A couple of points that all the pundits analyzing seem to ignore.

1 - The self-described “elites” are largely comprised of MIDDLE INCOME urbanites who have a great deal of anger towards the high school graduates who built businesses and have more success than they do (along with intelligence I would argue). Most in journalism and those in academia are, at best, middle class. They also tend to be nauseatingly entitled.

2 - Don’t under estimate the fear of child vaccine mandates as putting parents and grandparents over the edge. Just as economic jobs analyst ignored the millions of children now being homeschooled likely with adult supervision, many previously employed adults, many are overlooking the fear the a still experimental shot will be mandated by Democrats on their masked 5 year old that faces zero statistical risk of dying from Covid.

3 - The Lincoln project is in a competition with Biden and Bloomberg to see who can waste the most money trying to tell people what to do. Combined success rate of funds spent is 0%.

4 - The main thing people are pushing back on is authoritarianism and insanity. Both are beyond annoying and have consumed the Democrat party.


A mom in the 1% with a masters degree, two young kids, and zero trust funds, who proudly supported Trump and now votes all Republican (for now anyway) after being a registered Democrat from the age of 18-36. I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, but I did in 2020.

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I feel like I need to explain to Democrats how dogwhistles work. It’s fairly complex. Let me try to break it down into a series of bullet points.

-If you hear it, YOU ARE THE DOG

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Imagine the hubris it takes to endure the loss they took last night in Virginia and then get right back on the horse for another ride. These people are so out of touch with reality that I wonder how they function as adults on a day to day basis. Really though, I am giving them too much credit, these people are just whores for the next dollar, they will say or do anything to get the next website click. It is theatre and it would be comical if it weren't for the stakes.

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There is almost NOTHING more insulting than to be called/labeled a racist. Its like being called a child-molester. It is especially enraging to the 99.9% of the insulted who are avowedly NOT racists.

No matter: the Progressives have decided that viciously attacking great swaths of innocent people is a really winning political formula. Future historians will no doubt have much to say about this folly, but for now, all anyone needs to know is that these innocent victims have finally decided to tell the Left to FUCK OFF. This is just getting started...

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The "Critical Race Theory -- which doesn't exist/isn't taught" just dropped into every MSM discussion or article is destined to become a meme as recognizable as the "Republicans pounce" meme of last year. In the last week, nearly every single story I've read in the NYT, WaPo, AP, NPR, etc. includes that exact gratuitous phrase, as if we shouldn't trust our lying eyes and brains. Keep up the great work Batya and Bari and congrats to the Virginia voters!

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It’s genuinely alarming that all of the legacy media outlets (apart from Fox) now state explicitly—on election night broadcasts!—that decent people are required to vote for a particular political party. (Even non-voting and third-party voting are not morally defensible options; you must vote specifically for the party endorsed by the corporate, academic, oligarchic and mass-media consensus.)

I surfed around a bit last night—my first time watching network news in years—and I was surprised by what I heard. The open contempt for viewers/voters... the condescension toward minorities especially (simple folk who are “easily confused/misled” and hence accidentally make the wrong decisions sometimes)... the unstated assumption underlying every comment that the Democrats are the party of good and the Republicans are the party of racism, perversion, deception and evil... it had a “Romanian TV in the 80s” vibe.

For many years, reporters, academics, and campaign hacks have been unwilling to consider that some voters are partially, occasionally driven by real policy concerns—and unwilling to entertain the thought that a non-college-educated voter who disagrees with a Williams or Swarthmore grad could ever be correct. But what I saw last night was a new phase of elite contempt for the masses.

Calling Virginia’s electorate “infected” with “the delta variant” of a mental and moral disease is so stupid and ugly that it actually got my attention for a moment.

On the one hand, I’m glad that this didn’t work for them in Virginia the way it has worked for them for the last five years. On the other hand: these are dark times.

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The election results show that the corporate media is losing its grip (in no small part due to the efforts of Substack creators!) You can also tell from the fact that various songs titled “Let’s Go Brandon” simultaneously topped the iTunes charts despite the corporate media’s initial attempt to ignore it and then to cast the phrase as belonging to “far right”.

You can only lie to people so long before they tune you out and then you are irrelevant, which is where the corporate media is rapidly heading.

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The part I can't for the life of me figure out is whether Dems/progressives/elites are consiously gaslighting voters with "CRT isn't real/is only taught in law schools", or if they really just can't see the forest for the trees.

Sure, a lot of what Republicans/Chris Rufo/Younkin call CRT is really other similar ideologies like standpoint epistemology, postcolonial theory, postmodernism, black nationalism, etc., so if you want to get extremely technical and hair-splitting, the issues in schools are often not critical race theory PER SE.

But to make the logical leap from "there are other more technically precise terms to call this stuff" to "move along nothing to see here (you racist)"....I just don't see how Democrats wouldn't anticipate that rhetorical evasive maneuver to be poorly received by voters. Chris Rufo calling a postcolonial white-bashing textbook a CRT white-bashing textbook doesn't mean the white-bashing textbook is a "made-up issue".

So it's either the most incompetent attempt at gaslighting I've ever seen, or else the woke crowd really has drank so much of their own Kool-Aid that they don't see anything problematic in schools right now. I really can't figure it out.

