Reframing the Debate from CRT to “Divisive Concepts”

by James A. Bacon

We all knew that Governor Glenn Youngkin’s campaign to root out Critical Race Theory (CRT) would be controversial. There are tremendous issues at stake and entrenched interests involved. It would be helpful if both sides honestly characterized the issues so we could then have an informed debate about them. Sadly, preliminary indications are that the Democratic Party of Virginia — which presumably speaks for many other Democrats — is determined to obscure the issues by constructing strawmen and knocking them down.

A case in point is the “CRT isn’t taught in schools” trope employed by the Terry McAuliffe campaign. The Dems can’t let it go. It resurfaced again in a tweet from @vademocrats proclaiming, “Glenn Youngkin admitted today that he’s been lying to Virginians and critical race theory is not in fact taught in Virginia’s schools. This dangerous lie continues to pit parents against educators and our students are paying the price. It must end now.”

That tweet has been retweeted 151 times and liked 302. And Democrats accuse Republicans of spewing disinformation!

The assertions in the tweet are not outliers. Dems have been repeating them repeatedly for months. That fact that Dems resort to such misdirection tells me they know they can’t defend the Northam administration’s education policies. Sadly, the mainstream media has steadfastly refused to rebuke them for the prevarication. Secure in the knowledge that they can say anything, Dems continue erecting the strawman and knocking it down.

The @vademocrats tweet links to a post on Raw Story, which in turn links to a Fox News Sunday interview of Youngkin. We end up with a telephone-game phenomenon in which Raw Story quotes Youngkin extensively and accurately but puts a negative spin on what he said, following which the Va Dems spin Raw Story’s spin to create a grotesquely inaccurate narrative.

Here’s how it played out. A Fox News host, John Roberts, asked Youngkin, “Is it your contention that Critical Race Theory is being taught in Virginia public schools?”

Youngkin responded: “There’s not a course called Critical Race Theory. All the principles of Critical Race Theory, the fundamental building blocks of actually accusing one group of being oppressors and another of being oppressed, of actually burdening children today for the sins of the past, for teaching our children to judge one another based on the color of their skin. Yes, that does exist in Virginia schools today. And that’s why I have signed the executive orders yesterday to make sure that we get it out of our schools.”

Raw Story acts as if Youngkin is backtracking by saying that CRT is not “taught in schools.” But his statement makes no such admission. Youngkin has never made that claim. That’s McAuliffe’s tendentious talking point.

If you want a clear exposition of what Youngkin is claiming, then you need to read what Youngkin says — not based on what a Fox news anchor says, in turn based on what Democrat activists say he said.

Let’s take a look at what Youngkin actually believes.

Yesterday, Youngkin’s press team issued a press release summarizing the newly- sworn-in governor’s Day One executive orders. The first order on the list addressed CRT. It said:

Executive Order Number One delivers on his Day One promise to restore excellence in education by ending the use of divisive concepts, including Critical Race Theory, in public education.

Please note: The focus is on “divisive concepts.” There’s nothing in the press release or the executive order about “teaching CRT in schools.”

What, then, does Youngkin mean by ending the use of “divisive concepts, including Critical Race Theory,” in public education?

Read the Executive Order from which I have published excerpts below. As you will see, Youngkin does not say that CRT — an academic theory taught in law schools, as the media frequently reminds us — is “taught in schools.” Rather he says CRT’s “progeny” — by which he means CRT’s intellectual offshoots — are taught in schools. As, in fact, they sometimes are.

Inherently divisive concepts, like Critical Race Theory and its progeny, instruct students to only view life through the lens of race and presumes that some students are consciously or unconsciously racist, sexist, or oppressive, and that other students are victims. This denies our students the opportunity to gain important facts, core knowledge, formulate their own opinions, and to think for themselves. Our children deserve far better from their education than to be told what to think….

The executive order puts to rest a related talking point: that Youngkin and Republicans want to ban teaching the evils of slavery, segregation and racism.

