PENCE: How to Save America From the Woke Left

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Remarks as delivered by Vice President Mike Pence:

Hello Stanford! Can you give Sarah a round of applause for that wonderful introduction? Thank you, Sarah. Sarah and I have gotten to know each other a little bit this evening, and she knows the introduction I prefer is a little shorter: I am a Christian, a conservative and Republican in that order, and it is my honor to be with all of you tonight here at Stanford University.


I want to thank you all for coming to the Ken & Janice Shengold Advancing Freedom Lecture Series. I just spoke to Janice yesterday; she is a remarkable Patriot, we are grateful for her sponsorship of this. I am also grateful for Young America’s Foundation that I’ve been traveling around the country to campuses speaking to young people just like all of you. Young America’s Foundation for 50 years has been taking the cause of freedom and conservative campuses around the country. But most especially tonight, I want to thank the Stanford College Republicans.

Members are with us tonight, and I understand that it took a little bit of doing to get me on the campus. The stand that you took for freedom of speech on the campus of Stanford inspired people around the country. So let’s hear it again for the Stanford College Republicans. We are proud of you!

Benjamin Franklin famously said that our founding fathers created “A republic, if you can keep it.” Conservatives know that we CAN keep our republic, and with your help and your passion, we WILL keep the torch of life and liberty burning bright for this generation and every generation that will follow!

Before I go, let me share with you a little bit of my story. You know I started out in politics as a Democrat. I was the Youth Democrat Party Coordinator in Bartholomew County, Indiana in 1976. Kind of a community organizer, if the truth be told.

Over my high school years, I began to study the Constitution of the United States. I went to a small college, I studied the American founding. It was also at a time that I made a personal decision to put my faith in Jesus Christ, as my Lord and Savior. And I must tell you that was a time that my politics and thinking about America began to shift.

Much of that was also impacted by the voice, values and optimism of the 40th president of the United States, Ronald Reagan. When I heard Reagan’s vision for this country, for a strong national defense, for a limited government, for traditional values, it echoed out of everything that I had ever heard from my father who was a combat veteran, from my grandfather who emigrated to this country from Ireland. I signed up for the Reagan Revolution and I have never looked back.

My career would take me into talk radio, I actually hosted a talk radio show on about 20 stations across Indiana for about seven years. I was like Rush Limbaugh on decaf.

Eventually, I had the opportunity to represent my hometown in the Congress of the United States.

Then I had the privilege of serving as governor of the great state of Indiana. And you can imagine how deeply humbling it was for me to raise my right hand and serve as the 48th vice president of the United States.

I want to thank all of you for the privilege of serving as your Vice President. It was the greatest honor of my life.

On a very personal level, the highest title I will ever hold is spelled “D-A-D.” I am the proud father of three people in your generation. My son is a captain in the United States Marine Corps. My daughter is a writer for the Daily Wire and a published author. Our youngest Audrey graduated from Yale Law School and is practicing law.

All of my kids are off the payroll, married, and most importantly our son and incredible daughter-in-law delivered for us our very first grandchild. I can report to you that she was an avocado for Halloween, and it was a very big day for our family. So to know the Pences is to know a family. That’s what we’re all about. It really is.

You know, President Reagan was one-of-a-kind. He is universally admired today, but it was not always the case. Before he was the Great Communicator, Ronald Reagan was the Great Disruptor – a Conservative outsider who vigorously opposed the moderate Republican establishment of his day.

Reagan’s victory in 1980 breathed new life into our party and changed the course of our nation and the world.

Today, we find ourselves in a very similar time. Because President Donald Trump was one-of-a-kind. Like his predecessor, he too disrupted the status quo, he challenged the establishment, and today there is no turning back.

Under the Trump-Pence administration, we achieved things conservatives had only been talking about for decades. We did it all not by backing down, we did it by standing strong and not apologizing for our values. Freedom was the anthem of our administration every single day.

In four short years, I am proud to report we:

• Rebuilt our military, we restored the arsenal of democracy, and we finally started giving our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guard, and Space Force the resources they need to defend this nation.

• Revived the economy, we created 7 million good paying jobs.

• Cut taxes across the board for working families and businesses, we rolled back more regulation than any administration in history.

• Became a net exporter of energy for the first time in 70 years.

• Held China accountable after years of trade abuses and brought jobs back to the USA.

• Reduced illegal immigration by 90 percent.

• The Armed Forces of the United States crushed the ISIS caliphate and Qasem Soleimani is gone.

Americans were safer and more prosperous in the wake of our administration.

