It Takes Two Sides to Fight a War

Dear Reader (excluding DJ Jazzy Donald),

This FiveThirtyEight headline caught my eye like the squirt from a grapefruit when the spoon goes in for the first time (if you don’t like that analogy, be grateful I didn’t go with the wayward fishhook one I worked on for too long and then abandoned):

I think the analysis in the piece is a mixed bag. There’s some stuff I think is wrong or tendentious and other points are well-taken or defensible. The authors, Alex Samuels and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux, begin with a highly critical account of how then-candidate Glenn Youngkin made critical race theory a “centerpiece” of his campaign and then, once elected, signed an executive order banning critical race theory in schools. “But,” they add, “the impact of this executive order is less straightforward than it seems, because critical race theory isn’t actually taught in Virginia public schools.” And then they add: 

This kind of tactic is increasingly familiar in politics today. Republican politicians, in particular, build entire campaigns around false or misleading information, then implement policies that respond to those falsehoods, cementing them further in our political landscape. 

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