Virginia must renew its commitment to teaching our children the value of freedom of thought and diversity of ideas. We must equip our teachers to teach our students the entirety of our history – both good and bad. From the horrors of American slavery and segregation, and our country’s treatment of Native Americans, to the triumph of America’s Greatest Generation against the Nazi Empire, the heroic efforts of Americans in the Civil Rights Movement, and our country’s defeat of the Soviet Union and the ills of Communism, we must provide our students with the facts and context necessary to understand these important events.

As for specific actions, Youngkin orders the following:

  •  “The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall review all policies within the Department of Education to identify those that promote inherently divisive concepts. Such policies shall be ended.
  • “The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall immediately review all guidelines, websites, best practices, and other materials produced by the Department of Education to identify those that promote or endorse divisive or inherently racist concepts. Such shall be removed.
  • “Executive Employees shall be prohibited from directing or otherwise compelling students to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to inherently divisive concepts.
  • “The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall review the Department of Education’s Cultural Competency Training to determine if it or any portion promotes inherently divisive concepts.
  • “The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall review all changes made to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s public education curriculum within the last 48 months to identify inherently divisive concepts, including concepts or ideas related to Critical Race Theory.”

From these recommendations, it is clear that Youngkin is talking about formal Virginia Department of Education policies, guidelines, and materials through which CRT concepts trickle down to school districts, schools, and classrooms.

If Democrats want to critique Youngkin’s contention that Northam-era policies and programs promote “inherently divisive” or “inherently racist” concepts — such as, that Virginia schools are systemically racist, that Whites are oppressors and Blacks are victims, that the antidote to past racism is “anti-racism” (reverse racism) — we can have an honest and useful debate. Who knows, perhaps Democrats will win some of those arguments.

But when they mischaracterize Youngkin’s positions — and then have the audacity to accuse him of lying about them — then nothing but rancor and confusion can come of it.

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75 responses to “Reframing the Debate from CRT to “Divisive Concepts””

  1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    When the bell rings and the classroom doors close sometimes Virginia public school students are treated to dandies such as this CRT lesson.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      pretty bad video… one might think if it were actually true in a system the size of Loudoun, there would be dozens of such videos. Even then, when Youngkin changed from CRT to “divisive history” he jumped the shark.

  2. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    Jason Kamras

    The Commonwealth was literally created on the backs of enslaved Africans. At @RPS_Schools we will continue to study that and be honest about its profound implications for our students and families today.

    That from the Richmond Superintendent yesterday was the clearest expression I’ve seen of CRT in action. All education to be filtered through a lens of racial resentment and revenge. I respect his honesty. I’m glad as hell my grandsons no longer live in the city.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      You’re right. Not on their backs, but on their heads… as in head of cattle.

    2. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Totally untrue, right? It was tobacco on which it was built. Besides, not all slaves were black. There were Scots too.

      Besides, everyone knows that it wasn’t built on the backs of slaves. It was built on the bodies of massacred Native Americans by British settlers directing black “workers”.

    3. VaNavVet Avatar

      Really doesn’t sound that much different that what Youngkin is saying about teaching all of history the good and the bad so that students can think for themselves and make their own decisions.

  3. LarrytheG Avatar

    What can be taught about racism in Virginia and it’s effects that is not “divisive’? what is the difference between teaching the history of racism in Virginia and it’s effects – and critical race theory?

    I think Youngkin erred when he tried to equivalence CRT with “divisive concepts”, myself in a state where people disagree about things like statues of Lee. Is it “divisive’ to teach about the history of those statues and their removal now?

    How do you teach “history” that actually does have ugly truths about ourselves without being “divisive” to those who don’t want to hear it to start with?

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      “How do you teach “history” that actually does have ugly truths about ourselves without being “divisive” to those who don’t want to hear it to start with?”

      Easy. Bacon gets a blue pencil, and…

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        …….. and you condemn it as CRT……..

        folks should pay attention to the “T” in CRT.

        what does it stand for and is THAT was this is really about or is it really about teaching an honest history that involves ugly truths about ourselves that makes white-folks “feel bad”.

    2. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      “How do you teach “history” that actually does have ugly truths about ourselves without being “divisive” to those who don’t want to hear it to start with?”

