In the bustling heart of Philadelphia, the Moms for Liberty “Joyful Warriors” National Summit stood resolute against a cacophony of insults such as “bigot” and “fascist,” hurled by a handful of protesters. These protesters, engaging in a transgender “dance protest,” starkly contrasted the conservative gathering within the summit venue on Friday and Saturday.
Amid vibrant rainbow flags, loud music, and public speeches, the protest outside the summit was hardly discreet. It was heavily publicized in media stories, social media posts, and various signage placed strategically throughout the city. They had prepared for a larger crowd with stacked placards for on-the-spot protestors, assorted snacks, sidewalk chalk for ground-based insults, and tables loaded with persuasive literature. However, the protest’s anticipated impact seemed overestimated, with the cardboard signs barely utilized.
Inside the venue, supporters of the Moms for Liberty Summit displayed a stark contrast. Encouraging messages echoed throughout the room, advocating conservative values. Attendees made it clear they would continue defending their beliefs, regardless of the labels imposed by those opposing their cause.
Moms for Liberty is a grassroots conservative group born out of parents’ concerns regarding policies perceived as destructive during the Covid-19 pandemic two years prior. This concern culminated in a formidable political movement that attracted significant attention from five Republican presidential hopefuls, including Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, and former President Donald Trump, along with Asa Hutchinson, former Arkansas Governor, and Vivek Ramaswamy on a subsequent day. This attention drawn to the group was believed to be the cause of the protest.
Ramaswamy, joined by his wife, a throat surgeon, and his two children, engaged in a lively discussion with Tiffany Justice, the co-founder of Moms for Liberty. They discussed proposed national policies, including his proposed changes to the educational system. His policies, particularly the idea of dismantling the U.S. Department of Education to facilitate school choice, found favor among many of the moms present. His suggestion of overhauling various federal agencies like the FBI, IRS, ATF, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission also stirred a positive response.
Ramaswamy, at 37, stands as the first millennial U.S. presidential candidate. His positions, such as acknowledging two genders, embracing fossil fuels, and recognizing parents’ rights to decide their children’s education, resonated with the crowd. He warned against the growing “woke” culture and what he described as a moral void being filled with damaging ideologies like “wokeism,” “transgenderism,” and “COVIDism.”
The summit also hosted former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, an advocate for the future of education, particularly in computer science. As governor, he championed a comprehensive education program for computer science. If elected president, he aspired to establish such programs in all American high schools. Hutchinson, who had also been a federal prosecutor, stressed his commitment to border security and a balanced budget, further enhancing his appeal to the conservative audience.
The Moms for Liberty “Joyful Warriors” National Summit served as a beacon for conservative values in the face of protest and opposition. Despite the external noise, the summit successfully hosted influential figures in the Republican Party, showcasing the strength of grassroots movements in shaping the national political conversation.