Contrary to what Republican Party (RP) strategists and pundits are claiming, the November 2, 2021 Virginia Gubernatorial Election squarely hinged on the rabid promotion of traditional White-Supremacist Propaganda and the bland and lame Democratic Party (DP) politics of Faux-Post-Racist American Society. This is why Mr. Terry McAuliffe, the Virginia Governor, who was running for reelection literally fell flat on his prats, as it were (See “Glenn Youngkin Got a Boost from Blasting Critical Race Theory. Other GOP Candidates May Follow Suit” USA Today 11/6/21).
In other words, the gubernatorial veteran did not really seem to have any substantive electioneering message for the voters besides the stark blotchy record of his past administrative performance record. Even more significant, it did not help matters the least bit that Gov. Terry McAuliffe had been inadvisably fixated on the outcome of the passage of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr’s, massive National Reconstruction Budgetary Package, an otherwise auspicious policy package that had garnered a lot of controversy and heated debate in Congress and was not approved by Congress in time to give Gov. McAuliffe the well-needed electioneering boost and bragging rights, as it were.
The former Virginia Governor’s Republican Party Challenger, Mr. Glenn Youngkin, also clearly did not have any politically meaningful message to sell to the electorate. He had never even held public office; but this did not seem to matter because Mr. Youngkin had two factors running in his favor – actually three fetching factors. One: Americans have increasingly become tired of and fed up with career politicians. Two: Candidate Youngkin, a relatively younger political opponent of Gov. McAuliffe, was an Ivy League-educated successful businessman with a portfolio valued at $ 400 million, by some reliable media accounts and estimates. Which means that Mr. Youngkin was not totally without his own very impressive socioeconomic credentials or managerial experience. And, Three: Youngkin’s chances at clinching the Virginia Governor’s Mansion was remarkably boosted by the fact that the gubernatorial veteran did not seem to be prepared to focus on the most significant issues that mattered most to the electorate, such as the shrunken economy and precipitously declining labor market and job opportunities, situations that had been directly caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic; education and healthcare, and skyrocketing inflation, among a dozen other issues.
Even more significant but patently unwise for Governor McAuliffe was the latter’s rather artless and inadvisable decision to wedge into the fray the name and reputation of a democratically and legitimately ousted President Donald John Trump, who continued to catatonically deny having irredeemably lost the 2020 Presidential Election to former Vice-President Joe Biden. That the half-German pathological and clinical megalomaniac was not on the ballot, clearly did not redound to the benefit of the gubernatorial veteran. Still, a politically desperate and strategically exhausted former Governor McAuliffe did not seem to know how to quickly switch gears and rejuvenating his sputtering electioneering campaign machine, even when it became limpidly clear that his Trump-Baiting Electioneering Campaign Strategy was not working.
For his part, all that Candidate Youngkin needed to do, that is, besides deftly, suavely or diplomatically distancing himself from the albatross of Trumpian association, was to viciously resort to what some of his critics have characterized as “blowing the racial dog whistle,” by predictably and stereotypically harping on white people’s fear of a Black and racial minority takeover of the United States. Mr. Youngkin did this by invoking the chimerical bugbear that is Critical Race Theory (CRT), a largely Ivory-Tower Concept that is primarily taught in graduate and law schools which most of the members of his target audience, according to polling surveys, did not really understand. CRT, as Critical Race Theory has become popularly known, simply highlights the rather patently pedestrian fact that racism permeates every facet of American history, life and culture, particularly the institutional establishment of the United States’ Legal System, and that any serious attempt to understand American society ought to, perforce, factor into the equation endemic racism as the structural and cultural foundation of the United States of America.
In short, what Candidate Youngkin simply did was to viciously and deliberately distort Critical Race Theory by weaponizing the latter into what it absolutely is not and has never been, to wit, the preaching of reverse Neo-Nazi style hatred against Americans of European descent. To effectively counter this Youngkinian attempt to savagely maintain the Ku Klux Klan status-quo-ante, as it were, Governor McAuliffe needed to have strategically underscored the fact that the practice and propagation of White Supremacy of the kind cavalierly retailed by neocons like Stephen “Steve” Bannon was decidedly incongruous with the New America that was presently being built and rebuilt for the cross-racial and cross-cultural benefit of all residents and inhabitants of these United States of America.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
November 7, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]