Rep. Budd at CPAC 2021: Stand Up For A Patriotic Education
Washington, February 26, 2021
Today, Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) delivered remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in defense of a patriotic education and President Trump’s 1776 Commission.
The speech text is below (as prepared for delivery):
You know, this stage has been graced by some legendary Americans over the years, like the late Rush Limbaugh. Rush’s father famously instilled in his son a deep love of America through a speech about the events of July 4th, 1776. It was titled, “The Americans Who Risked Everything.”
Rush’s dad wrote: “The 56 signers of the Declaration Of Independence proved by their every deed that they made no idle boast when they composed the most magnificent curtain line in history… we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.’”
You would think that teaching our children about the fundamental goodness of our land, like Rush’s father did, wouldn’t be controversial. But for the far left, it is. They have a radically different view of our country epitomized by something called the 1619 Project. The project is a series of writings released in 2019 that try to “reframe” U.S. history and put “slavery… at the center of our national narrative.”
Think about that. The left doesn't want to teach our children about the history of men who banded together to shrug off the tyranny of a king and establish, for the first time, a government of laws and not men. A government that led to the end of slavery and the establishment of equal rights for every citizen.
The radical left wants to ignore all of that and focus on everything America got wrong. To be blunt, they want to teach our kids that our country is flawed, hopeless, and evil.
The worst news of all is that the 1619 Project has been adopted in 4,500 classrooms in all 50 states. School systems have adopted the project in cities like Buffalo; Chicago; Washington, DC; and even in my hometown of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
And I’ll tell you why this is so important to the extreme left. Because they view our founding as an obstacle to their pursuit of political power. They think that if they can reeducate the next generation of Americans into being ashamed of their country, then they can fundamentally transform us into a land of government dependency and socialism.
The Trump Administration fought against the left’s radical agenda by developing the 1776 Commission. It brought together scholars and historians to study and understand the principles of the Founding. This Commission is the key to establishing a base curriculum for a patriotic education for the 21st century. Put simply, we have to teach the next generation to love our country, not hate it.
But, on his very first day in office, Joe Biden cancelled this very Commission. Here’s what that move told me. It exposed the dirty little secret about this new administration. They don’t believe in the goodness of America and they don’t believe in freedom for her people. They think they know what’s best. If you love our country, they think you need to be reeducated. If you are patriotic, they think you’re backwards.
By cancelling the 1776 Commission, they want to silence millions of Americans because they -- the elites -- feel that they are morally superior. They want us de-moralized. They want us to stand aside while they indoctrinate the next generation to look at our flag with shame instead of pride.
But you know what? We’re not going to let that happen.
I want everyone to leave this conference invigorated. Remember… We’re the happy warriors. We are the people who fight for our country because we love it.
Teddy Roosevelt famously said, “the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly… and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
I want each and every one of you to stay in the arena, to strive valiantly, and to dare greatly.
This nation is special. Our country is blessed by God. We embody the ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that we are all endowed by our Creator with equal rights that no man or government can ever take away. And that is worth fighting for.
With the help of the patriots in this room, by being in the arena, I believe we can save our country again. Thank you and may God Bless each and every one of you.