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    Yes, Virginia, There Are Lessons We Have Learned

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    By Larry Sand


    The recent election in Virginia has provided a trove of “teachable moments.”


    As a former educator, I know a teachable moment when I see one. And the political doings in Virginia this fall have been a goldmine. While the Democrats did manage to maintain a small majority in the Old Dominion’s Senate in the recent election, Virginia is now a red state with a Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, as well as a Republican attorney general, lieutenant governor, and House of Delegates. 
    How did this come about?

    First, there was former governor and now former candidate Terry McAuliffe insisting that teaching critical race theory is nonexistent in Virginia. He told a reporter, “It’s not taught in Virginia, it’s never been taught in Virginia. And as I’ve said this a lot: It’s a dog whistle. It’s racial, it’s division, and it’s used by Glenn Youngkin and other—this is the same thing with Trump and the border wall—to divide people.” 
    Against this claim was the fact that the divisive CRT has been taught openly all over his state, and this made McAuliffe appear to be very out of touch, or a liar.

    On the subject of lying, the Friday before Election Day, a group of five “white supremacists” appeared in support of Youngkin outside his campaign bus in Charlottesville. The group, however, was actually composed of Democratic Party activists organized by the Lincoln Project, a left-wing PAC purporting to “protect democracy.” The stunt was not only dishonest but quite stupid as well. Their faces were well known all over the state, and one of the faux white supremacists was an African American.  

    Additionally, McAuliffe’s life-long personal avoidance of public schools is well documented. As a youngster he went to private schools for his entire school career. He then sent his own kids to very tony private academies. Knowing that, one might think he’d have some sympathy for parents who can’t afford to send their children to a private school, and are forced to send them to the inferior government-run variety. But during a debate with Youngkin, he averred, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” And as a coda, “I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decision.” 

    At least McAuliffe should get credit for being consistent. As governor in 2016, he vetoed a bill that would have allowed parents to block their children from reading books in school that contain sexually explicit material. All in all, really bad optics.

    Another teachable moment was allowing teacher union boss Randi Weingarten to play a prominent role in the McAuliffe campaign.

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