There’s been a lot of banter on Virginia political blogs recently about the state of Ralph Northam’s campaign for governor and just how accurate are polls showing a statistical dead heat.  Some are reporting internal grumblings among Democrats that indicate serious concerns within that party over Northam’s campaign just a few weeks out from Election Day.

A test of whether or not there is true concern can often be found in the pages of the Washington Post.  And, sure enough, there have been a series of recent articles from Post reporters seeking to stir up controversy over everything from Republican candidate Ed Gillespie’s direct mail pieces to his fundraising. (Not to mention some pretty bogus polling numbers.)

Their goal: drive Northam’s base into a frenzy so they’ll actually show up to vote and discourage potential Gillespie voters who don’t want to vote for what the Post wants them to believe is a losing candidate. 

But this is the Post headline that takes the cake in hyperbole:

“Future of Public Education at Stake in Virginia’s Governor Race”

Que the left wing hysteria!

Imagine that.  The entire future of public education rests on our gubernatorial race.

It should surprise no one that the entire article attacks Gillespie for his support of policies that would give families more education freedom.  The article proceeds with a litany of accusations about how terrible it would be if parents are provided more options than the school to which their child is assigned based on nothing more than their zip code.  Everything from charter schools to Education Savings Accounts is attacked as “Bad for Kids” according to numerous quotes from those opposed to parental freedom, namely the education establishment. 

The article countered with quotes from supporters of education freedom…oh wait, never mind.  There are no quotes in the article from supports of education freedom.  None.  Anywhere.  Zero.

There are, of course, lots of scare quotes about Betsy DeVos, current U.S. Secretary of Education, who has used a personal fortune to advance the cause of education freedom. 

Northam makes it clear that he hates the idea of “unaccountable, private organizations” educating children.  His assumption being that parents aren’t capable of holding private schools accountable, making government run schools the only option.  Yet, private schools are thriving, growing, and producing students who are doing just fine, thank you, with little – and all unwanted – government involvement.  All the while being held accountable by the people paying tuition.  You know, sorta like a “free market.”  Imagine that.

Fearing competition reveals a lack of confidence in your product.  The education establishment is terrified that parents might actually get some freedom and make choices for their kids that run counter to what the establishment wants.  This would mean parents are in control, not the education power brokers, and that is their real fear – and perhaps what the Post means when it desperately claims that the future of public ed is at stake.