On This Election Day, Americans Voted for Common Sense

Last week, the American people reminded politicians and pundits in Washington that they are still the foundation of this country.  Across America, highly visible and important elections routinely came down to what should be regarded as nonpartisan issues: rejecting school policies that keep parents out of their children’s education, standing against the woke ideology that indoctrinates and divides us, protesting the rising costs of living and higher taxes, defending our police rather than defunding them, standing for freedom, and more.  These are the issues about which Americans are concerned: problems that affect them and their families directly.

Keeping parents involved in their children’s education is not just common sense – it is essential.  Responsibility for the education of children ultimately must fall to parents, not the state.  The sacred institution of the family is foundational to our republic, and policies that keep parents out of the classroom, with little to no say in what their children are being taught, erodes that foundation irreparably.  The Department of Justice threatened to label parents who spoke out against their children’s woke curriculum as “domestic terrorists,” and losing candidates went as far as saying that parents should not be allowed to tell schools what they should teach.  Parents should be empowered to have a say in their children’s education and in the school where they receive it.  The freedom to choose the best school and curriculum for our children isn’t a conservative or liberal issue; it’s an issue that parents – who desire their children to have a better life than they had – care about across the political spectrum.  Conservatives should recognize the importance of this issue, both for voters personally and for the health of our nation, and champion the involvement of parents in our schools.

That’s why the issue of school choice has been front and center for the ACLJ in the courts and in legislatures nationwide.

Wokeness, too, took a beating at the polls.  A major issue for voters everywhere, and most clearly in the Virginia state races, was the teaching of Critical Race Theory and other Marxist ideologies in our classrooms, as well as the implementation of such policies in our government and elsewhere.  Make no mistake, this ideology, wokeness, opposes everything that makes America what it is.  It favors racial division instead of racial equality, splitting us into groups labeled “oppressor” or “oppressed,” rather than recognizing the fundamental dignity we are each endowed with.  It teaches our children to hate America.  It’s un-American, and voters across the United States affirmed that they see it for the insidious garbage that it is.

Americans are genuinely concerned about the rising cost of living. A recent poll revealed that 65% of Americans are unsatisfied with the current state of the economy, and roughly half expect it to get worse in the next year.  With prices rising throughout the country due to failed progressive policies, it’s no wonder.  Team Biden promised a pandemic recovery and an economic boom.  Neither has happened.  And expanding governmental authority and intrusion just isn’t the answer. Winning candidates, like Glenn Youngkin in Virginia, ran on platforms that would reduce the grip government has on the economy.  His plan to eliminate Virginia’s sales tax on food will benefit all Virginians, but especially middle- and working-class Virginians.  Cutting down costs at the grocery store is what people care about.  Conservatives should continue to remind themselves that commonsense policies that eliminate overbearing government intrusion are winning proposals.

The results from the elections last week were not about highly partisan issues.  They were not even about Republicans or Democrats at the end of the day.  Americans everywhere, regardless of party, voted to have a say in their government and to limit their government’s involvement and interference in their lives.  And they elected a diverse set of candidates to effect change: a Jamaican immigrant, a truck driver, business leaders, Hispanics—people from the spectrum of American life dedicated to the American dream.

Americans do not want socialism; we want opportunity.  Americans do not want their children caught in the middle of culture wars or trapped in failing schools.  Losing candidates pumped their campaigns full of talking points that only focused on their base of voters and ignored the real problems Americans are facing right now.  The problem with such a strategy is that America really is not as divided as the folks in Washington think or would like to make us.  The large majority of Americans are going to continue to vote for commonsense policies that actually affect them in their everyday lives rather than on national issues, or even global issues like climate change.  Conservatives can recognize and deliver real solutions to these problems, and we should bear this in mind moving into 2022 and beyond.

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