Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has found herself in hot water with Michigan parents — and deservedly so.
During her Oct. 25 debate with GOP gubernatorial opponent Tudor Dixon last week, Whitmer had her own “Terry McAuliffe moment” in which she attempted to gaslight Michiganders by claiming that kids in the state “were out [of school] for three months” over the course of the Covid lockdowns. As if such nonsense wasn’t bad enough, the Democrat governor also refused to condemn the presence of pornographic material in taxpayer-funded school libraries.
With several polls showing the race between Whitmer and Dixon to be a virtual tie — in large part due to the swell of support Dixon is receiving from Michigan parents — Whitmer is trying to sweep her debate missteps under the rug and cast herself as the “pro-education” candidate. Since her debate with Dixon, the Democrat governor has made a series of posts on social media aimed at highlighting her proclaimed support for parental rights and ensuring children’s access to education.
“As we put our kids back on track for long-term success, we need parent input,” Whitmer said in an Oct. 26 tweet.
“I will work with anyone to help our kids thrive,” another tweet posted on Sunday reads.
Despite her efforts to obfuscate the truth from her constituents, Michigan parents know firsthand the damage Whitmer’s school closure policies have caused their children. In early April 2020, Whitmer issued an executive order suspending in-person learning for K-12 public schools for the remainder of the academic year, a move she would mimic later that year in November and December when halting in-person instruction for Michigan high schools. Some Michigan students, such as those attending Detroit and Ann Arbor Public Schools, were deprived of an in-person education even longer, with those two districts continuing school closures as recently as January of this year.
“Gretchen Whitmer is gaslighting every parent in Michigan with her blatant lies and attempt to rewrite history,” said Dixon in a statement provided to The Federalist. “She will try to tell you that what you experienced didn’t happen, but the fact of the matter is that Gretchen Whitmer is a dishonest politician who has time and again passed up opportunities to empower parents and do what is best for students.”
“Gretchen, not the pandemic, is responsible for plunging test scores and record low education achievement,” she added.
According to results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a “report card” that measures the educational progress of students across the country, reading and math scores among Michigan students plummeted to dramatic lows from 2019 to 2022. As detailed in the report, fourth-grade students in the state registered their lowest reading scores in three decades. Significant declines in reading and math scores were also documented among eighth graders, but not to the same degree as the reading scores recorded by fourth graders.
Try as she may, Whitmer’s bid to hide the truth from Michigan parents is a strategy that’s dead on arrival. No matter how many tweets she posts, her actions throughout the Covid lockdowns to keep schools closed will forever remain in the minds of parents, whose children have been left out to dry by the very politician claiming to be their biggest supporter.