Glenn Youngkin Cares About All The Children, So Long As They Are Straight And White And Not Icky

Glenn Youngkin Cares About All The Children, So Long As They Are Straight And White And Not Icky
Photo: Glenn Youngkin on Flickr (cropped), Creative Commons license 2.0

Virginia Governor and rubber-necked Skeletor impersonator Glenn Youngkin knows a few things. He knows that people are concerned about stuff. He knows that we in Virginia need to come together. He knows that there are issues we need to join together to discuss. Because they are tough issues. That we need to address. Not apart. Together. Because the issues are difficult. And now is the time to come together to address those difficult issues.

That was our main takeaway from CNN’s inexplicable decision to turn over an hour of its primetime programming to a town hall with the grinning Halloween skeleton currently residing in Virginia’s governor’s mansion. And for our sins, we watched the whole thing. The suffering we put ourselves through for this work.

We’re not even exaggerating for comedic effect. Here is Youngkin talking about what he wants to do on his signature pet issue of education:

"And we watched Virginians come together, Republicans and Democrats, not Republicans versus Democrats. And it was all around a very simple concept: Parents matter. And parents deserve not only to be at the table, but they deserve to have the head seat at the table."

Here he is yammering like a haunted Chatty Cathy doll about racism:

"I also believe that we have an opportunity to come together, as Virginians, and as Americans, and to lock arms, and say, 'We're going to look forward.' And we are going to create opportunity, we are going to educate our children to go take that opportunity, and we can lift up all Virginians."

Like a lot of GOP politicians these days, Youngkin is perfectly fine with admitting that this country has a long history of deep-seated racism, he just doesn't want kids taught about it in a way that makes any of the white ones feel guilty about it.

And here he is trying very, very hard to not take a position on the current ginned-up moral panic about transgender students existing. Youngkin has implemented some discriminatory policies such as requiring transgender athletes to compete as the gender they were assigned at birth. Jake Tapper asked him how he can reconcile the wants of parents freaking out about bathrooms and sports with those of parents of LGBTQ and trans students who also love their children and want them treated with equality and dignity and would like to see them also get to destroy their brains playing football:

"Well, again, I believe firmly that parents have a right to be engaged in their children's lives. And parents want to be engaged in children's lives. And a child does want their parent. This is a moment for counselors and teachers and parents to come together and deal with what is a difficult issue. But they should do it together."

The man is a walking Beatles song.

Invoking the children at every turn is Youngkin’s go-to move. Who can argue against the children? The problem is that different parents want different things for their kids, so at some point a politician is going to take a side no matter how badly he wants to avoid you noticing that he’s taking a side. Such as here, on the trendy question of removing books from public libraries in order to protect little Skylar and Cassidy from reading about gay penguins or whatever:

"And these are decisions that I think we should take on as opposed to run away from. And therefore, had that bill passed, I would have signed it. And then we would have engaged with communities. Not — not in a strong handed way but in an engaged way, to listen and discuss and make good decisions for our kids."

Don’t forget the twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom.

Youngkin may have never run for office before throwing his hat in the gubernatorial ring in 2021, but he already excels at the politician’s skill of giving long-winded, rambling answers that don’t quite address the question he was actually asked. He’s smooth, he’s nasally, he’s more canned than the bean aisle in a grocery store. He’s the human version of padding out your word count.

On the plus side, if Youngkin is as rumored considering a presidential run in 2024, that sunny, studied, we’re-all-in-this-together persona will get ripped to shreds the moment it runs into the buzz saw that is Donald Trump. There is zero chance this human-shaped marionette can trade insults on a debate stage with that bloated mandarin orange. Trump will eviscerate him and send him back to Virginia a broken shell of himself, his political aspirations flapping around him like one of the characters’ costumes in The Road.

Now that, at least, we could root for.


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