But beyond all of that, we also confirmed nearly 300 judges to our Federal courts at every level and they are all men and women who are committed to the God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution, and that included three Supreme Court justices: Justice Neil Gorsuch, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and Justice Amy Coney Barrett. And I cannot be more proud to have been vice president in the most pro-life administration in American history. We stood every day for the sanctity of human life.

In 48 months, our administration achieved the lowest unemployment, highest household income, most energy production, most trade deals, most secure border, and strongest military ever.

But how times have changed. In one year, the Biden-Harris administration has unleashed a tidal wave of left-wing policies that threaten to wipe out the progress we have made.

Frankly, Democrats have moved so fast, sometimes I feel like the left hand doesn’t know what the far-left hand is doing.

It’s heartbreaking to see. For all the progress that we had made. We stand here today, we now have the worst border crisis in American history. People are suffering on both sides of the border. Inflation is at a 40-year high. Grocery store are struggling to keep their shelves filled. One of the advantages of not being vice president anymore is that I get to drive my own car. One of the disadvantages is I get to pay for my own gas. Gasoline prices are up 50% in Indiana. Massive tax increases are being talked about in Washington, D.C. Future generations are being saddled with trillions of dollars of debt.

You know history teaches that weakness arouses evil. President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal in Afghanistan has only emboldened our adversaries. As we stand here tonight, the world awaits. Russian tanks and 130,000 soldiers are arranged on the border of Ukraine. Iran is accelerating its nuclear program. And China continues to tie international cooperation to demands that the world look the other way on human rights, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and aggressive military maneuvers.

We showed the world that we can achieve peace and stability, but it begins with American strength. Here at home, times have been just as challenging. The American people have seen their freedoms erode during the pandemic. After promising to shut down the virus, President Biden has instead supported a rolling shutdown of American liberties.

After promising not to mandate vaccines, President Biden tried to mandate vaccines for 90 million Americans – but I’m proud to say that conservative majority on the Supreme Court struck that vaccine mandate down!

Look, I’m proud of our vaccines. I led the White House Coronavirus Task Force. I believe Operation Warp Speed was a medical miracle. We developed three safe and effective vaccines in nine months when experts usually take years to develop those medicines. I am vaccinated myself – but in a free society, that’s a choice every American should make for themselves and their family.

We see the heartbreak after the last several years, where leading Democrats were callign to defund the police. We saw a 30% spike in homicides in 2020. Murders increased even higher during President Biden’s first year as president.

We don’t need to defund the police. We need to defend the police and all of the families and communities that they protect and serve. Men and women that serve in law enforcement are heroes all, and they deserve the respect of every American, every single day.

Perhaps one of the most troubling developments of the past year has been the Biden Administration’s wholehearted embrace of the woke Left’s all-encompassing assault on culture and values.

I hardly have to tell conservatives or Stanford College Republicans or any conservatives on campuses in America about the assault on free speech.

I was proud that our administration actually issued an executive order that said that every campus in America will respect free speech or you will not receive federal aid to your campus.

But under the Biden Administration, cancel culture is the order of the day.

Patriotic education has been replaced with political indoctrination. They abolished our 1776 commission and authorized the teaching of Critical Race Theory in our schools.

Instead of teaching our kids to be proud of their country, Critical Race Theory teaches children as young as kindergarten to be ashamed of their skin color. Let me be clear on this point: Critical Race Theory is nothing less than state-sanctioned racism and should be rejected by every school in every state in America.

The good news is, parents are starting to take our schools back even here in California.

Last year, Republicans won the governorship in the blue state of Virginia largely on the issue of education freedom.

And I gotta tell you, this week in San Francisco, parents recalled three woke school board members who cared more about renaming schools than reopening them.

Those results are sending shockwaves across the country. Democrats who have supported cancel culture and school closures are starting to wake up.

The truth is many on the Woke Left have been spending years trying to agitate for a culture war. It looks like they might just get one. And they are going to lose it.

As the Democrats work to advance a big government socialist agenda, I came here to say to each and every one of you that we cannot have a growing economy, we cannot have safe streets, better schools or stronger families by putting more government on top.

The antidote is freedom.

It falls to your generation to stand on the ramparts for freedom. Just as many of you have here on this campus to put this night together.

Stand up and be counted on behalf of liberty. In a word, we need you to be the Freedom Generation, and I know you will.

To do that, you have to prepare your minds for action because these are very serious times. Ronald Reagan said once, “Freedom is never one generation away from extinction.” When I see the developments in the public debate today, the hostility to conservative thought and traditional values, those words ring more true than ever before.

I want you to do a couple of things. First, wrap your mind and heart around the founding documents of this country. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States are the greatest charters for freedom in human history and they deserve your attention.