      Easy. Bacon gets a blue pencil, and…

    3. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
      James Wyatt Whitehead

      “How do you teach “history” that actually does have ugly truths about ourselves without being “divisive” to those who don’t want to hear it to start with?”

      Easy. Teach multiple perspectives on the topic of choice. Allow students to draw their own conclusions. This can be graded by teaching students to make and defend arguments. They used to call this “critical” thinking. I would rather have that than CRT.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        “choice” of what? Should we teach “Tulsa” and other things like the lynching of blacks by whites and let folks “make up their own minds” about it?

        1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
          James Wyatt Whitehead

          Tulsa, Tesla, Tootsie the Wood Owl, whatever you want to explore Mr. Larry. You would have loved my class Mr. Larry. I would have made you sit next to me though. So I could keep my eye on you.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            and I probably would have deserved it!


            Not to date myself, but I did attend segregated schools and racism was the standard fare in history class…and I never forgot it.

          2. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
            James Wyatt Whitehead

            Your not dated Mr. Larry, but rather right on time.

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            I cannot say for sure that Stalin said “it’s not the voter but the vote-counter who decides elections,” but I can say that Trump said it.

          4. tmtfairfax Avatar

            But don’t put your baggage on everyone else. Many of us didn’t go to segregated schools.

          5. DJRippert Avatar

            ” … I did attend segregated schools and racism was the standard fare in history class …”

            You make a good point for remedial education for the elderly. However, neither the present students in K-12 nor their parents attended segregated schools and neither were taught racism as history.

            When does it end?

          6. LarrytheG Avatar

            you don’t think discriminatory treatment did not continue after desegregation?

            “remedial education for the elderly”

            Isn’t the point of a good education is to get it when you are young so you can get a good job, afford a house and health care, save up for retirement and be able to pass on to your kids your wealth?

            How do you give that back with “remedial education” when they are old and poor, don’t own their home, much less live a good neighborhood for their kids to attend school, etc?

          7. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Tulsa? $#!^ man. You don’t have to travel that far. You’re a “Virginia History” teacher. In all your years did you even mention Norfolk 1919, Onancock 1907, or Danville 1883?

  4. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    “…we can have an honest and useful debate”

    Please wake me when you want to start. So far, I’ve seen no interest in BR for such a debate. Signed – Eric the (Marxist apparently) Half a Troll

  5. Donald Smith Avatar
    Donald Smith

    In the Army, they taught us to identify your opponent’s “Center of Gravity.” That can be an important source of strength for your opponent, or a critical weakness. They then taught us to pound that center of gravity relentlessly.

    Team Youngkin has correctly identified CRT as a center of gravity for the progressives and Democrats. Most Americans don’t like it; a critical mass (especially of voters) abhor it.

    By pounding CRT, Youngkin will force the Democrats to defend it. And, in so doing, the Democrats will tie themselves to it. CRT will become part of their public image.

    The Democrats know this. They’re hoping that the MSM will go to Governor Youngkin and hint that, if he wants to be a “new” type of Virginia governor (i.e., one the MSM will respect) then he should “move on” from CRT. Here’s hoping that Governor Youngkin doesn’t decide to try and win the approval of the Washington and Richmond media.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      since you mention the military – do you think the military is teaching CRT?

      1. walter smith Avatar
        walter smith

        Military Times assures us that it is not being taught…
        But so did all the education apparat of Virginia….
        Do liars lie?
        Is this a lie? A boogieman?
        How about this?
        Or this?
        But I will rest assured that all you people who think you are so smart tell me it isn’t happening, and I won’t believe my own eyes….

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          so pjmedia will tell us the truth about CRT in the Military? Not sure I got your view.

          Is the military teaching CRT and DEI?

          1. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            I believe my lying eyes.
            And thanks for your usual dismissal of anything that is not MSDNC approved source of “news.” How did that Russia Collusion story check out Larry?
            How about the docs you trust so much hush-hushing the Wuhan leak due to concerns over “international harmony?” Are you just stupid and believe people who lie repeatedly, or is it all for your team?
            I’ll assume the latter…but not sure how much SCIENCE! based evidence exists for the former….

