Virginia governor’s race becomes final battle in culture war – The Daily Free Press


Newly-elected Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin is a reasonably moderate Republican by today’s standards.

He thinks Biden is the rightful president, he’s spoken out against the Texas abortion bill, he’s not endorsed by the National Rifle Association, and he’s a supporter of the COVID-19 vaccine.

But where Glenn Youngkin comes back in line with his party brethren is in his promotion of the ongoing culture war in the United States. Youngkin planted his flag deep in the critical debate over racial theory and carried it to the governorship.

Alexia Nizhny / DFP Staff

NBC News exit polls found the question galvanized not only his supporters but also those of his Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe. When asked “how much should parents have in the curriculum,” 94% of Youngkin voters said “a lot / definitely” and 74% of McAuliffe voters did too. According to a tweet from NBC News political reporter Josh Kraushaar, 53% of all voters said parents should have “a lot” of a say in their children’s education.

Youngkin succeeded in turning a non-problem into a problem. Critical Race Theory is not taught at most levels in Virginia, it is not mentioned in state learning standards, and McAuliffe was not advocating its adoption. Despite this, Youngkin has repeatedly stated that critical breed theory creeps into Virginia schools.

At a rally on July 9, he told a crowd of supporters that critical race theory had “taken hold in all of our schools.”

During a July 23 appearance on The Hugh Hewitt Show, a conservative radio show, Youngkin said, “We’re actually watching this critical breed theory make its way into every school in Virginia.”

And in an appearance on Fox News, Youngkin again hammered the point, saying “critical race theory has taken hold in our school system and we need to get rid of it.”

It was all wrong. But in the world we live in now, it’s not the validity of a statement that makes something true. This is the number of times you say it.

The media then dragged McAullife into the case, asking him to clarify his position on something he isn’t standing up for on an issue that doesn’t exist.

Asked about the matter during an appearance on CNN on Oct. 10, McAuliffe said, “Let’s be clear. We do not teach critical race theory. It is a plan invented to divide people. I try to unite people.

The usual suspects – CNN, MSNBC and Fox News – are relying on these culture war issues to boost ratings. A Media Matters report found that Fox News aired “nearly 100 segments” on Critical Race Theory in Virginia from March through June 2021. To a lesser extent, CNN also played a role in legitimizing this conflict. by questioning McAuliffe on the problem and devoting segments and roundtables to the subject.

What’s so strange about Critical Race Theory is that it exists in greater numbers in the minds of paranoid Fox News hosts than in classrooms. Like the conservative croquemitaines of the past, like Biden banning meat, their only relevance is offered to them by the right which constantly breeds them.

The mainstream media then joined the party in legitimizing the concerns. In the same way that the many cable channels broadcast the rallies of former President Trump, when a media like the New York Times or CNN brings up these stories, they give more oxygen to something of little importance.

Most Americans don’t even know what Critical Race Theory is, according to an Economist / YouGov poll which found that only 35% of respondents think they have a “good idea of ​​what it means.”

So why then, in a state that doesn’t teach critical race theory and a country that doesn’t even really know what it is, are we talking about it ad nauseam?

Because they want us to fight for it.

The more time we, the American electorate, spend bickering over critical race theory, the less we wonder what our elected representatives, Republicans and Democrats, are actually doing to crack down on racial inequalities in this country.

The more we hate others – based on who they voted for, what god they choose to believe in, what color their skin is, or who they love – the more we vote for politicians who seek to divide us.

It’s the media’s job to stand above the fray and defend the electorate against Washington’s thrown malarkey. But today, many news organizations seem to act only as a mouthpiece for these politicians and their divisive language.

In the 1950s, when legendary NBC presenter Edward R. Murrow reported on Joseph McCarthy’s actions to Congress during the Red Fear, he called out McCarthy for his actions as head of the House committee on anti- American. On the subject, Murrow did not give McCarthy an outlet to spit out disinformation. Murrow inserted his opinion when it was needed, not when it was financially beneficial to him and the network.

Famous CBS News presenter Walter Cronkite once said that “the democratic system is being challenged by the failure of television because our evening news programs have attempted to entertain as much as to inform in the desperate struggle for ratings. “

If the mainstream media’s motivations are based on ratings rather than news, their audiences falter and, in turn, our democracy falters. Virginia’s gubernatorial race may be the latest example of this phenomenon, but it likely won’t be the last as long as corporate interests outweigh the duty to inform in newsrooms across the country. country.

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