Republican policy is a tough sell these days. Starving public schools, elevating corporations beyond mere “personhood” into unregulated entities that operate without the burden of paying taxes, demonizing LGBTQ+ Americans and their families, and recasting violent insurrectionists as “patriots” and “tourists,” well… these are not popular positions with most Americans.

This is why Republicans must gerrymander to keep their seats at the table, why they must convert their voters into zealots, why they must subvert the Constitutional system of checks and balances: because they can’t get the votes. And you can’t gerrymander a whole country — a Republican presidential candidate has not won the popular vote in this century, which we’re nearly a quarter of the way through.

And this is why, this election cycle in particular, people of the far-right persuasion are attempting to infiltrate our school boards. A North Carolina Proud Boy named John Wesley Fisher is running for school board in Johnston County this year. There are other, more local examples of reactionary candidates across the state, perhaps hundreds across the nation. It’s part of an overall strategy to tear this mother down.

For one, they’re having a hard time getting elected to seats they don’t already hold. And for another, they think they can use these positions of limited power to indoctrinate American public-school students into their tribe. Because they think that’s what schools do when they teach students that Black folks get a raw deal in this country, or that Taylor has two mommies.

But anyone who’s ever tried to get a kid to brush their own teeth knows that kids don’t do things just because adults say it’s good for them.

And there’s this other thing: Elected officials in general, and Republicans in particular, don’t know what’s happening on the ground until after it’s happened.

It’s unlikely that any right-wing extremists Republicans running for school board — here and elsewhere — understand the characteristics of American youth they so dearly want to affect.

The 2020 Census recorded sweeping changes in the populace since the last one in 2010, particularly as it pertains to race. The “white alone” population, for example, has decreased overall by 8.6 percent. And people who classify themselves as “multiracial” has increased by 276 percent, from 9 million in 2010 to 33.8 million in 2020.

Among the under-18 set, that number goes up to 15.1 percent, while white kids are barely half — 53 percent, down more than 10 points. And 25.3 percent of these kids are Hispanic or Latinx.

We’re not saying that all Republicans are white, but I mean… c’mon.

Republicans, generally, are born, not made. And before they bring all these multi-racial students into the fold, they’ll have to explain why they’re starving the schools for funding and making it harder for their parents to vote.

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