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            PJmedia is not a credible source… sorry

            and you’re running away from my question here – big time!

            Do you believe the US military is teaching CRT and DEI?

            simple question. nothing to do with Russian collusion or “science” or vaccine leaks…

            come on guy… yes or no…

          3. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            2 hours ago I posted a number of documents and denigrated that Military Times said CRT was not being taught. Most people would be able to conclude that I was saying “yes.”
            So here
            And thanks for letting us know that PJMedia is universal CrimeThink to you open-minded followers of SCIENCE! (as prescribed by the CDC, Dr. St. Fau(x)ci (who IS SCIENCE!), and the Big Media Apparat, which you duly lap up and regurgitate).

      2. We do know that Milley studied ‘White Rage’ which helped him tremendously in the Afghan retreat.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          So Milley supports CRT and DEI?

          1. read the reports and the hearing transcripts. talk with those in the service, both enlisted and lower officers…. YES and YES

            some years ago the USMIL decided to stop putting photos in the promotion packets, thinking racism was at play with the promotion boards. once the board evals were ‘blind’ — a larger proportion of whites got promoted than in the previous ten years. the Pentagon put the photos back in the packets.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            Thank you. So the US military is doing the same thing with CRT and DEI that is at issue in Virginia?

    2. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      Free stuff and racial resentment: The twin pillars of the American Democratic Party. You gotta respect the pivot on racial resentment, changing targets and ignoring past complicity, but the tactic is unchanged. Take that pillar away and the elections get far more challenging for them. They’ve already lost it with the Hispanic voters.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        and the GOP/Conservatives? Southern strategy all over again… appealing to “who” .. not black voters they are promising voting rights… for sure!

        Let’s see how Youngkin and company align themselves with black voters.

        They started off good..there was a crap-load of them during the inaugural thing.

        what they hey is your avatar?

        1. Matt Adams Avatar
          Matt Adams

          “and the GOP/Conservatives? Southern strategy all over again… appealing to “who” .. not black voters they are promising voting rights… for sure!”

          The Southern Strategy was a myth it assigns a idea / plan to Nixon in ’68 from a book that was published in ’69. It’s a boogeyman and always has been.

        2. Matt Adams Avatar
          Matt Adams

          “and the GOP/Conservatives? Southern strategy all over again… appealing to “who” .. not black voters they are promising voting rights… for sure!”

          The Southern Strategy was a myth it assigns a idea / plan to Nixon in ’68 from a book that was published in ’69. It’s a boogeyman and always has been.

    3. VaNavVet Avatar

      Perhaps Governor Youngkin is following the lead of JAB to move beyond the terminology of CRT and towards a real discussion. It could advance his theme of unity rather than mere political advantage seeking.

      1. Donald Smith Avatar
        Donald Smith

        It’s impossible to miss the sense of desperation, almost panic, among the progressive-friendly trolls…sorry, commenters, over Youngkin’s assault on CRT. Reminds me of the old saying: “If you’re drawing flak, that means you’re over the target.”

        You folks might want to ask your Chinese handlers for reinforcements. You might have a long four years ahead.

        1. VaNavVet Avatar

          Don’t believe that neither JAB nor I are at all desperate. I will take Governor Youngkin at his word that he does want to promote unity. Thus he may not be looking for targets but instead for a real discussion leading to compromise and accomplishments. I know nothing about any Chinese handlers but it does appear that you are not interested in any discussion or debate.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            Youngkin will be under pressure from the hard right to do “more”.

            We’ll see how he holds up. If he holds firm, expect slings and arrows from the right.

  6. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    “Rather he says CRT’s “progeny” — by that he means CRT’s intellectual offshoots — are taught in schools. As in fact, they sometimes are.”

    Surely, you can provide ONE such “progeny”, one “intellectual offshoot”, as an example. Just one. Some page from a book. A line from a poem. Something.

    Or, is this one of those “I don’t know what art is, but I’ll know it when I see it” moments?

    CRT — The next to big “Big Lie”.

