Eventually, November 2 will be seen as a key date in American history. I am not thinking of November 2, 2021, however, the day of Glenn Youngkin’s stunning, delicious, gratifying victory in the Virginia gubernatorial race.
Important though Youngkin’s victory was and is, it was prepared for and defined by a preceding triumph. The date I am thinking of is November 2, 2020. That was the date on which Donald Trump signed the executive order establishing the 1776 Commission, the purpose of which was to “encourage our educators to teach our children about the miracle of American history and make plans to honor the 250th anniversary of our founding.” 1776, mind you, not 1619.
Even before Youngkin won, the regime players of both parties began maneuvering to distance Youngkin from Trump. There seems to be a robust appetite among the cautious and self-assured to formulate a new platform. Or, rather, it is an old platform but with new characters walking about on it. To be even more particular: the platform is defined not so much by the presence of new characters as the absence of a familiar one: Donald Trump. The name of this novelty is “Trumpism without Trump.” This, we are given to understand, is the platform upon which Glenn Youngkin strode to victory.
I don’t think so. True, Youngkin rarely mentioned Trump on the hustings. He didn’t ask for Trump to campaign with him. But he did accept Trump’s endorsement. And he campaigned on a map whose chief arteries and significant landmarks were defined by Trump.
Consider the issue of critical race theory. Many cite its prominence in the election. I don’t doubt it. But I recall that on September 22, 2020, Donald Trump signed an executive order banning the teaching of CRT in federal agencies. Back in May 2021, Youngkin signed the “1776 Pledge to Save Our Schools,” part of whose agenda was to ban CRT from schools.
In June, Donald Trump published an essay at RealClearPolitics outlining his opposition to Biden’s efforts to instill the anti-American principles of CRT into America’s schools. Trump wrote:
For decades, the America-blaming left has been relentlessly pushing a vision of America that casts our history, culture, traditions, and founding documents in the most negative possible light. Yet in recent years, this deeply unnatural effort has progressed from telling children that their history is evil to telling Americans that they are evil.” Parents in Virginia noticed this and responded accordingly.
In classrooms across the nation, students are being subjected to a new curriculum designed to brainwash them with the ridiculous left-wing dogma known as “critical race theory.” The key fact about this twisted doctrine is that it is completely antithetical to everything that normal Americans of any color would wish to teach their children.
Donald Trump defined the salient issues of this race. He also provided an important service with his effective criticisms of Joe Biden, criticisms that were echoed by many of Biden’s most strenuous critics.
For better or worse (and possibly, for both better and worse), the Republican Party is Trump’s party now. It is not yet known whether Trump will run in 2024. If he does, I think he will pick up the Republican nomination in virtually every state. Would he then go on to win the general election? What about those mean tweets? What about his supposed unpopularity among suburban women?
Perhaps Trump really is unpopular among the Junior League Pilates set. But is he more unpopular than the advocates of CRT, who are also advocates of male transexuals in girls bathrooms? It’s early days yet, but I think the Youngkin victory demonstrated not the eclipse of Trump but his increasing political virility.