How to lose the culture war: A tutorial by Georgia and Wyoming Republicans – Washington Examiner

how-to-lose-the-culture-war:-a-tutorial-by-georgia-and-wyoming-republicans-–-washington-examiner

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 | February 28, 2022 02: 27 PM

For the first time in years, Republicans are in a position to make serious gains on cultural issues the Left has long dominated, including in areas such as education. But such progress will require something that is unfortunately in short supply in the GOP: courage.
This lack of courage will cost conservatives the culture war. Take, for example, the Republicans in Georgia’s state House, who killed a school choice bill last week because they were upset that a pro-school choice organization sent flyers to Georgia voters encouraging them to ask their representatives to "stand up” to “the radical Left” by supporting the school choice bill.

Apparently, making sure voters knew about an important bill that could change the very way the education system in Georgia works was a step too far for Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, who, through a spokesperson, denounced the flyers as “attempted intimidation” and “coercion.”
Ralston’s response is a ridiculous yet obvious cover. If he and his fellow Republicans truly believed in and supported the school choice bill, a flyer campaign from an organization that also believed in and supported the bill would not have affected the bill’s standing. But it did, because Georgia Republicans didn’t really want to vote on the bill in the first place and risk losing lucrative relationships with teachers unions and other public education advocates. So instead, they found an excuse to kill the legislation — and with it an opportunity for parents to get their children out of the failing public school system.
Wyoming Republicans are no better. Last week, the GOP-controlled state House refused to introduce a bill that would have reinforced existing civil rights law to prevent teachers from teaching critical race theory, or closely associated tenets, in the classroom.
Unlike other bills aimed at rolling back CRT in the public education system, this one was straightforward: It would have banned educators from using “public monies for instruction that presents any form of blame or judgment on the bias of race, ethnicity, sex, color or national origin.” And it would have prohibited teachers from telling students that any group is “inherently superior or inferior,” “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive,” or that the United States is “systemically racist or sexist.”
Yet 24 Republicans in the Wyoming House voted against it and refused to explain why when pressed. This is cowardice, plain and simple.
Never mind the fact that these policies have the power to win Republicans elections. Protecting children from a toxic ideology that would have them believe their worth is determined by the color of their skin is the right thing to do. Empowering parents to leave a public school system that is failing them just makes sense.
These are good policies that Republicans in Georgia and Wyoming abandoned because they were afraid of what it might cost them. And in doing so, they not only failed the students and parents they claim to represent but also the conservative movement and the values they claim to defend.
This is how we lose the culture war — by electing and relying upon lawmakers who claim the mantle of conservatism but lack the courage to fight for it. Our message to Republican lawmakers must be this: We are in a moment that requires decisive and bold action. Either you’re willing to take that action when the opportunity arises, or we’ll find someone else who is.

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