  7. VaNavVet Avatar

    This weaponized CRT does pit parents against educators and should stop now that the campaign is over. It will be interesting to see how the Supervisor of Public Instruction defines inherently divisive in the implementing guidelines.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      A symbolic EO on day 1 and all is forgotten for the next 900+ days.

  8. tmtfairfax Avatar

    And what about the continued support by virtually every Democrat for the preservation of anti-Catholic, anti-Italian and anti-Irish Blaine Amendment? I guess some types of bigotry are OK. Just ask the Vice President and Senator Hirono.

      1. tmtfairfax Avatar

        Yes. In 19th Century public schools, supported by taxes, Protestant beliefs were taught. Catholic leaders sought to balance this out by getting funding for their schools. Congressman Blaine proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to prohibit this, while not altering the teaching in public schools. The amendment passed the House but failed in the Senate.

        From there, many states, including Virginia, adopted the Blaine amendment in their constitutions. A good example, which I think is being challenged in the courts is Maine’s “town tuitioning system, whereby students who live in towns without their own public schools receive a tuition benefit that they may use to attend the public or private school of their choice—unless the school is religious.”

        Much of the impetus for the state amendments was the intense hatred for the growing number of Irish and Italian immigrants who came to the United States during the 19th Century.

        Both southern Jim Crow laws and state Blaine amendment laws have their sources in bigotry.

        “On June 30, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue that the federal Constitution forbids states from excluding religious families and schools from educational choice programs through which governments empower families to choose private educational options for their children.” And while a state is not obligated to support private education, once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”

        So, the roots of public school teacher unions support for Blaine amendments are in bigotry.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          Bigotry? isn’t this about NOT providing public funds to teach religion in a school? How is that wrong or bigotry?

          We don’t want religion taught/practiced in public schools, right?

  9. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Considering the FACT that breeding and selling blacks in Virginia outpaced tobacco as Virginia’s most lucrative trade, kinda tough to not view history with a racial lens.

    The wealth of Virginia wasn’t built “on the backs of black slaves,” it was built by “black slave women on their backs.”

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      they want a cursory “acknowledgement” of past sins, certainly not a detailed history – that would make some folks feel “bad” about their ancestors and what they did.

      Youngkin went off the rails… I expect his “helpers” will try to get him back on track….but it’s fun watching.

      JAB is twisting in knots trying to “explain”.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        The problem is that the wealth of today’s white Virginia families of history shares DNA from dollars made in the trade.

        It’s easier to acknowledge that their ancestors committed atrocities than to admit that a portion of their own money is tainted.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          that was then, this is now………yes

        2. tmtfairfax Avatar

          Riddle me this. Both Barack Obama and I are descended from a slaveholder Mareen the Emigrant Duvall. I know in my case and strongly suspect in Obama’s case that none of the land and money derived from our ancestor’s money came our way. Do we have obligations to the descendants of Duvall’s slaves from Maryland? If so, what?

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            If you and your ancestors were ‘free men” did you and they fare better than the enslaved in terms of wealth accumulation and education?

            It’s not a comparison with other free men. Did free men fare better then enslaved men?

          2. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Do you feel obligated? How about not minimizing it? I know. How about this? How about removing Jackon’s image from your profile and cease your idolizing him? Small price.

  10. walter smith Avatar
    walter smith

    The usual idiots doing their usual deceptions and diversions. Divisive concepts is a more (intentionally using this word to poke the unthinking Leftists) “inclusive” term to capture critical race theory, social emotional learning, culturally responsive training, diversity equity inclusion and all other forms of this hateful, anti-American indoctrination. No one advocates not teaching about history. What is advocated is to quit teaching that all of history is viewed through a racial, sexual lens. People are individuals. Black people can succeed. White people can fail. Women do not have to be barefoot and pregnant (unless they want to!). Behavior matters. Selling grievance as the foundation of society only breeds hatred, AND is false.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Nice grievance you just made. Let me call you a whaaaambulance.

