In a story that’s equal parts pathos, hilarity, and uneaten seven-layer mayonnaise salad, The Daily Beast recounts the last days of a Pennsylvania Moms for Liberty chapter that once boasted 200 members but recently saw its ranks dwindle to … three. That’s not a typo. If it had been a typo, it would have said “tree”—which would have actually made a lot more sense, as the the group is currently a stump.
According to The Daily Beast, the Lehigh County chapter of M4L went twits up on Tuesday following its meeting at the Starbrite Diner in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where chapter founder Janine Vicalvi and two others voted to dissolve it.
Well, dang. Now that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is out of the presidential race and the Florida-spawned Moms for Liberty is teetering, what becomes of the woke mind virus? Will we all morph into a shambling phalanx of mindful zombies who respect others’ differences and show them unerring kindness? DeSantis was supposed to be the Jonas Salk of made-up things that don’t hurt anyone. And Moms for Liberty appears to be choking to death on its own contradictions.
So what now?
The Daily Beast:
“Between homeschooling and working two jobs, it’s just a lot,” [Vicalvi] said. “And I guess there wasn’t as much willingness to do the work that’s required to propel the movement forward.”
The other two at the meeting felt the same and they voted unanimously to dissolve the chapter. She posted an announcement on the group’s Facebook page:
“So we had our meeting this evening and are going to dissolve our chapter.”
She added that the chair was vacant if anybody wanted to take over.
“Please let me know. Thanks!”
As of Wednesday evening, there were no takers.
Homeschooling? You mean Vicalvi’s kids aren’t even enrolled in the schools she’s trying to ruin? Are trans children trying to break into her downstairs bathroom? Are men in windowless white vans handing out copies of “The Kite Runner” to 6-year-old girls in her neighborhood?
Also—ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Three people. That’s pathetic. Though, sadly, it’s still likely the most exciting three-way anyone in the organization has ever been a part of.
While this is just one local chapter doing its best Dean Phillips impression, the Lehigh County M4Ls’ demise appears to be part of a growing—or, perhaps, “withering”—pattern.
At a recent Brevard County, Florida, school board meeting, community members debated whether the novels “Slaughterhouse-Five” and “The Kite Runner” should be banned from local schools.
According to CNN, nearly 20 speakers argued against banning the novels as a lone Moms for Liberty supporter sat by herself and watched. The board eventually voted to keep the books on school shelves.
That vote appeared to be yet another indication—among many—that the group’s influence is waning.
After effectively channeling conservative anger over cultural issues into action on the ground, from supporting candidates in school board races to spearheading campaigns against teachers, administrators and other political foes, Moms for Liberty’s burgeoning influence in Republican national politics may be faltering, observers say.
A sex scandal involving the husband of Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, a Sarasota County school board member, has not helped the group’s cause.
“It seems to me a bit premature, or more than a bit premature, to write it off entirely,” Glenn Altschuler, an American studies professor at Cornell University, told CNN, referring to Moms for Liberty. “Will it have national prominence that resembles the prominence that it had early on in its founding? I think that’s unlikely.”
Meanwhile, the results of last November’s elections showed there’s a limit to how far a movement based on LGBTQ+ hatred, fake American history, and indiscriminate book-banning can really go. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated Moms for Liberty an extremist group, and a critical mass of liberal-minded Americans appears to have noticed.
The Washington Post, Nov. 10, 2023:
In Pennsylvania, Iowa, Virginia, Minnesota, New Jersey and other states, voters favored candidates who expressed interest in improving traditional public education systems over those who adopted the agenda of Moms for Liberty, which has been at the forefront of efforts to reject coronavirus pandemic health measures in schools, restrict certain books and curriculum and curb the rights of LGBTQ students, and other like-minded groups.
“‘Parental rights’ is an appealing term, but voters have caught on to the reality that it is fueling book bans, anti-LGBT efforts, pressure on teachers not to discuss race and gender, whitewashing history, and so on,” said political analyst Larry Sabato, a politics professor at the University of Virginia and founder and director of the Center for Politics. “Parents may want more input in the schools, but as a group they certainly aren’t as extreme as many in the Moms for Liberty.
Ah, that’s beautiful. Maybe there’s hope for America after all. Our next assignment, should we choose to accept it? Stopping a wannabe dictator in his tracks.
Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link.