AMAC Exclusive – By Seamus Brennan
Following a recent slate of GOP policy missteps—including a hastily passed “gun control” bill that elicited the support of 15 Republican Senators and last summer’s so-called “infrastructure” package, which was used by progressives as a smokescreen to advance far-left social causes—some Republicans are once again at risk of playing directly into the hands of the radical left. This time, however, the future of K-12 education and the hearts and minds of millions of American students are on the line.
The “Civics Secures Democracy Act” (CSDA), which is dishonestly framed as a bipartisan legislative effort that would “support and expand access to history and civics education,” was just reintroduced in Congress last month. The bill, which was led by Senators John Cornyn (R) of Texas and Chris Coons (D) of Delaware (known as one of the most far-left Democrats in the Senate) was first introduced in March 2021, and is widely seen among conservatives as a not-so-subtle attempt to federalize the forced indoctrination of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and gender ideology in public schools. But despite these concerns, the latest draft of Coons’s and Cornyn’s legislation appears just as dangerous as the first: as Stanley Kurtz notes, the new version of the bill “is the same in substance as the original, although the language this time is stealthier.”
The bill states, for instance, that its civics programs would be primarily oriented toward “clos[ing] gaps in civic knowledge” among “traditionally underserved students,” including “underrepresented minorities.” Although this language may appear benevolent on the surface, as AMAC Newsline has noted before, this specific phraseology is a favorite tactic of the radical left to push historically revisionist accounts of U.S. history and culture that paint the country as systemically racist and defined by slavery and oppression. For example, Biden’s executive order directing every federal agency to implement Critical Race Theory-oriented ideology in all of their actions was titled “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government”—which should raise concerns that the Biden Department of Education plans to spend the funds allocated in the CSDA for the same purpose.
Although the mainstream media has by and large failed to cover the bill at all – something which should immediately raise red flags for conservatives – it has nevertheless provoked a growing chorus of conservative opposition, drawing criticism from the likes of former President Donald Trump, Governor Ron DeSantis, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Fox News host Laura Ingraham, and radio host Mark Levin.
“Despite the parental backlash, Democrats are right now racing to pass a federal bill to push CRT in schools nationwide. It’s terrible,” Trump said in a recent address to the Faith and Freedom Coalition. “Known as the ‘Civics Secures Democracy Act,’ this bill would spend billions and billions of dollars imposing federal curriculum standards, so-called civics education—they call it civics education—which is nothing more than a fake name for Radical Left indoctrination. We have enough of it. It’s Common Core 2.0.”
Mike Pompeo similarly derided the bill as a way to allow the Biden administration to achieve its “stated goal” of “push[ing] its woke agenda into classrooms and the minds of our children.” Gingrich said the bill was “exactly the kind of thing I expect from the Big Government Socialists in Washington”—and was “astonished that there were Republicans who cosponsored the bill.” Laura Ingraham called the bill “insane,” while Governor Ron DeSantis has slammed the CSDA as an effort to “award grants to indoctrinate students with ideologies like critical race theory” – a claim that PolitiFact incorrectly labeled “false” and misquoted in a shameless attempt to discredit DeSantis.
Regrettably, such criticism has failed to get through to Cornyn and fellow Republicans Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, who are also sponsoring the bill. In a June 30 tweet, Cornyn blithely dismissed criticism of the bill as “a lie,” signaling that these Republicans are unlikely to withdraw their support from the radical legislation anytime soon.
As many on the right have been quick to observe, Cornyn’s inability to recognize the severe dangers his bill presents demonstrates not only a shocking degree of naiveté, but also the prospect of Republican political cover for the radical left’s nationalization of CRT and emerging leftist fads like drag queen story hour in K-12 classrooms. And as the Democrats’ own political prospects continue to collapse and Biden’s polling sinks further into the low 30s, it is difficult to imagine a more self-destructive electoral strategy than what Cornyn is proposing Republican Senators sign on to. Providing a boost to Democrats’ effort to politicize education just as the parents’ rights movement begins to gain steam would undoubtedly be a major blow to morale for would-be Republican voters just ahead of November.
But the destructive repercussions of Cornyn’s radical civics bill would extend far beyond Republicans’ performance in this year’s midterms. For the sake of our children, our schools, and the future of our nation itself—every conservative should hope that Cornyn and other Republicans supportive of the bill will realize this truth and change course before it’s too late.
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