MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—The president of a conservative think tank spoke about the values she’s worried are being lost at a forum in Silicon Valley on Sept. 10.
Kay Cole James, president of The Heritage Foundation, is afraid of the trajectory the U.S. is headed towards.
“When I talk to conservative parents and grandparents, one of the main things they ask me today is, ‘are you all producing materials and information so we can talk to our kids? Cause we are losing our kids.’ Our grandchildren, your children, who are rejecting the values of their grandparents,” said James.
She said that at one point they thought influencing the decision-makers was the best way to make change. But then they saw that they needed to work on the ideas taught in schools, where children’s minds are fundamentally shaped.
According to James, instilling the right values in children can help the country.
“Principles like free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, strong national defense, we know in our hearts that these are the values that will ensure our freedom and the prosperity of this nation,” said James.
At a protest against the sex education curriculum in Sacramento earlier this year, Paul Taylor, a former Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, said he is worried for his two grandchildren.
“I don’t want anyone intercepting them at the school level, with the teachers and trying to introduce things that we are against,” he said.
One example of the change in attitude is how children view the role of government. A Pew Research poll found that the majority of Millennials and Generation Z think the government should do more to solve people’s problems compared to the older generations.
“You want to do something great for America? Share your values with your family, with your grandchildren, teach them,” said James.
At age 70, James intends to keep The Heritage Foundation an emblem for democracy.
“A lot of us know what we believe and we feel it to our core. But what we do at The Heritage Foundation is we can give you the back up, the research, the data, the analysis to prove what you believe is absolutely correct,” she said.
“My job at The Heritage Foundation is to make sure that your grandchildren and mine, are living in a country that we may not recognize, that The Heritage Foundation is that embassy for liberty and freedom. You will always be able to knock on that door and find liberty-minded people there who will stand true north.”
She says every summer the foundation takes children on heritage tours where they teach them American history and values.