On Saturday, The Guardian reported that pro-Trump right-wing activists in Idaho are at war with the state GOP for attempting to accept a $6 million federal grant to expand early childhood education — money first allocated under the Trump administration.
"In the months since a Republican house of representatives member first brought the grant for early childhood education to the legislature for a vote, far-right opponents have insisted, despite evidence and assurances proving otherwise, that the grant would be used to 'indoctrinate' children five and under, and turn them into social justice activists," reported Amanda Holpuch. "Supporters of the grant include the state's two Republican senators and its business lobby, but the most vocal opponents have pitched it as a 'battle for the soul of America.'"
The opponents of the bill, like the libertarian organization Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF), have advanced a conspiracy theory that the bill, in their own words, would empower a "radical group to teach toddlers and pre-school children to hate America."
"The grant money would be distributed to local collaboratives like Mentzer's by the not-for-profit Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (Idaho AEYC)," said the report. "This group is separate from its national affiliate, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a professional membership organization for people who work in education and childcare. But opponents to the bill see a conspiracy between the two groups. Their concern is that the NAEYC promotes anti-bias education and mentions critical race theory on its website and the Idaho AEYC partners with a local group, the Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL), that has received a grant unrelated to the early childhood money to diversify libraries."
Right-wingers in Idaho have been famous for a paranoid streak. In 2015, the legislature killed a provision to track child support payments over fears it would promote Sharia law. And this year, during the COVID-19 pandemic, parents in Idaho have staged mask-burnings and brought their children to take part.