a few weeks later on October 22, the NSBA issued a memorandum walking back the letter and its unwarranted attacks on parents. Indeed, the earlier letter had not been approved by the NSBA board of directors or the state member organizations of the NSBA and at least 18 state school board associations have either withdrawn or are considering withdrawing from the NSBA over this letter.)
Groups supporting parents and teachers opposed to the teaching of critical race theory to their children began to form, including Families for Educational Freedom, which is sponsored by the International Organization for the Family, the publisher of IFAM News. (Families for Educational Freedom is active in Loudoun County, Virginia, the epicenter of the movement against CRT and radical transgender policies, and represents one of the teachers leading the fight against CRT.) Likewise, pro-family organizations like the National Organization for Marriage, which defends the truth that God created us “male and female,” came out in strong support of political candidates who opposed the radical transgender agenda.
As increased attention in the media was given to the teaching of Critical Race Theory and the adoption of radical transgender policies, the issues catapulted to the top in Virginia, with the two political parties taking diametrically opposed positions on them. In regard to CRT, Democratic governor candidate Terry McAuliffe declared that school boards knew better than parents and that parents should stay away from “telling school boards what they should teach.” McAuliffe also claimed that the CRT issue was merely a “right-wing conspiracy” and that “It’s not taught in Virginia and it’s never been taught in Virginia”—until it came to light that the Virginia Department of Education’s website was openly supporting the teaching of CRT. Indeed, the website even contained a presentation from 2015—when McAuliffe was governor and controlled the Department of Education—that told teachers “to embrace Critical Race Theory” so as to “re-engineer attitudes and belief systems.” The website also stated that CRT was a “best practice” in education.
Republicans, on the other hand, signed pledges opposing CRT; indeed, Republican governor candidate Glenn Youngkin declared that he would ban the teaching of CRT on his first day in office. As Youngkin stated: “[I]n the immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we’re called to judge one another based on the content of our character and not the color of our skin. And that’s why there’s no place for critical race theory in our school system, and why, on day one, I’m going to ban it.”
In regard to transgenderism, Democrat McAuliffe proudly endorsed the model Department of Education policies. Youngkin, on the other hand, opposed biological males who “identity” as females competing against biological females in sports and expressed support for the above-mentioned Loudoun County teacher who was suspended for opposing his county’s radical transgender policies.
On the eve of the election, a Fox news poll found that CRT was the top issue for 25% of Virginia voters while for 72% of voters it was an important issue. For those voters for whom CRT was the top issue, 70% supported the Republican governor candidate Youngkin. The same poll found that education (including transgender issues) was the top issue for 14% of Virginia voters and that 70% of these voters likewise supported Youngkin.
And, indeed, CRT and radical transgender policies turned out to be issues that dramatically helped the Republican Party sweep the state-wide elections in Virginia and take back control of the Virginia House. As two post-election national media headlines put it: “Virginia election timeline: How education became crucial to Republican’s victory” (Fox News) and “Youngkin Makes the GOP the Parents’ Party” (Wall Street Journal). As one parent on the Laura Ingram show put it in regard to her opposition to critical race theory:
I am a liberal Democrat and for the first time ever, I voted for [a Republican] Glenn Youngkin for governor. … And CNN, all these people [in the media], they are trash-talking us. I am a Muslim woman of color and I’m telling you, we are not white supremacists. If this is what a white supremacist looks like, then … all of you need a timeout.
This election in Virginia clearly shows that issues really do matter and that concerned parents and teachers really can make a difference. If opposition to CRT and the radical LGBT agenda can help flip a reliably blue state like Virginia, Democrats in other states must be shaking in their boots as CRT and radical transgender policies have become national issues. Let’s hope that concerned parents and teachers opposed to critical race theory and radical transgender policies in other states will be encouraged by the election results in Virginia and likewise sweep out of office those supporting these radical Marxist and LGBT policies.