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Barone: Biden Democrats Lose Big – And on Cultural Issues



The homepage of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is seen on a computer | Barone: Biden Democrats Lose Big - And on Cultural Issues | featured

Democrats Lose Big – And on Cultural Issues | Republican victories came despite – actually, because of – two supposedly disabling trends. One is that turnout was up 27% over the last Governor race in Virginia, and at least 11% in New Jersey.

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Biden Democrats Lose Big – And on Cultural Issues

Culture war between right and wrong or conservative and liberal political clash-cultural issues

The rise wacultural issuess 30% to 40% in exurban areas heavy with young families, but only 10% or less in central cities with many minorities and hip singles.

The other trend is that the Virginia race was fought out over cultural issues. Youngkin seized on McAuliffe's Sept. 29 debate statement, “I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

That's holy writ among teachers union members and school administrators, who believe they have special expertise in enlightening the children of backward parents.

But in the Virginia exit poll, 84% said that parents should have a lot of or some say in what schools teach, and only 13% said little or none.

And after teachers' unions shut down schools for months (a full year in Fairfax County, the nation's 11th largest school district), parents have gotten a better view of the sexually explicit materials that supposed experts have put in the hands of even grade-schoolers.

Similarly, Youngkin was not afraid to criticize public schools' use of materials championing critical race theory – the idea that whites are irremediably racist.

Children should learn the good and the bad about our history, he said, and judge others by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

That predictably prompted charges of racism. Barack Obama, campaigning for McAuliffe, insisted, “We don't have time to be wasting on these phony, trumped-up culture wars.” Youngkin, he said, was avoiding “serious problems that actually affect serious people.”

But for parents, the education of their children is a serious matter, not a “phony, trumped-up” issue. More generally, cultural issues are more important to Americans, on both sides of the cultural divide, than economics.

Although Biden Democrats have argued their economic policies would help the little guy, an ABC/Ipsos poll found that only 25% believe his reconciliation bill would help people like them, while 32% say they would hurt.

That leaves nearly half, 43%, not seeing much difference. A similarly pervasive skepticism explains polls showing majorities against passing Obamacare in 2010 and against repealing Obamacare in 2018.

In contrast, attitudes on cultural issues are more firmly rooted in personal experience and moral principles.

Liberals and progressives are vulnerable on cultural issues because their search for the latest underdog cause to champion, while sometimes producing results widely accepted, sometimes puts them in lasting opposition to large majorities of voters.

That's what happened in Virginia. The advice of Democrats' MSNBC and CNN cheering squads – to double down on accusing voters of racism – is not helpful.

So, for the moment at least, and possibly into 2022 and 2024, the nation Biden returned to in the wee hours of the morning on Nov. 3 no longer supports him or his party.

Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.

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Article Source: NewsEdge

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