In 1992, Bill Clinton famously rejuvenated the Democrat Party by moving to the political center at the national level. Tuesday’s election reveals the consequences of running away from mainstream American values. Democrats are not only hemorrhaging support because of bad economic policy but took it on the chin over support for critical race theory and attempting to paint opponents of their agenda as white supremacists.

The Lincoln Project, in what appears to be a coordinated effort with Terry McAuliffe’s campaign for governor, used undercover operatives to show up at a Glenn Youngkin event posing as racist supporters of the Republican. McAuliffe’s staff and some supporters immediately feigned outrage when the photos were released, even though the ruse was quickly discovered as a dirty campaign trick.

“Glenn Youngkin may pretend to be reasonable, but there’s nothing reasonable about a campaign that counts white supremacists among its most enthusiastic supporters,” tweeted a Democrat political consultant.

Meanwhile, over in Lee County, Virginia, a county that is 94% white, supported Winsome Sears’s bid for lieutenant governor by giving her over 87% of the vote. Sears, a Republican, Jamaican immigrant, and Marine Corps veteran, is the first black female lieutenant governor-elect in Virginia’s history.

During her victory speech on Tuesday, Sears made an essential point on race, saying, “There are some that want to divide us, and we must not let that happen.”

Sears said she is living proof of the American dream, adding that she is “black and has been black all of her life,” but noted that Virginia today has more important issues than her skin color.

Republicans wisely focused on the issues. In comparison, the rejection of the left’s preferred social engineering schemes in schools caused some to lash out in anger. “It was education, which is code for white parents don’t like the idea of teaching about race,” whined MSNBC commentator Joy Reid. “Unfortunately, race is just the most palpable tool in the toolkit. It used to be of the Democratic Party back in the day when they were Dixiecrats. And now the Republican party. It just is powerful.”

Jemele Hill, a contributing writer at The Atlantic, blamed Democrat losses, not on Democrats, but white supremacy. “It’s not the messaging, folks. This country simply loves white supremacy,” tweeted Hill.

The Guardian, a British newspaper, ran this headline: “Virginia votes as poll expert says ‘white backlash’ could power Republican win.”

Terry McAuliffe himself called opposition to critical race theory a ‘racist dog whistle” while simultaneously saying CRT doesn’t even exist in Virginia.

“White women did their duty and supported white supremacy,” lamented a pastor and bishop in the Church of God in Christ denomination.

Elitism and woke insanity are causing Democrats to implode. Lecturing people about what they must believe about white guilt and reducing people to victims and oppressors simply because of race is proving to be a horrible political strategy.

Democrats used to be known as the party of the working and middle-class America. Yet, they’ve eschewed fundamental beliefs about fairness for radicalized agendas and perpetual victimhood politics.

Many on the left delight in lecturing their fellow Americans about the sacredness of democracy when they win yet immediately scream racism and accuse voters of white supremacy when their favored candidates lose. If race plays a role, it’s more likely the left are reaping the whirlwind of the kind of divisiveness many on their side continually sow.

Legitimate debate about race is still important yet ignoring any progress or blaming voters for rejecting a radical and an un-America worldview is not only politically stupid but counterproductive. Republicans hope the left’s politics of division continues. If Virginia is any indicator, they stand the most to gain from the continued insanity.

Ray Nothstine is Carolina Journal opinion editor and a research fellow on Second Amendment issues at the John Locke Foundation.