It’s bad enough when Democrats and their legacy media allies intentionally distort facts to smear conservatives. It’s inexplicable when Republicans help them do it.
Last week, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott — a contender for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination — accepted Democrats’ phony premise that there’s something wrong with Florida’s slavery curriculum. Vice President Kamala Harris and regime-approved media had been fomenting the complete lie that the Sunshine State’s new African American history curriculum teaches students that slavery was beneficial to black Americans.
As The Federalist’s Eddie Scarry and others have pointed out, these claims are total nonsense. The standards are clear in teaching that, despite their enslavement, blacks developed skills that “in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit” — not that slavery was beneficial to them. It’s worth mentioning that the College Board’s African American studies course includes similar teachings.
But these facts didn’t stop Republicans like Scott from advancing Harris’ false narrative about the subject. When asked about it late last week, Scott embraced the lie and used it to attack fellow 2024 primary contender Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“[T]here is no silver lining in freedom — in slavery. The truth is that anything you can learn, any benefits that people suggest you had during slavery, you would have had as a free person,” Scott said. “[Slavery] was just devastating. So, I would hope that every person in our country, and certainly running for president would appreciate that. Listen, people have bad days, sometimes they regret what they say, and we should ask them again to clarify their positions.”
But Scott was hardly the only Republican to promulgate Harris and legacy media’s false narrative. Republican Reps. Byron Donalds of Florida, John James of Michigan, and Wesley Hunt of Texas were among those to help advance leftist lies about the curriculum.
Pushing Leftist Narratives Is a Losing Strategy
DeSantis has been the most successful Republican in the nation by far when it comes to combatting the left’s Marxist takeover of American public schools. Whether by banning critical race theory and transgender madness or installing proper civics standards, DeSantis finally began eradicating the leftist indoctrination infesting Florida’s education system.
Rather than celebrate these achievements and look for ways to advance similar policies throughout the nation, Scott and Co. are playing the left’s game by advancing Democrats’ spin about Florida’s curriculum. And it’s fairly obvious why.
It seems that Scott — who has a history of capitulating to leftist narratives — views this Democrat-manufactured “controversy” as an opportunity to bash DeSantis to improve his own prospects of securing the 2024 GOP nomination. The same could also be said of Donalds, James, and Hunt’s unfair criticisms given that all of them have backed former President Donald Trump for the nomination. And while it’s one thing to attack an opposing candidate in a primary, it’s quite another to advance Democrat lies to do it.
Scott and the Republican congressmen’s erroneous hot takes don’t just provide fodder for Democrats and their legacy media allies to continue their dishonest coverage of Florida’s new curriculum; they also help stymie the conservative agenda.
Republicans should be on offense, debunking Harris and Democrats’ fake claims while explaining why an accurate accounting of American history should be taught in every state across the country, not just Florida. Instead, Scott and Co.’s comments now allow legacy media to shift the conversation to what these lawmakers said, thereby forcing any Republican behind the microphone to respond to their colleagues’ opinions instead of the subject at hand. It takes what should’ve been an easy Republican victory and morphed it into an opportunity for the left to advance their narrative instead.
Republicans should be laser-focused on implementing and maintaining effective, conservative policy. Letting primary politics get in the way of this mission plays right into the left’s hands and distracts the right from advancing key objectives.
Conservatives will have a say in who the 2024 nominee should be when their state’s primary election comes to town next year. Until then, elected Republicans should focus on winning the political cold war at hand. Anything less is a gift to the left.