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The Democrats' Miscalculation of the Importance of Parental Rights

AP Photo/Steve Helber

With the gubernatorial election in Virginia just days away, Glenn Youngkin seems well-positioned to pull off an upset and win the election in a state that Joe Biden won by 10 points. So what happened in the state over the past year? Has there been a dramatic demographic and ideological shift? Usually, such things take years to happen, but the truth is, the last time Virginia voted Republican was 2004 and it has been trending bluer ever since.

Despite trailing Democrat Terry McAuliffe for most of this campaign, Republican Glenn Youngkin has gradually improved in the polls and is now beating McAuliffe in both the Real Clear Politics and FiveThirtyEight polling averages. This is no small feat and a clear indication that Democrats have grossly miscalculated the importance of parental rights, which has become a massive issue of the campaign. In an attempt to help McAuliffe, Barack Obama dismissed anger over critical race theory and radical transgender policies at schools as “fake outrage.”

“We don’t have time to be wasting on these phony trumped-up culture wars, this fake outrage that right-wing media peddles to juice their ratings,” Obama said. “Instead of stoking anger aimed at school boards and administrators, who are just trying to keep our kids safe… we should be making it easier for teachers and schools to give our kids the world-class education they deserve, and to do so safely while they are in the classroom.”

Parents slammed Obama for his tone-deaf remarks. But it turns out that the Loudoun County, Virginia school board wasn’t keeping students safe and was covering up sexual assaults of students. Two days after Obama’s campaign appearance, a Virginia court ruled that there was sufficient evidence that the gender-fluid teen sexually assaulted the girl in the school bathroom. Despite this, a stunning 70% of Democrats in Virginia want school boards to have more influence on a school’s curriculum than parents.

How is it that any parent would so easily be willing to relinquish their parental rights? As a parent, it’s hard to wrap my head around, but Democrats were the only demographic to have a majority favoring school boards over parents. It wasn’t even close.

Is the Democrats’ antipathy for parental rights unexpected? How is it possible that they could, in such large numbers, want less control over what their children are being taught? George Orwell understood that staunch loyalty to the state could be dangerous to the family unit. In his novel1984, the government undermines the family institution by turning children against their parents.

The family could not actually be abolished, and, indeed, people were encouraged to be fond of their children, in almost the old-fashioned way. The children, on the other hand, were systematically turned against their parents and taught to spy on them and report their deviations. The family had become in effect an extension of the Thought Police. It was a device by means of which everyone could be surrounded night and day by informers who knew him intimately.

This is not so different from how the left uses their radical ideology and the government to divide families. This isn’t hyperbole. Last month, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed two bills into law that allow minors to hide abortions and transgender therapies or surgeries from their parents. In addition, school districts across the country have been hiding information about gender-transitioning children from parents. These are direct threats to parental rights that quite literally divide families, instilling the notion to kids that the state, not parents, has children’s best interests at heart. Orwell’s prophetic novel is sadly a warning to us that the Democratic Party is the party of Big Brother, willing to give its children to the state without hesitation.

What Democrats didn’t understand was how radical their beliefs were. Their faith in the state being better stewards of children’s best interests is not shared by the rest of us. Their inability to acknowledge this truth might cost them the gubernatorial election in Virginia and increase Republican victories in the 2022 midterms.

Americans overwhelmingly want to protect their kids from harm and bad influence. Just because Democrats don’t doesn’t mean that the rest of us will give up so easily. Virginia hasn’t changed politically in the past year, but those who value family more than the state might push Youngkin across the finish line in the blue state of Virginia.