    2. LarrytheG Avatar

      re; ” critical race theory, social emotional learning, culturally responsive training, diversity equity inclusion and all other forms of this hateful, anti-American indoctrination. No one advocates not teaching about history. What is advocated is to quit teaching that all of history is viewed through a racial, sexual lens.”

      so okay to teach this as long as it’s not through a ‘racial, sexual” lens? Can you explain that?

    3. VaNavVet Avatar

      As Governor Youngkin said in his closing prayer “soften hearts so that they may see the good in everyone”.

      1. walter smith Avatar
        walter smith

        I agree with that concept. And it works both ways. But not calling evil what it is, is evil. See Matthew 23…which I particularly love because Jesus lays it down on the lawyers of the day and the self-righteous Pharisees. Who are today’s Pharisees? For the Left it is those evil evangelical Christians. For the Right, it is the credentialed clerisy, the laptop class, who think they are better than others and entitled to tell those deplorable Bible-thumping Trump voters what to do. For the clerisy, their religion is big government and man solving all problems – like the foolishness of controlling the climate or a virus! I think the “stupid” people are wiser than the so-called elites, and the “elites” are doing a lot to prove it!

        And I appreciate the Alinskyite use of Christianity to soften Christian criticism. OK, Leftists do the same! The only time Leftists believe in God is when they wish someone like Rush Limbaugh to suffer in Hell. Hypocrites! Woe to you Leftists, hypocrites! Like I said, read Matthew 23 and substitute Leftists for scribes and Pharisees. It works for me.

        1. VaNavVet Avatar

          As you just demonstrated, one can disagree without being disagreeable and defaulting to name calling. Now try to find something good in your so called Leftists. BTW are all democrats and independents considered to be Leftists?

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            well, anyone to the LEFT of him… 😉

          2. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith


            Venn diagram for Democrats (as currently practiced) would be almost one circle on top of the other.
            Independents and Libertarians have a wider spread, depending particularly on what they identify as their crucial issues.

            I find myself now, partly, as an old school ACLU-type civil libertarian because the ACLU has sold its soul for politics (I often, mostly disagreed with them, but they used to be consistent) primarily over free speech and now the unequal application of the law. It is wrong. Period. And the fact that the law schools across the country aren’t going crazy about it is frightening.

            Otherwise, I think the demarcation point is in your worldview – do you believe God is in charge or Man is in charge? I think those who believe that Man can control the climate or the course of a virus and that government can create perfection on Earth are deluded and blind to their own flaws. Those who believe God is in charge are, like all humans, sometimes hypocrites, but they at least have the humility to acknowledge their imperfections (most of the time).

            How’s that?

          3. VaNavVet Avatar

            Would not have thought of going to religion as the demarcation between Leftists, those on the right, or those in the center. After all Christians and other religions can be found across the political spectrum. God gave Man free will to make their own decisions and mistakes. Likewise God provides for Man through his Grace things like the vaccine as a way to overcome the virus and other diseases.

          4. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            That’s not what I was saying. I think you have assumed that Christian means on the Right. Nope. Evangelical Christian maybe, but not exclusively. So I think the dividing line is those who believe Man is in charge and therefore believe in more government to fix what I think they cannot fix. Those who believe God is in charge are more willing to accept the uncertainties of life and recognize what is foolish for government to attempt, like changing the climate or stopping a virus from virusing.
            Generally, this applies to Jewish and Christians, the more serious about attending church and sticking to orthodoxy, the more likely to be on the Right. People are all over the map. They have free will. That is why designating by group is evil. It denies human agency and natural differences.

          5. VaNavVet Avatar

            So as not to designate by group, that would indicate that there are Leftist Republicans, Leftist Christians, and conservatives that are socially liberal leaning based upon free will. Can we agree not to call a whole group of folks evil?

          6. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            I’m not. I believe Leftism is evil. The great question, which is why judgment belongs to God, is whether the belief in Leftism is stupidity, thinking they are being good, or intentionally subscribing to evil. But Leftism is wrong and I will say so. Meanwhile, all Leftists can think I am evil…or stupid…or both. I really don’t care.

          7. VaNavVet Avatar

            Let God judge their intent. We can discuss the evils of Leftism and not of Leftists. Perhaps start by comparing and contrasting Leftism with Rightism.

