McCormick Defends Girls’ Sports, Confronts ‘Woke’ Education at Moms for Liberty Event

by Linda Stein
Delaware Valley Journal
June 04, 2024

During a recent “fireside chat” with the Northhampton County chapter of Moms for Liberty, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick spoke as a dad about public policy issues like protecting girls-only sports and spaces in public schools.

“As the father of six daughters, this resonates with me so much. The very idea of allowing  biological males to compete with biological females is fundamentally unfair.

“It guts women’s sports,” McCormick went on. While Title IX protects girls and women’s sports and education, adding biological males “is part of a broader ideological shift.”

McCormick added that, as a parent, he’s concerned about content on topics like sex and gender being introduced to children too young to process it.

“Our schools are introducing transgender ideology to young children before they are old enough to form their own views as adults. And so I think it’s deeply troubling. It’s something that I would be completely opposed to as a senator…We need to get commonsense back.”

The Republican candidate also slammed his opponent, three-term Democrat Sen. Bob Casey Jr., for a letter Casey wrote last year claiming concerns about transgender athletes competing in college and high school sports are “overgeneralized.”

Also at the event was Betsy DeVos, who served as President Donald Trump’s secretary of education.

“This is an issue very timely because the rule the Biden administration has put forward that would extend the definition of gender to include gender identity, the downstream ramifications of that you can’t begin to really articulate all the different ways in which it would negatively impact everything in our culture which already has lots of challenges,” DeVos said.

She called the change, which is set to take effect in August, “fundamentally unfair” and urged people to contact their members of Congress to oppose this rule.

“Bob Casey had a chance to do the right thing and to vote against this,” said DeVos. “And to dismiss it and say it’s not a real problem is absolutely false.”

McCormick said decried the nation’s academic achievement gap compared to other advanced nations.

“We have lost progress and that’s while spending a trillion dollars over the last 50 years on the Department of Education,” he said.

Meanwhile, America is losing a generation to “woke” ideology.

“Just turn on the television and see those kids marching on campuses. They don’t know the difference between right and wrong, between good and evil. It’s not just antisemitism. It’s anti-Americanism. Only about a third of (college students) believe America is exceptional.”

“And my recollection of the history that I was taught is that by any measure, analytically, America has been an extraordinary success…liberating the world from the Nazis, winning the Cold War,” said McCormick. “And it’s had some dark chapters, dark chapters that we’ve overcome and we’re still overcoming. It’s imperfect. But it’s a great source of liberty and wealth for the world. That’s the history that’s unfortunately not being taught. It shows up in our recruiting numbers. It shows up on our campuses. And it’s because of, among other things, this ideology.”

McCormick, who grew up in Bloomsburg, noted that both his parents were teachers, that he went to public schools and that teachers and coaches were the most important influences on his life. A high school wrestler, he went to West Point, became an 82nd Airborne paratrooper, was a successful Pittsburgh businessman and a hedge fund CEO, before entering politics.

“If you have a generation that doesn’t really believe in American exceptionalism, who don’t understand our history, who don’t have the skills, the capabilities to take on this generation of challenges,” McCormick said.  “We are in a complicated world.  The rest of the world is not standing idle.  They’re moving forward.”

One “blessing” of COVID was that parents saw what their schools were teaching their kids and got more involved, he said. McCormick supports school choice.

“That opportunity will create better educational outcomes, that competition will create better opportunity, that competition will create more honesty.  That competition is the pathway to creating equal opportunity for all,” he said.

For DeVos, the big-picture problem is the power of government schools and teachers unions. “The system to which most kids are subjected to today is essentially a monopoly. Unless you have the resources to do something different, your children are headed by a monopolistic structure, and we see from the very top of it, which is the teachers’ union, the AFT and, the NEA, and all the allied organizations, have continued to influence down to the lowest level everything that has gone on in the system.”