GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON: Said Republican win in Virginia was a rebuke to "leftist education policies." We know that means. Brian Chilson

Good afternoon to public school supporters, and public school supporters only. Pulaski County came through for the kids yesterday, voting to extend millage rates to build schools that serve all kids.

Things look completely different in Virginia, where public schools played the villain role yesterday. A Republican candidate waving the specter of critical race theory in classrooms whipped up enough terror among white voters to win the governor’s race. What is critical race theory? Few people seem able to articulate it, but that doesn’t matter one bit. The mere suggestion that white privilege exists sticks right in the guts of voters who take it personally when the virtue of their forefathers is questioned. The soothsayer candidate who assures white voters of their unimpeachable character is the one they came to see.

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Governor Hutchinson was quick to weigh in on Republicans’ victory in Virginia, calling Youngkin’s win “a rebuke of leftist education policies.” And he’s not wrong. Those leftist Democrats keep tripping themselves up with their fidelity to truth when lies are what registered and motivated voters want to hear. Protecting the mythical version of our country as one that’s made amends for past sins and is now free to move forward, unencumbered by any guilt or obligation, is a Republican ace in the hole. Acknowledging inequity in order to fix it requires soul searching and sacrifice, and who wants that? It would be icky and hard. White voters just aren’t feeling it.

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Per usual, a sniveling contingent of know-it-all Dems is ready with the same tired arguments that failed to make any difference whatsoever last time, and will fail again today. It’s the messaging, they say. Democrats are bad at it, they say, then congratulate themselves on being so clever. Can they offer specifics here? What messaging would be more powerful than a pandering to white anxiety, manipulating white voters’ abject fear of losing privilege that’s wholly unearned? The snivelers go silent.

So let’s look to someone who actually knows what she’s talking about. Professor and author Angie Maxwell, Director of the Diane Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society at the University of Arkansas, writes books on the overpowering sway of racism, sexism and the intransigent inferiority complex of the South. It would be great if she was wrong, but she never is.

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It’s a lot to parse. Racism is the driving force behind the Republican win? Sure, it’s true, but it’s also dense and wonky and requires both education and touchy-feely introspection (gross).

The fight is stalled out between Democrats who think they can win the hearts and minds of a predominantly white electorate by appealing to their better angels, and those who are ready to follow Stacey Abrams’ lead and build a new, more representative electorate that better reflects the will of the majority. Regardless, either path requires more money, time and organization than limping Southern Democrats have to spare.

Meanwhile, Republicans congratulate themselves on their winning playbook and look ahead to the next victory.

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