          8. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Sure. I think I drew very broad dividing lines a couple of responses previous…

          9. LarrytheG Avatar

            Interesting discussion. Potential for greater understanding? Let me give an example. Our church provides a twice-monthly food pantry. It’s purely a charitable effort to help others but it relies on govt also. The food the pantry gets to re-distribute comes from a Food Bank that has government support and also partnerships with farmers, grocery stores and other food companies. But a key part of it is the USDA from the Feds. Is that inherently “leftist” because the govt is part of it? There is no proselytizing at all by the way, but each recipient is required to be vetted to meet the Fed govt guidelines for “need” based on income and other demographic info.

            Is this an inherently “leftist” approach because of the govt involvement?

          10. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            A little yeast leavens the whole lump.
            Some good will result. But I would fear the entanglement of Federal regulations pollutes all the good intentions. So you have to certify yourself poor according to government guidelines to get the food? Is this demeaning? Does it increase the sense of dependency and despondency? Does it create an incentive to remain below an income level? Are one size fits all federal guidelines applicable for all situations?
            When you involve paid bureaucracy to administer charity, I think it tends to perpetuate dependency. Even if the farmers and others think they are being efficient with what would be thrown away.
            In general, I think Maimonides 8 levels of giving is a model for how each person should give, with the goal of helping people out of hard times permanently. The bureaucracy aspect perpetuates it. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

  11. Jim Loving Avatar
    Jim Loving

    I am reading a book I highly recommend, last year’s Last Best Hope, by George Packer. I just finished Chapter 2, “Four Americas”, which should be requred reading for all Virginians and Americans.

    These four Americas are:

    1- Free America (Libertarians – striving individuals, Jim Bacon).
    2- Smart America – Tech elite, the meritocracy (me)
    3- Real America – white Christian nationalism
    4- Just America – identity groups who are either oppressors or oppressed.

    Republicans = Free America + Real America
    Democrats = Smart America + Just America.

    Just America has arisen gradually, but has become dominant in the Democratic party since ~ 2014.

    Real America started to take hold of the GOP in 2008, with Sarah Palin being John the Baptist to Donald Trump’s Jesus/savior.

    Youngkin won in VA because he is from the Free America clan, able to retain enough Real Americans, and pick off Smart Americans that see the issues with the philosophy inherent in Just America taking over many intsitutions – higher education, K-12, HR departments of corporations and government.

    Closing chapter 4:

    “In such a world, belief in equaity is broken, while the desire for it still exists, stifled and smoldering, and this deforms our identity as Americans. All four narratives are driven by a competition for status – the consequencce of this broken promise (of equality in America, which comes before liberty in the Declaration) – that generates fierce anxiety and resentment. They all annoint winners and losers. In Free America the winners are the markets, and the losers are the takers who want to drag the rest down in perpetual dependency on a smothering government. In Smart America the winners are the credentialed meritocrats, and the losers are the poorly educated who want to resist inevitable progress. In Real America the winners are the hard working folk of the white Christian heartland, and the losers are treacherous elites and contaminating others who want to destroy the country. In Just America the winners are the marginalized groups (Black, Indegenous, People of Color aka BIPOC), and the losers are the dominant groups that wanted to go on dominating.

    I don’t want to live in the republic of any of them.
    The idea of governing ourselves as equals has lost its hold on us. It’s always an ideal, never reached, often violated. But without it America (nor Virginia) doesn’t work.”


  12. LesGabriel Avatar

    It is really strange to hear Democrats pretend they want to teach all of our history, but they seem to leave out the parts where Democrats were the slaveholders, Democrats wrote and enforced Jim Crow laws, Democrats who opposed Civil Rights laws, Democrats who prevented Blacks from voting, Etc,. etc. The difference between teaching our history and CRT and its offshoots is that ib doing the former we do not have to teach our children that they are not equal, that they can be friends and can work and play together. We do not have to divide ourselves into groups but can treat each other as individuals.

    1. VaNavVet Avatar

      Oh, you mean like you could do for Democrats? That is once you decide to recognize them as individuals.

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