CU Regent Heidi GanahlThe last remaining statewide Republican official in Colorado is believed to be seeking a run for governor in 2022, although he is reportedly considering lesser positions like State Treasurer if a run against the governor. Jared Polis seems impossible to win, has a new donation in kind column in the Colorado Springs Gazette which collectively says more about the obstacles facing Ganahl than does the quasi-candidate personally:
I believe that education is the key to keeping the American dream alive.
But I’m worried. Today, that dream is out of reach for too many young people. And we are focusing on the wrong things to get back within reach …
From here, Ganahl argues that the schools should have reopened last December, blaming the “teacher unions” in a fairly predictable line of attack we’ve seen many times before. The debate over reopening schools to face-to-face instruction has, of course, been very difficult for parents and teachers, but there is nothing we have seen in the polls anywhere to suggest that the Republican campaign to blame teachers , sorry, “teachers unions” – has gained traction beyond the Republican base.
Keep that thought in mind as Ganahl turns to the actual focus of his column, the equally tense and fact-deprived debate on “critical race theory.”
He’s playing back the growing debate over critical race theory in schools. The political desire of some adults in power to teach what essentially amounts to propaganda is trumping the needs of children to focus on the fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Our children have lost a year of learning that they will never make up again. So why are so many school districts trying to incorporate controversial and often grossly misleading views on race in America?
… There is no debate about whether our children need to learn about our country’s troubled past and the long-term impacts of racism; they must do so to be informed citizens and to help build a better and stronger country in the future.
But if we want to talk about systemic racism and systems that perpetuate inequality, why don’t we focus on the failure of our schools to teach children of all races to learn to read?
This is what Ganahl identifies as “critical race theory” as a proper name, but doesn’t really explain what critical race theory. consists in. She calls critical race theory “propaganda” and “very flawed in fact,” but makes no attempt to justify those labels with specific details. In fact, Ganahl admits that children make I need to learn about the “long-term impacts of racism,” but then she turns to teach children to read rather than explain how what she just acknowledged differs from the bogeyman of “Critical Race Theory” who is condemning.
If this seems like an incredibly weak argument, it’s because it is–And it’s illustrative of the difficulty Ganahl faces in presenting herself as “a different kind of Republican” while still being forced to shovel red meat at Republican primary voters. If Ganahl doesn’t recite the full list of talking points to the right, he can’t win a Republican primary. But by embracing this little information nonsense culture war distractions, Ganahl is limping out the door with general election voters.
As Colorado continues a blue trend as it has in the last two elections and Republicans across the country stagger further to the right, this divide will only widen. Ganahl’s message, at least what we’ve seen so far, takes her exactly in the wrong direction to be competitive in a state race.