Glen Youngkin perceived himself as a comparatively moderate Republican. Sure, he won the governorship of Virginia by taking advantage of the culture wars — most notably his incessant scaremongering about critical race theory in schools. But it was still sold to the public as more “traditional” than that donald trump Loyalists who came to dominate the GOP, a mark he still enjoys to this day. “The truth is that Youngkin is not a Trump-like figure at all,” says the political scientist Larry Sabato said time‘s Molly Ball over the summer. “You can see it.” Youngkin may sound more like a “suburban dad” than a wild-eyed insurgent, but for all the marketing, he’s every bit the radical Democrat he was warned about.
The Virginia governor is expected to go blunt next month Kari Lake — the far-right Arizona gubernatorial candidate who made a political name for herself parroting and blaming Trump’s 2020 election lies Joe Biden and the Democrats to pursue a “demonic” agenda. It’s not clear if Youngkin – who dipped his toe in the pool of electoral denial during his campaign against the election Terry McAuliffe by promoting voting machine audits and concerns about “election integrity,” but never fully jumping in—does Lake agree that the 2020 election was “stolen” by Trump, or believe, as Lake appears to do, that governors should be able to Rejecting election results They don’t like. But it doesn’t matter if he personally believes in it: by promoting Lake and other Trumpian extremists, he’s helping to wash some of the most virulently anti-democratic elements the former president has unleashed in American politics.
Lake isn’t the only election denier Youngkin is championing. As excitement builds around his own potential 2024 ambitions, the governor of Virginia has made his hopeful head to Nevada Joe Lombardocast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 election without fully accepting it, and Michigan’s Tudor Dixon, who insists Trump actually defeated Biden. Both have received Trump’s confirmation. (Youngkin has also campaigned for governor of Georgia Brian Kemp, who notably didn’t get Trump’s endorsement for refusing to help the former president overturn the state’s election results.) Youngkin may not be as brazenly boorish as Trump or his most staunch acolytes. But Youngkin’s endorsement of such figures is a reminder that moderate Republicans don’t really exist in the contemporary GOP.
Yes, some Republicans have opposed Trump and his attacks on democracy. But none of these figures are in good standing with the party, and many have either been forced into retirement or fired from their jobs. To make it in a party like this you either have to be an extremist or be willing to deal with extremists. Youngkin did just that — not only in campaigning for himself and fellow Republicans, but also in his governance, which was characterized by uncompromising social conservatism and never-ending culture war cruelty. In its most recent salvo, Youngkin’s administration moved to dramatically restrict the rights of transgender students in Virginia, including banning teachers and school staff from referring to children with anything other than the pronouns assigned to them at birth. His administration has framed this new policy as “reaffirming the rights of parents to determine how their children are brought up and educated.” But these “parental rights” seem to apply only to a small group of parentsthose overly concerned with which restrooms students use and who want to protect their high school kids from Pulitzer Prize-winning novels.
By realistic standards, these guidelines are extreme. A nobler form of Trumpism is still Trumpism—and perhaps an even more insidious form of it.
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/09/glenn-youngkin-expected-to-campaign-for-kari-lake Don’t Be Fooled By Glenn Youngkin’s Moderate “Suburban Dad” Vibe