Are parents putting politics over protection of their children?

It seems those who oppose mask mandates to protect their kids are caring more about partisanship
Parents rallied outside the Macomb County Health Department in Michigan. Wednesday in support of mask mandates in schools. Looks like parents in Michigan care more about the safety of their kids. (Macomb Bridge photo by Elaine Cromie)

Virginia Republicans, fighting to try and regain the governor’s race and, hopefully, restore a controlling margin in the General Assembly, are using the nasty battle and insults of some parents directed at school boards in the Commonwealth to try and turn the tide.

Associated Press reporters Will Wissert and Thomas Beaumont, in a report published at our political news websites and other media locations around the country, note:

(GOP candidate Glenn) Youngkin is trying to capitalize on a surge of relatively small but vocal groups of parents organizing against school curriculums they view as “anti-American,” COVID-19 safety measures and school board members whom they consider too liberal and closely aligned to teachers unions.

It’s an effort to excite the GOP-leaning suburban voters Youngkin needs to win the Nov. 2 race. If the approach proves successful in Virginia, a one-time swing state that has become more reliably blue, Republicans across the country are likely to replicate his efforts during next year’s midterms, when control of Congress is at stake.

Capitol Hill Blue

Sadly, we’ve seen these pathetic stunts used at meetings of the Floyd County School boards, usually led by a county militia honcho and a hardcore right-wing candidate for the Board of Supervisors, who was escorted out of one meeting after she refused to wear a required mask to protect others, including students, from COVID-19 infections.

As a parent of a grown child who never leaves her house without a mask on her face, I shake my head at the incredibly hypocritical actions of those who would endanger their children from a pandemic that has killed millions worldwide, just so they espouse a dangerous attempt to inject hardcore right-wing politics into the educational system.

These are the same hypocrites who demand a Supreme Court decision to overturn a woman’s right to choose and demand “state’s rights,” then turn around and oppose a state and local government’s ability to assure safe regulation of our schools.

Their action has brought U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to direct federal authorities to “address the increasing threats targeting school board members, teach and others, a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence.”

In northern Virginia, home to wife Amy and I for 23 years, Youngkin’s Republicans are targeting Loudoun County, where President Joe Biden carried the 2000 presidential election with 61% of the vote. But Youngkin and his party is also using critical race theory and other racial issues there, where whites comprise only 53% of the vote.

“Running a race in Loudoun County on this issue when it could create a backlash against nonwhite voters runs the risk of being counterproductive,” said Mo Elliethee, a former campaign adviser to McAuliffe and other leading Virginia Democrats.

Northern Virginia, along with the Tidewater area, control statewide races in Virginia. Their votes wipe out pockets of rabid right-wing voters in Southwestern Virginia, including Floyd County. Virginia, overall, voted against disgraced and defeated president Donald Trump, but he handily carried Floyd County and other parts of our area.

Will that trend continue a month from now in the November election? It depends on turnout and if those who care more about keeping our kids safe in school and elsewhere. If they stay home, the violent, unpatriotic miscreants who don’t give a damn about their kids could win, which means the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the nation as a whole, loses.

What happens in Virginia could be an omen for the midterm Congressional elections in 2022.