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The election gives me hope but the real challenge is next November. We will see if Americans are savvy enough to withstand 12 months of propaganda and gaslighting or if they're going to fall in line like sheep and let the country go down in flames...

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Great article. Thank you, Batya. I admire your courage and journalistic integrity.

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“We don’t teach Critical Race Theory.”

is the public school remix of

“We don’t do Gain Of Function.”

What a bunch of demented shysters.

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Penny Adrian

just now

I am so grateful for the things you are writing that it makes me want to cry.

I've always thought I was a progressive, because I believe in living wages for every working adult, and I believe in socialism when it comes to ensuring basic human needs like housing, healthcare, healthy food, and clean water.

But in the past few years I have felt like a pariah in the "progressive" community.


First of all, I was kicked out of the Texas Handmaids because I objected to their protesting a crisis pregnancy center that supplies baby clothes, toys, parenting classes, and two years worth of free diapers to low income moms.

Yes, the center "lures" pregnant women in with a free ultrasound and inaccurate information about abortion.

But my point was, if we are going to attempt to close down that center, then we had damn well better start giving out two years worth of free diapers ourselves.

There were a lot of young Mexican moms with babies in tow using that center, and I didn't want to make them feel bad by protesting it. My suspicion was these moms had no intention of getting an abortion anyway, and having been a poor single mom, I'd have loved a center like that.

The Texas Handmaids (a group made up entirely of upper middle class women)not only kicked me out of their group, but made sure I was also kicked out of a political letter writing group that had nothing to do with crisis pregnancy centers. I was devastated.

Second of all, I think sex trafficking is one of the most horrific human rights abuses of our time - one which primarily targets Black and Indigenous girls.

But guess what? The so-called biggest "progressives" in Congress (the "Squad" Barbara Lee, Ro Khanna, etc) actually oppose FOSTA, a law that holds websites accountable for selling trafficked kids on their platforms!

I thought someone would have to be a sociopath to oppose that law!

The people who opposed FOSTA were politicians I had admired and sent money to- and yet they choose to protect Big Tech and adult "escorts" over raped kids!

I can't begin to express how violated and betrayed I felt.

I've been called a pearl clutcher and a prude for wanting to enforce laws against sex buying rather than make sex buying legal (it has been proven repeatedly that legalized sex buying radically increases demand, which radically increases the financial incentive to traffick women and girls. In Nevada, where sex buying is legal, we have the highest rate of sex trafficking in the country).

So called progressives NEVER protest against sex trafficking, which is modern day slavery. Instead, they blather on incessantly about forms of slavery that were outlawed 160 years ago! What hypocrites these people are!!!

Anyway, Thank You for helping me to make sense of why I feel so voiceless, alienated, and alone when it comes to "progressive" politics these days.

I no longer read the NYT and the Bezos Post (I used to subscribe to both), or watch MSNBC.

I also no longer send money to "progressive" politicians.

Thank You for helping me feel less insane and alone.

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I agree. It's frustrating to listen to the juvenile explanations being offered.

DEMS are trying to spin it so that the donations keep rolling. It's a tragedy to have a better product than your rival and be absolutely incapable of marketing it. The dems need to get rid of the damn consultant class of white college educated stooges whose noses are so far up their own asses they can't see what's in front of them, and start talking to regular people. Not the short clips of the stupid diner talks on the campaign trail. I hate those dumbass mayberry moments. They need to get that most folks don't live in a world of inherited white guilt and 74 genders and think that this kind of crap is insane.

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WOW! This was a great piece. Thank you for this unvarnished take on your peers in the professional media. I'm grateful to Batya for explaining it. --> "And here’s the crucial point: The “Critical Race Theory isn’t real” meme is not about race. It’s not about politics. It’s not even a culture war, really. It’s about class. It’s about one class—a highly-educated chattering class—using highly specialized language to tell normal parents that they lack sufficient intellectual capacity and are imagining things because they’ve been brainwashed. A highly-educated progressive media has used its educational advantage—92 percent of American journalists have a college degree—to gaslight working-class parents of all races. Under the guise of fighting racism."

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So glad Governor-Elect Youngkin won last night. And I used to be a Democrat.

Whenever I hear Democrats and the mainstream media claim "Critical Race Theory isn't taught in schools," my head starts to explode at this ridiculous lie. Everyone paying attention knows the principles of Critical Race Theory have invaded the schools like a cancer that's turned metastatic. The warped principles of CRT are most definitely hammered home every day by hundreds of thousands of teachers, in tens of thousands of public and private schools, at every grade level, all across the country.

If not for CRT, no teacher in their right mind would ever tell a student not to speak in class because that student is white. If not for CRT, no teacher in their right mind would ever tell a student that answering math problems correctly was white supremacy. If not for CRT, no teacher would ever tell a five year old they have the original sin of racism.

It was time for some noisy blowback, and last night we finally got it. Congratulations to Governor-Elect Youngkin. I can't wait to see the sense-making changes you'll institute once you're in office.

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Re: Thomas Frank, please note that he did go on to write _Listen, Liberal_, one of the most scathing and insightful books about the Democrats smug insularity and its abandonment of all left-wing values.

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