By Adam Brandon for Newsweek
Just a couple of years ago, no one would have predicted that education would be a top issue galvanizing voters. But thanks to the grassroots movement of parent activists that began to surge around this time last year, education is on the ballot this November.
The payoff of these brave parents’ efforts has been huge. From Governor Glenn Youngkin‘s victory in Virginia last November to the recall of three woke school board members in deep blue San Francisco earlier this year, the parental choice movement has taken root from coast to coast and shows no signs of abating any time soon.
In fact, the movement is only getting stronger. Unlike the common core years, when parent activists tended to be single-issue focused, this new coalition is adaptable and ready to tackle numerous issues head on, including critical race theory, social-emotional learning, and curriculum transparency. This movement has what it takes to stick around not just for the 2022 election, but far beyond.
Key to its longevity, however, is the vigorous and unapologetic participation of fathers.
Unfortunately, it has become popular in recent decades to diminish and even vilify the critical role of fathers in raising, protecting, and advocating for their children. This narrative has been bolstered by the feminist movement and propagated by various bad actors in the media, politics, and popular culture. Questions that were once unthinkable (“are fathers necessary?” and “are fathers dispensable?“) began to crop up in recent years. There’s no telling how many fathers have grown despondent or how many young men have been turned off from fatherhood in a culture that tells them dads are unimportant and expendable.
Weirdly enough, at the same time that fatherhood is being belittled, our society has become all too willing to turn a blind eye to absentee fathers. Many argue that a mother is better off raising her child alone than with a man who cannot be bothered and never wanted kids in the first place. Absentee fatherhood is a real crisis in our country, but we cannot risk perpetuating it by denigrating fatherhood and the essential role fathers play in their children’s lives.