While many Republican candidates have focused on crime and the economy throughout the midterm campaign, education also remains a hot-button issue among voters.
In Virginia, where GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin sailed to victory last year on a platform emphasizing parental rights in education, Republican congressional candidate Yesli Vega adopted a similar narrative in her closing arguments ahead of Tuesday’s election.
Vega appeared alongside Youngkin and other Republican state leaders at a campaign event in Triangle and used the platform to explain why re-electing her opponent, Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), could be dangerous for conservative parents.
GOP congressional candidate Yesli Vega claims on Fox News that "you have liberal Democrats here in the commonwealth proposing legislation that is going to jail parents — listen to this — for not conforming to woke culture ideologies." #wut pic.twitter.com/Rv9bFjUz65
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 6, 2022
“We have to take our country back,” she declared. “It’s insane that we’re talking about jailing parents for protecting their children.”
In addition to pushing back against a leftist agenda in public school curricula, Vega cited a growing effort to normalize life-altering surgeries for children who identify as transgender as another reason to vote Democrats out of office.
“It’s insane that you have to be over 18 years of age to get in a tanning bed, but it’s OK for a 12-, 13-year-old to mutilate their bodies,” she said.
Last month, President Joe Biden went so far as to insist that it is “outrageous” and “immoral” for anyone to oppose so-called “gender-affirming” procedures for kids.
“I don’t think any state or anybody should have the right to do that,” he said. “As a moral question or as a legal question, I just think it’s wrong.”
Aside from the controversy surrounding transgender children, Vega condemned the authoritarian approach that many government entities have taken toward parents in recent years.
“Who would have thought that we would be having that conversation?” she asked. “But that is how radical, how extreme today’s liberal, progressive Democrat Party has become.”
Referencing her own upbringing by parents who “fled war-torn El Salvador” and raised her to pursue the American dream, Vega asserted that she wants her own children to experience the same freedoms that she had.
“Those are my babies — my babies,” she exclaimed. “And we do not, and never will, co-parent with the federal government!”
She rounded out her remarks with criticism of the “heavy hand of government” in other aspects of American life, including orders that shut down churches and schools throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.