Pence’s New ‘Freedom Agenda’ Promotes Patriotic Education, Challenges Big Tech

Former Vice President Mike Pence announced what he calls a “Freedom Agenda” on Friday that includes policy proposals for border security, stopping Big Tech censorship, patriotic education, national security, and more.

“You can’t beat a program without a program,” Pence said on a conference call Friday sponsored by Advancing American Freedom, a conservative policy group. “We looked at what have been the ideas of the conservative movement from Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump, and we put them all in one place.”

Among the big items in the plan is promoting what it calls “patriotic education.”

“State and local jurisdictions should require high school students to pass testing on their knowledge of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Federalist Papers prior to graduation to ensure that high school students are graduating with a basic knowledge of America’s most important founding documents and ideals,” the plan states.

It also says American schools must reject racial quotas and set-asides, and calls teaching about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision for judging people by the content of their character, while also teaching about abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ work.

“Oppose radical political indoctrination—including the teaching of anti-American racist ideologies like critical race theory—in our schools and universities (as well as businesses and government agencies),” the Freedom Agenda urges. “Support maximum curriculum transparency so that parents have all the information necessary to pick and monitor schools that best fit the needs of their families.”

Somewhat related to schools, Pence’s plan also calls for protecting women’s sports from gender politics. “Preserve and protect female athletic competition by ensuring that sports competitions are between those who share their God-given gender,” it says.

The plan further calls for reforming Big Tech “to align it with our democratic and free enterprise system.”

“Prevent censorship in the modern public square by requiring that internet companies live under the same liability framework as traditional print and broadcast media companies,” the plan says. “Advance free speech and end digital surveillance without meaningful consent. … Champion increased ownership and portability of private data.”

Pence noted in the call that The Heritage Foundation, the parent organization of The Daily Signal, released a seven-point plan, “Fighting for America’s Future,” a day earlier, and he encouraged more such plans.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, released a separate 11-point plan. Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., cautioned that Republicans should stick only to opposing Democratic President Joe Biden’s agenda.

“This is a pathway not just for winning elections, but for winning the hearts and minds of Americans,” the former vice president under Trump said of his 28-page Freedom Agenda. “We need to have a conversation about not just what’s wrong with the other side, but also the spirit of a freedom agenda.”

The plan calls for fortifying NATO allies, allies in the Western Hemisphere, and Israel. It also calls for the United States to stand strong against Russia, China, and Iran.

Pence said Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan signaled a green light to adversaries such as Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine and Chinese President Xi Jinping to invade Taiwan.

“Weakness arouses evil, and the weak leadership [from the Biden administration] has emboldened our adversaries,” he said.

The former vice president noted, “The Trump-Pence administration changed the national consensus on China to understand it is the leading threat to American security.”

The Pence plan also called for an end to federal taxpayer funding for abortion “once and for all,” as well as ending funding for Planned Parenthood. The plan also provides policy proposals for promoting adoption.

On border security, the plan calls for finishing construction of a southern border wall, deporting illegal alien criminals and gang members, and passing a nationwide ban on sanctuary cities.

For election reform, Pence said the country needs universal voter ID.

“Make in-person voting the primary method of voting,” adding that voting by mail “should be rare and only for a very limited set of circumstances, with clear guidelines and procedures for requesting, receiving, casting, validating, and auditing mail-in ballots.”

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