Will the Real Glenn Youngkin of Virginia Please Stand Up?

6 mins read

Meet the “Youngkins”

Nice Guy Youngkin

Here is the meek and mild Glenn Youngkin offered to Democrats and independents in a media blitz of bland, nonthreatening ads that often appeared more Democratic than Republican. This Youngkin was described by a peer at the Carlyle Group as “Wonder Bread dipped in whole milk,” a boring, non-threatening manager. A nice guy who isn’t going to change much. It is a lie.

This Youngkin claims a humble background but grew up in a prestigious part of town. He attended the elite private Norfolk Academy that to this day neglects to mention its history during slavery and segregation. Having grown up so privileged in old-time Virginia, is it little wonder that Youngkin wants to establish 20 charter schools to educate children without school board oversight? And pay for this plan by raiding public school funds?

Businessman Youngkin

This Youngkin promises to repair a supposedly broken Virginia economy that is judged the most favorable in the country for business. According to CNBC, “Going into the pandemic and coming out of it, Virginia’s greatest strength has been its ability to nurture and retain talent. Public schools perform well in terms of test scores, and a world-class higher education system is reliably funded.” Yet, Youngkin is determined to reduce funding to Virginia’s excellent public schools.

Businessman Youngkin accumulated much wealth playing nice guy manager, but when his time came to lead, he didn’t fare very well.

He was named co-CEO — an unusual arrangement — and after three years lost out in a power struggle with his fellow co-CEO … If you’re a Republican and want a Republican governor, you might not care whether he’s any good. But, objectively speaking, to the extent Youngkin touts his business record as qualifying him for governor, he might be overstating his case.

The Roanoke Times

Furthermore, according to the Washington Post, while in charge of Carlyle, businessman Youngkin moved at least 1,300 American jobs abroad. Smooth-talking Glenn appears to be willing to say anything to close a deal, but extremist Virginia Republicans demand massive change and the dismantling of all that makes Virginia successful. Youngkin would return to “traditional values,” too often code for racism, misogyny, and exclusion. Which brings us to the last and very real Glenn Youngkin — the Trumpkin.

Trump Oligarch Youngkin

At the very beginning, when few even recognized the name Glenn Youngkin, he was preaching to the Republican base, praising Trump and claiming that the former guy represents a lot of why Youngkin decided to run. Lacking any real platform for fear of alienating a constituency, Glenn Youngkin shows loyalty to only one person: Trump. Youngkin’s every remark and position is tailored to retain the approval of Trump and his base while pretending to be independent. Youngkin is far from independent.

When Youngkin appeared to be softening his positions concerning President Joe Biden’s victory and Virginia’s election fairness, Trump was on air reminding Youngkin that he controlled Glenn’s fate. In Trump’s view, Youngkin could only win by fully embracing MAGA. Trump then furthered his Big Lie, claiming that the Virginia election was stolen from him. 

Glenn Youngkin quickly returned to the MAGA fold and rejoined the Trump train. On Oct. 8, Youngkin appeared before a large crowd in Chesterfield. Glenn fed his faithful in the usual Critical Race Theory (CRT) and anti-union rants plus the generalities that made Mr. “Wonder Bread” Youngkin famous. Hidden in the Youngkin message, though, is the racist, homophobic, and extremist religious code that the Trump base demands. 

All the Youngkins/Trumpkins believe that government regulations are bad and the government stands in the way of business. What business? Virginia is thriving with good schools, excellent jobs, and good health care. Youngkin opposes increasing the minimum wage; supports defunding our public schools and teaching propaganda to our children. CRT isn’t taught in Virginia schools — classrooms are now teaching the real and accurate history of Virginia and the nation. Out are the old lies of the Lost Cause, including that slavery was good for many, and in goes the real history of Virginia and our country. Most Americans and Virginians demand that our children be taught the truth rather than the lies we were taught in school. 

Are the many faces of Glenn Youngkin finally harming his attempt to become the ruling Trump-oligarch of Virginia? Some Republicans and many independents remain uncertain as to who Glenn Youngkin is. A notorious spin master but most certainly not a leader, Glenn was deliberately selected for what he is, a big corporate dealmaker of dubious capability who can reliably serve Trump. 

To beat him, those uncertain Republicans, independents, and others need to recognize Youngkin’s true colors and vote for Terry McAuliffe and the other Democratic candidates. Extremist Republicans may have the enthusiasm but here is hoping that Virginian Democrats have the determination. 

Image: “China Economic Outlook” by World Economic Forum is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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