The Moms for Liberty “Joyful Warriors” National Summit in Philadelphia commenced its first full day with three notable speakers: Republican presidential candidates Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, and former President Donald Trump. This rare opportunity provided attendees with the chance to compare the candidates’ messages on the same day. While all three received an enthusiastic response, it was Trump who garnered the strongest reaction, receiving a standing ovation upon entering and exiting the event.
Each candidate addressed issues of education curriculum, early childhood, and the transgender movement, which have been significant concerns for Moms for Liberty chapters attending school board meetings across the nation. Trump’s education plans drew the most applause during his speech. He expressed his desire to return control of the education system to the states, criticizing the excessive spending per student in the U.S. without achieving better outcomes compared to other countries. He proposed merit-based pay for teachers and advocated for school principals to be elected by parents to ensure accountability and the removal of ineffective principals.
Trump also emphasized his commitment to combatting gender ideology and the promotion of sex or gender transition by federal agencies. He pledged to prohibit child sexual mutilation in all 50 states and investigate pharmaceutical companies and healthcare systems for illegal marketing of puberty blockers. Trump expressed satisfaction with recent Supreme Court decisions, including the ruling against affirmative action and President Biden’s plan to pay off college loans. He highlighted his stance against abortion, believing that those who value life should have the ability to shape abortion laws at the state level.
DeSantis focused his speech on education and parenting, emphasizing parents’ fundamental right to direct their children’s education. He discussed the importance of rejecting textbooks that promote ideological indoctrination, such as social studies and math books containing inappropriate content. DeSantis faced criticism from the left for these policies, with accusations of banning books. However, he clarified that schools curate their libraries and classrooms based on appropriateness and that parents can still purchase any books they choose. DeSantis advocated for protecting children from sexualization, defending women’s sports from transgender inclusion, promoting school choice, and implementing periodic reviews for college professors.
Haley addressed multiple concerns beyond parenting, notably the issue of boys participating in girls’ sports. She discussed her firsthand experience visiting the southern border, witnessing the dire conditions and the influx of illegal immigrants. Haley advocated for defunding sanctuary cities and reinstating Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy, emphasizing the need to address border security. Education was another area she tackled as governor of South Carolina, stressing the importance of early reading and offering remediation programs for struggling students. Haley emphasized the need to provide children with the best education and opportunities, advocating for parental choice and vocational classes in high schools, as well as scrutinizing foreign funding in universities.
Overall, these conservative candidates at the Moms for Liberty summit focused on issues related to education, parental rights, and border security. They aimed to promote local control, protect children from harmful ideologies, and ensure that American students receive a quality education while preserving traditional values and principles.