As Fairfax Republicans’ idol Donald Trump himself once said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.” To paraphrase that, when Fairfax Republicans send us their at-large School Board candidates, they definitely don’t seem to be sending us their best. Or, to put it another way, we can only hope that these are not the “best” that Fairfax Republicans have to offer, because if they are, it really shows how far off the far-right deep end that party has gone.
For instance, take Manga Anantatmula, who the Fairfax GOP says is running for an At-Large School Board position. Per the video, below, Anantatmula is clearly a huge, outspoken fan of Donald Trump, which undoubtedly will be a serious problem in a county where Trump got just 28.6% of the vote, and where Trump doppelganger Corey Stewart got just 26.9%. According to Anantatmula, her top priority is bringing god back into the public schools. Which is interesting, as in addition to that being unconstitutional (separation of church and state, anybody?), in Anantatmula’s Twitter profile, she describes herself as “[a]n unwavering Hindu Activist and Hindu Political Activist.” Of course, the Hindu religion “is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, pandeism, monism, and atheism among others; and its concept of God is complex and depends upon each individual and the tradition and philosophy followed,” so who knows what she means by bringing god back to the schools. But regardless, I doubt that Fairfax County voters’ top priority is to bring more religion – whatever religion – into the public school system. By the way, Anantatmula ends her speech, “#MAGA #MAGA #MAGA all the way to 2020!” Again, something I doubt will be popular in Fairfax County – and for good reason!
Next up, the Fairfax GOP has announced that Vinson Xabier Palathingal will also be running for Fairfax County School Board – At Large. Palathingal just joined a Facebook group called “Minuteman Arms,” which describes itself as a “[f]orum for the positive discussion of all things 2nd Amendment and firearm related.” Again, hard to see that being a popular stance in deep-blue Fairfax County, where guns are generally not seen in a positive light, but it probably will be popular among the hard-core Republican “base.” Also interesting about Palathingal is that he believes in something called “family preeminence,” while opposing “extraneous ideology” when it comes to “sex/gender education.” Hmmm…
Palathingal deleted his Twitter feed, but it’s cached, so we can see comments like “the Dems don’t want legal, hardworking and successful people anymore.” Again, I’m sure that will go over well in an overwhelming Democratic county, in which probably every single Democrat DOES want exactly the things he says they don’t want – “legal, hardworking and successful people.”
The bottom line here couldn’t be clearer: Fairfax citizens who don’t share the aforementioned visions for their school system need to show up and vote this November, and preferably in droves, to make sure that people like Anantatmula and Vinson are not elected (and that current School Board member, far-right Elizabeth Schultz, no longer is on the Board after 2019). Instead, the goal should be to elect people who actually represent and reflect the values of the diverse, economically vibrant, inclusive, progressive community that Fairfax County has become.