The "most important policy objective" the Heritage Foundation has is to take America back, and that includes a focus not only on politics but on the state of education in the United States, Kevin Roberts, the foundation's new president, tells Newsmax.
"We have to recognize that the most important policy objective we have in the United States, what all of you in the Trump administration were working on so nobly, is to take this country back to restore its institutions to truth and goodness," Roberts told Newsmax's "The Gorka Reality Check" Sunday.
That will mean tackling domestic opposition, including school superintendents and teachers' unions and their focus on educational curriculum focusing on topics such as critical race theory, and facing foreign opponents as well, Roberts told show host Sebastian Gorka, who served as a deputy assistant to the president in the administration of former President Donald Trump.
Roberts, the former CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, said that his vision for the Heritage Foundation, which Gorka described as the "conservative mothership," calls for conservatives to do more to be "courageous."
"I acknowledge what our friends in the movement think about anyone or anything that's in D.C. conservatives," said Roberts. "Sometimes when our side is in power, we don't do enough to be courageous. I just want to disabuse everyone of the notion that Heritage might be part of that. Our colleagues here are fighting for you, your audience, every single day."
Roberts is also a fifth-generation teacher, and he told Gorka that he and the Heritage Foundation are particularly concerned about the state of education in the United States.
"I think everything begins with education, and whether we measure American students' reading ability, their mathematical ability, almost any achievement in any subject area ever since we started the U.S. Department of Education, educational achievement has gone down," said Roberts. "Our government-funded schools have become agents of teaching that ideology so if ever, Americans are ready to wake up to the threat that's posed by our own schools."
As a result, even apolitical parents are showing up at school board meetings and saying "enough is enough," said Roberts.
The Heritage Foundation is focused on harnessing the "most massive universal school choice movement ever in this country," he added, noting the foundation's influence in a recent announcement from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
"[He is] a wonderful advocate for school choice," said Roberts. "He said a couple of weeks ago that in the next legislative session in Texas, everyone would see the largest school choice movement in the history of Texas. We need every governor in the United States saying that.
"We need every legislature doing it … most school choice programs have to happen constitutionally at the state level. Heritage, of course, has long been focused on federal government policies. We are increasingly involved at the state level and school choice is at the top of our agenda."
There are also concerns about foreign opponents, Roberts added.
"The Chinese Communist Party is centralizing power there against the more than 1 billion Chinese people," said Roberts. "For us in the United States, they pose a very significant military threat. We're aware of the economic threat."
He added that the Heritage Foundation had a "wonderful torpedo in the water" on his first day as president when it won its lawsuit against President Joe Biden's "ridiculous mandate for vaccines."
"We see ourselves and the building we're privileged to be in, in D.C., as representing the tens of millions of Americans who share our values," said Roberts. "I happen to believe it's a majority of Americans."
He added that the best example he can offer of the Foundation's work came during the annual March for Life, when "we had 700 pro-lifers come into our building.
"This building isn't for me. It isn't for the wonderful colleagues I get to work with. It's for the American people, and as we're all working together shoulder to shoulder to take back this country in the name of truth and goodness. The Heritage Foundation is the tip of the spear."
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