Radical Gender Theory Emerges As Key Wedge Issue In 2024 Presidential Election
Stefania Pelfini, La Waziya Photography/Getty Images

Radical gender theory and the sexualization of children are emerging as key wedge issues for Republican candidates in the 2024 presidential election, especially when it comes to reaching minority groups.

A recent NBC News poll found the two issues trail only border security as the top priorities of Republican primary voters. That represents a major shift from last year’s midterm elections when most Republicans campaigned on traditional themes such as the economy and crime. Despite predictions of a “red wave,” Republicans failed to win the Senate majority and barely eked out control of the House.

“It’s like they didn’t learn the lesson,” American Principle Project (AAP) policy director Jon Schweppe told The Daily Wire. “Obviously [gender ideology] should be a wedge issue.”

The GOP’s underwhelming performance last year could have 2024 candidates looking to a pair of Republican governors who have leaned into protecting children in the culture war, Florida’s Ron DeSantis and Virginia’s Glenn Youngkin.

Schweppe, who co-authored a report proposing to amend the Communications Decency Act to protect free speech and defend children, said his group has succeeded with super PAC ads targeted at persuadable independent and Democrat voters.

“It’s also an issue that animates voters that they seem to very much care about,” he said. “Rather than the past messaging that the GOP has embraced talking about spending cuts — Medicare, Ukraine, and all that. It would obviously behoove them to lean into the culture war and show just how extreme the Democratic Party is.”

The issue has come to the fore as Leftists have embraced giving children chemical and even surgical “gender-affirming care” over the objections — or behind the backs — of their parents. Many of the treatments are irreversible, according to experts. Lawmakers in more than a dozen red states have passed laws protecting minors from such procedures, while some blue states have announced that they will be “sanctuaries” for gender dysphoric children who run away from home.

In addition to the new gender ideology, many on the Left are embracing drag shows for children, obscene books in school libraries, graphic sex education at increasingly early ages, and public displays of nudity in front of kids.

The Left’s new look plays poorly with ethnic minority groups across the U.S., many of whom are standing up against offshoots inside the LGBTQ movement that demand their children subscribe to extreme progressive leftist agendas taught inside the public school system.

“We’ve seen this actually over and over in our data,” Schweppe said. “Hispanics, Muslims, blacks — the way to reach them is by talking about these cultural issues because a lot of these folks are not on board with the Left-wing agenda. They’re just incredibly uncomfortable with the Republicans’ economic agenda, and that’s usually what causes them to vote the way they do.”

In recent weeks, minority parents from Armenian, Hispanic, and Muslim communities have clashed with far-Left activists and school board members across the country. Their outrage is driven by books, lessons, and public school policies that all seem aimed at confusing young children about sex and gender.

A recent poll published by Parents Defending Education on whether schools should be allowed to hide students’ gender transitions from their parents showed 75% percent of parents voted schools should require parental consent before helping their child change their so-called gender identity.

Among those numbers, 76% of black voters, 71% of white voters, 66% of Hispanic voters, and 59% of Asian voters oppose letting schools withhold information about a child’s gender identity from their parents.

Outside California’s Glendale Unified School District’s headquarters, parents — some from the Los Angeles County city’s Armenian and Hispanic communities — blasted board members earlier this month for promoting a pro-LGBTQ agenda to young children. Other speakers, including a man in a skirt and high heels, showed up in support of the district’s pro-Pride plan, according to reports.

“Bringing in curriculum for K-6 on gender ideology, that is what we’re against,” Any Torosyan, a parent from Glendale, told KTLA.

One self-identified teacher who works in the Glendale school district in California told the board that children know they are transgender as early as 3 years old and that they are being persecuted.

“I am also a community member who volunteers extensively in South L.A. and work with the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles with queer/trans youth in large groups, and so I deal with a lot of their trauma related to the hetero-normative, Judeo-Christian, patriarchal, imperialist, capitalist system that oppresses them.”

Some 2,500 miles east in Rockville, Maryland, dozens of Muslim and Christian parents protested outside Montgomery County Public Schools — the state’s largest school district — after officials allegedly refused to allow parents to opt their children out of learning sexuality and gender indoctrination.

A Democratic member of a Montgomery County board compared Muslim children to “white supremacists” after parents spoke out against the sexually provocative and gender-based material taught in classrooms.

“This issue, unfortunately, does put … some Muslim families on the same side of an issue as white supremacists and outright bigots,” Kristin Mink of Montgomery County Council for District 5 reportedly said during a heated school board meeting in June. “I would not put you in the same category as those folks, although, you know, it’s complicated because they’re falling on the same side of this particular issue.”

A former student in the district, a young girl wearing a hijab, addressed the board during a meeting earlier this month.

“Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right that protects the conscience of all people,” the girl said. “It allows us to think, express, and act upon what we deeply believe. The issue of gender and sexuality are influenced by our faith, and we should not be caricatured as intolerant.”

Some believe the new activism by parents started during the COVID pandemic. When the federal government and many states forced school districts nationwide to switch to online learning, parents from all walks of life saw teacher activists pushing controversial and often perverted ideologies on their children.

“These are folks we should be reaching,” Schweppe said. “But the only way we’re going to do it is by tailoring the messaging and really focusing on this is as a main issue, especially for rites of passage to direct the upbringing of their kids.”

Such rhetoric from the Left has pushed minority parents like Asra Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and self-described Muslim feminist, to go through what she called the “Great Anti-Woke Awakening.”

Earlier this month, Nomani documented a protest against the district’s alienation of parental rights. During the Obama administration, Nomani said Muslim groups became aligned with far-Left interest groups that contradict the socially conservative beliefs of many Muslims.

“We, the mostly minority parents, are the woke army’s worst nightmare — and the woke army is now the Democratic party,” Nomani told The Daily Wire. “And these parents are now waking up to the fact they have been failed by the Democratic machine.”

Nomani said many black Muslim and Hispanic families attended the rallies who were chanting “Not Your Children,” “Protect Our Children,” and “Religious Freedom Now” while carrying signs reading, “Restore Opt-Out” and “Family Rights.”

“[Muslim and Hispanic] families are emerging now because they see this threat to their children as a threat to their self-identity,” she said. “And we are seeing this because we have common sense, we came to this country with a conscious choice, and we’re gonna manifest it’s destiny with conscious advocacy and activism.”

On the corner of Campus Drive and Mannakee Street, in Montgomery County, Maryland, earlier this week roughly 1,000 Arab Muslims, Ethiopian Christians, Peruvian Catholics and many other brown and black immigrant families, she said, protested against school officials to allow parents to opt their kids out of age-inappropriate sexual content in schools.

Nomani, who was born in India and immigrated to the United States in 1969, said she grew up in a conservative Muslim family, and like most migrants, started voting Democrat when she turned 18.

But, like many parents of all backgrounds nationwide, she became an “accidental activist” in December 2020 when the “woke Left” began attacking the issue of merit-based education, which she said was a masquerade for inequality and racism.

“So that summer, I awakened to the threat of this new ideology seeping through American school systems and society,” she said, adding that parents from China, India, South Korea, and Eastern Europe united to fight for merit education.

“We are not only the woke army’s worst nightmare, we are the Democratic Party’s worst nightmare because they want to erase us and marginalize us, but now at this point in history, where they’re coming after our children were refusing to be silent.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Radical Gender Theory Emerges As Key Wedge Issue In 2024 Presidential Election