Are school closing moms the new soccer moms?

At the very start of a midterm election year, as a handful of large school districts clash with teachers ‘unions over in-person instruction, Democrats’ perennial concern for the vote moms is back in the news. In the last election cycle, the demographic was somewhat paternalistically referred to as the “Facebook empathetic mom” vote: Suburban voters imagined themselves as disembodied scroll fingers hungry for uplifting memes. Before that, she was the “security mom” of the 9/11 era, and before that, the ’90s’ soccer moms’. The demographics are notable for how often they are renowned; Last summer, Axios used the term ‘Zoom moms’ to describe educated women who had a disproportionate impact in polls and spent a lot of time on video conferencing, even though only one in four of those polled said that she cared about what was going on in the news. But against the backdrop of the omicron wave and the accompanying overhaul of covid-era school policies, we’re starting to see this voting bloc reborn as school closing moms. I predict something like this moniker will be attached to parents who are furious with the way educators have handled the pandemic and think Democrats are to blame. Two nearly identical first-person essays recently appeared in national media to argue the point, suggesting the party lost that all-important vote.

Both stories were written by mothers who justified their liberal good faith: “I hated Donald Trump,” Angie Schmitt wrote in Atlantic, while in Politics, Rebecca Bodenheimer described herself as a “baby in red diapers” – before launching ostensibly against Democratic lawmakers, but which were really about how mean people could be online. These mothers, according to their trials, had been good liberal infantry along the party line; we went so far as to describe the democrats and liberals as his “tribe”. These mothers had accepted school closures that left them with few childcare options and dragged their children into depression and stasis, which is undoubtedly true. But what was almost as bad as the school closures, the stories implied, was that when these mothers expressed their preferences for in-person teaching, they were ostracized by people who should have been from their side. “On Twitter, mothers who had been drafted as unpaid essential workers were mocked, often in very misogynistic terms,” Schmitt wrote. Bodenheimer relied on rude tweets from an anonymous account with fewer than 300 followers that compared her to Marjorie Taylor Greene. (Since the publication of his article, Schmitt has fallen into the strange trap of 2016 of confusing trolls with party politics, Tweeter that male socialists on the Internet don’t listen to mothers and instead tell “ladies” to “stand in line”.)

In the end, the two writers withdrew their children from the public school system, disgusted by policies they believed favored extreme caution over hard science. Such unease with conversations around schooling recently took on the tenor of an election year meme, with liberal parents exhausted by the perpetual chaos of closings and reopens described as crucial votes that will determine more midterms. late this year. Republican strategists strive to portray Democratic politicians as beholden to unreasonable demands from powerful and corrupt unions, even as Democratic politicians at the national and national levels aggressively fight these same unions for closures and security procedures. Never mind that in Chicago, before making a recent deal, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said teachers were holding children “hostage” and “giving up their posts.” And that Joe Biden insisted that schools remain open at all costs. If there is a party in the pockets of the big union, it does not appear to be this one.

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