Bankrupt of ideas and blind of vision, Democrats spent months last year trying to smear Virginia’s new Gov. Glenn Youngkin as some racist reincarnation of former President Donald Trump. It was as desperate as it would prove to be ridiculous.
The caricature Democrats tried spinning did not stick, as was evident on election night and even more obvious Saturday under sparkling skies on the front steps of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Capitol where Mr. Youngkin took the oath of office as the state’s 74th governor.
Ever tall and always sunny, Mr. Youngkin was flanked by newly minted Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears and Attorney General Jason Miyares, all three swept into office promising a new future for Virginia.
Democrats, meanwhile, were stuck looking backward. They spent the campaign obsessing over a past president, peddling racist division and defending archaic teachers unions from parents furious over the sorry state of education in Virginia.
In the end, Mr. Youngkin and his fellow Republicans beat Democrats — including retread former Gov. Terry McAuliffe — on the very issue Democrats have owned forever: education.
This is particularly interesting not just because it is an issue that Democrats have always dominated, largely because of their unholy alliance with teachers unions. It is interesting also because of what it says about the ideas and visions of the two parties in Virginia today.
By definition, education is about the future. Jefferson gave us public education, not for the immediate entertainment of pupils but the hopeful future of a Republic guided by an informed electorate.
Politicizing and weaponizing the simple biology of a confused teenager going through puberty was undoubtedly not what Mr. Jefferson had in mind. (These people today really are so stupid they could wreck a one-car parade. And they are evil on top of that.)
And so Mr. Youngkin beat Democrats at their best issue in a state that has become more reliably Democrat today than it ever was Republican.
Mr. Youngkin is a man of hope, promising change. In contrast, the backward Democrat Party in Virginia clings to death, depression and deception. They are the forever pandemic party.
Outgoing ex-Gov. Ralph Northam will forever be remembered for wearing either blackface or a KKK hood for his college yearbook — or maybe both. And for his barbaric description of the proper way, he envisions live birth abortions to be carried out.
“The infant would be kept comfortable,” Mr. Northam publicly explained as the adults decide how to dispose of the live infant.
In his very fine inaugural address, the hopeful Mr. Youngkin reminded Virginians of the promises that got him elected. On his first day in office, he made good on 11 of those promises.
And of his predecessor, Mr. Youngkin was courtly and generous — far more generous than Mr. Northam deserved. The audience politely applauded.
But, dear Lord, it was a beautiful sight — as is Virginia tradition — when Mr. Youngkin swore his oath and Mr. Northam rose from his seat to take his leave. As Mr. Northam trundled up the steps, cannon fire from a 21-gun salute thundered across the lawn as the garbage got hauled up the front steps of Jefferson’s Capitol.
Hopefully, there was a cold, steel surgery table waiting for Mr. Northam where he could be kept comfortable.
• Charles Hurt is the opinion editor at The Washington Times.