Much of the Democratic Party is now made up of extremely liberal, affluent and well-educated urbanites. They’re super woke and pro-union, but when woke and solidarity run head-on into the education of their offspring, education is going to leave their other values in pieces on the side of the road. What liberals understand, intuitively if not explicitly, is that “privilege” in American society derives much more from education than it does from race.
Case in point is San Francisco, as liberal a town as exists in America or much of the world, I suppose. Last week three very liberal school board members were recalled — with a vengeance. The three lost their seats by votes that exceeded three-to-one.
The dissatisfaction stemmed from a cluster of related decisions. The board failed to open schools, even after even Gov. Gavin Newsom encouraged it, because the teachers union wanted them kept closed. In the midst of that, the board decided to strip the names from over 40 school buildings because of the alleged political incorrectness of their namesakes — much of that based on painstaking research done on Wikipedia. These included George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and liberal California senator and former SF mayor Dianne Feinstein. To top it all off, in the name of equity, the board wanted to essentially eliminate the district’s prestigious honors high school by doing away with high admission standards there. Lowell High School has long been seen as a ticket to Ivy League colleges.
That was all too much for liberal San Franciscans. It’s one thing to talk about “equity”, but it’s quite another when equity means less rigor, and a shorter leg up, for their own kids.
As a side note, it’s interesting — and a little perplexing — that none of those chickens have come home to roost here in Madison. Our school board has been trying to dismantle its dedicated honors classes, though that has been put on hold for now. Not only have there been no recalls here, but three board seats up for election this spring have attracted all of four candidates on the official ballot. Conservative blogger and former Dane County Supervisor David Blaska is running a write-in campaign to provide an alternative to current Board President Ali Muldrow, but he admits that he’s without hope of actually winning. Should lightening strike, Blaska will most likely demand a recount.
But, in the broader picture, which is to say the midterm elections, what happened in liberal San Francisco should serve as a wake-up call for Democrats. They now have stark warnings from both coasts. Glenn Youngkin upset the Democrat in the Virginia governor’s race in large part over similar issues. Mitch McConnell last week called Republicans “the party of parents.” If this were just about conservative Trump voters it would be one thing. But this revolt over liberal education policies is taking root among moderate suburbanites and now even liberal city folk.
The base of the new Democratic Party values education above all else. And if that means setting aside other cherished aims of the left, well, so be it. This is a lesson Democrats better learn, and fast.
And on another matter… conservatives showed some signs of life in Dane County Board races, only to not run campaigns. This morning, the State Journal reports that a half dozen conservative challengers seem to be running coordinated “campaigns” in which they refuse to, well, campaign. They won’t talk to the press or explain what their issues are or why they’re running. I’ve long felt that the board would benefit from a more robust loyal opposition to the overwhelming progressive majority. But, ya know, in order to stand for something you have to talk, write or communicate in some fashion.