Every American should reflect on the words of the preamble of the Constitution. It’s kind of our to-do list as Americans. That our government was created to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

Because you see that is what our work is. To provide for the common defense, we need your generation to understand that peace comes to strength. That border security is national security. And we need each and every one of you, incredibly accomplished men and women who have made their way to this storied institution of Stanford, we need you all to be willing to think about, reflect on, and maybe be willing to put on the uniform of the United States of America for a time.

To promote the general welfare doesn’t require growing government, it means understanding where the general welfare arrives from in a free society. It doesn’t come from government, it comes from free enterprise, free markets, prosperity that has created the greatest wealth in the history of the world—derives from our economic system.

So promoting freedom and free enterprise is also about promoting our general welfare. It also means standing for trade that is free and fair and puts American jobs and workers first. It means standing up to China until they open their markets, stop stealing our intellectual property, and respect human rights.

The Constitution charges us to ensure the blessing of liberty for ourselves and our prosperity. We need to be committed to the ideals in the bill of rights: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. We need to reject cancel culture and woke-ism and embrace American liberties for every American of every race and creed and color. That’s our birthright.

To be the Freedom Generation we need to make sure that young Americans have a solid foundation in education. That means building on the momentum that we see here in California and Virginia and everywhere in between. That means putting parents back in charge of where their children go to school. The time has come for us to let every parent choose where their children go to school regardless of their income or area code.

Patriotic education is essential to the survival of liberty. We need you to be the generation that cherishes our history and our heritage. That recognizes that while we were not perfect when we began, and we are not perfect today—we are that nation that has ever sought to be a more perfect union and will continue to strive towards that every day, so long as America is.

This Freedom Generation could be the last line of defense for the Constitution of the United States.

For most of our history, both political parties were committed to the ideals enshrined in the Constitution.

In woke America today, that is no longer the case.

We live in a time when the Radical Left routinely demeans the American founding, wants to push aside the American Founders. Today, rprogressives seeks to rewrite our Constitution and erode the liberties enshrined in our Bill of Rights.

Democrats have established a commission to pack the Supreme Court of the United States. And every day, we see new efforts to silence or cancel those who disagree with the progressive agenda.

My challenge to you, let the Constitution and the Declaration be your guide. Many of you, I hope will step forward to serve our nation, if not in uniform, maybe in public office at the local, state, or even the federal level.

It’s important to note every officeholder takes the same oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. To bear true faith and allegiance to the same. You will take the obligation freely without any mental reservation. And you will pledge to well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office, so help you God. I recited that very oath, standing at the inauguration on that cold day in 2017, with a hand on my Bible and a hand on Ronald Reagan’s bible.

I encourage you to be a generation that keeps your oath. That takes to heart that pledge. It really is in the heart of every America to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. And I need you to be men and women, who are willing—as the good book says—to keep your oath even when it hurts.

As George Washington said, so we must say: “the Constitution is the guide I will never abandon.”

As I close, I want to challenge you. I want to challenge you to make a lifelong commitment to become men and women of integrity.

There is a common misperception that adversity creates character. People say what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. I happen to think whatever didn’t kill you just didn’t kill you.

Adversity doesn’t create character. Adversity reveals character. When the hard times come, criticisms come. You will be in that moment the men or women you have been prepared to be in every quiet moment before it.

I want to say to this Freedom Generation, particularly those who aspire to leadership: use this time in your life to develop the qualities of the inner-man and inner-woman that will make you into the leaders our nation will need.

Study our Constitution, study our Declaration. Grow as the Bible says in wisdom and stature, grace before God, grace before men. People follow people that they trust. Develop a vision. Draw on that vision from the American founding, learn to articulate it in your own words, for your neighbors and friends.

Lastly, I would say never forget that in these United States, the foundation of America is freedom, but the foundation of freedom is faith.

That we are that nation that believes that these rights do not come from a sovereign, they do not come from a charter, they do not come from a book of laws. We believe that we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I say to you with deep humility, at this time in your life, seek and you will find. And when you find Him, your life will never be the same.

We have all been through a lot over the last two years: a global pandemic, a divisive election, civil unrest, a tragic day at our nation’s capitol, and now an administration intent on transforming our nation into a European-style welfare state.

I am more convinced than ever, looking at most of the shining faces here that this is a freedom loving nation. And this Freedom Generation will lead us to heights unimaginable. That when all of you do all that you can in the time that you’ve been given, I know we will preserve this last best hope of earth, and that the best days for the greatest nation on Earth are yet to come.

Thank you all for being here. God bless you. And God bless America.

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