Anybody catch that CNN interview townhall with Governor Youngkin on 3/9/23 ? Maybe you didn’t recognize him without his sleeveless fleece, but once he started talking it was vintage him in a blue suit.
Usually I avoid liars and grifters in news interviews, but a few clips on my news feed caught my eye. So I checked out the highlights.
After coy responses about a potential run for president in 2024, Youngkin turned to his favorite election lie, CRT. Citing his executive order that said anything divisive has no place in public schools, he returned to his mantra about the importance of parents in the classroom and comfort and happiness in the hearts of all school-aged students.
After almost 40 years of teaching high school English literature, I can tell you that my goal was to make students uncomfortable, as that was what made them think. If we aren’t uncomfortable, we don’t change. If we don’t change, we become stagnant. And you’ve seen stagnant water, right governor ?
And about all those parents that elected Youngkin so they would gain access to the classroom. They already had it; the problem was, most never used it. I think back to the number of parents I called or emailed without response, and I remember the legions of parents who never showed up to parent-teacher conferences. That was access, and no matter what the governor tells you, he doesn’t have the power to give you what you already have and never intend to use.
After twisting himself in knots defending his anti-thinking policies, he moved on to an area he obviously has no knowledge in, either: transgender Virginians. A young transgender male introduced himself and asked the governor if he thought girls would be comfortable sharing a bathroom with him. Youngkin’s brilliant answer was to build more bathrooms.
So less thinking, more bathrooms. Wonder if that would fit on a bumper sticker ?
Not uncomfortable enough in his own skin yet, Yougnkin went on to explain his stance on sports and transgender teens: “Sports are very clear.” quoth the governor. “I don’t think it’s controversial. I don’t think that biological boys should be playing sports with biological girls.”
Obviously, he must have been in a CRT class when his high school taught biology, as transgender boys are boys and transgender girls are girls. Now that’s clarity in sports, governor.
And, as if he wasn’t in the hole too deep already, he continued to dig with the book banning shovel. Youngkin supported failed legislation that would have put the power of book banning in the hands of the Virginia DOE, so he continued with, “I do believe there are moments where we have to make decisions about what’s age-appropriate and what is appropriate.”
Wonder what he would have done about my 6th grade, college-level reading class that introduced me to classic literature far above my age. Would he have considered To Kill A Mockingbird too controversial for an 11-year old? Would he have thought The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn too CRT-ish for a sixth grader? Would he have recommended my forward-thinking favorite teacher be dismissed, because she allowed elementary school children to think?
There was more, but this is enough to remind voters why off-year elections matter. Good candidates matter, too. Let’s not do this again, Virginia.