Well, good morning everybody. It’s kind of tough to follow the vice president of the United States as a speaker, but I’ll try to kick off today with a little bit of interest. And it’s great to have so many of you from outside of Texas here visiting the great state of Texas. Oddly enough, you’ve seen some news where Texas Leftists in the Texas Legislature had fled Austin, Texas to go to Washington, DC. It seems awfully backwards to me. As a member of Congress, I’m constantly trying to flee Washington and come back to Texas pretty much every week.

And look, I’ve got some good news and bad news. The bad news is that President Biden and his administration and Leftists are trying to institute a vaccine passport. But the good news is that if they do so while you’re here, since each every one of you are freedom lovers, you’ll get stuck in Texas. You get to stay here instead of having to use the vaccine passport. It’s great to be back with Young America’s Foundation. I’ve visited with maybe some of y’all, but certainly a great group in the summer of 2019. Last year, obviously with COVID, we didn’t get to do as much of this.

But you guys are– people use this and it’s kind of cliche, but you guys are the future, but we’re going to have some real talk this morning about what that means. That’s not just all rhetoric. It’s real. We have some real things that we’re facing and you all embody a simple idea. And today I want to talk about one quote from former President Reagan. He is tied so closely to YAF that I think that’s why we often go back to see what he talked about. This is a quote I know you’ve heard before, but I want you to think about it uniquely today.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it, and then hand it to them with the well-thought lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same. And if you and I don’t do this, then you and I may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.” Now I wish that wasn’t so poignant given that he said that some 60 years ago.

But it is directly on point today. You might say, to quote another great speech from him, that we have a rendezvous with destiny. It’s your time. It’s our time. We do have a rendezvous with destiny and we have a choice to make. And this is the simple question that I want you to entertain today and as you head back home to your schools across America: We have a choice to make. Will we choose freedom? We stand here under the sign, says freedom. That’s just a word. It looks awesome sitting up there. That’s great. But freedom is a lot more than just a word as a backdrop on a stage.

If we don’t choose freedom, the state is in the left and sadly too many on the right, to have some real talk– will choose the siren song of government instead of freedom. The question is, are we free? We talk about living in the land of the free. Are we actually free? It’s a question worth pondering. A question worth asking. Let’s look at what’s going on right now with the virus. Mask mandates, vaccine passports– which I casually joked about, and misinformation flying around. In May, when the mayor of Washington, D.C. lifted the mask mandate, there were 90 people in the hospital.

When she restored it last week, there were 21. New York is now talking about vaccine passports to go to restaurants. Pelosi threatened my staff if they didn’t wear masks going into the office building, regardless of being vaccinated or not. And I’m going to be very clear, if she wants to come after my staff, she has to come through me. That’s what freedom actually is. And all of this is frankly garbage. We’ve had 190 million Americans vaccinated. Do you all know that? Do most Americans know that? That we’ve vaccinated 190 million Americans?

That we’ve vaccinated about 90% with one shot who are 65 and older? That about 70% of Americans over 18 have been vaccinated with one shot? That if you factor in one in three Americans, according to the CDC, having had the virus, therefore having natural immunity, we’ve got 80 plus percent of Americans who are either vaccinated or have natural immunity? Are we applauding those great works and applauding that great effort and then encouraging people to do the right thing? Or are we coming down with force, with tyranny, with authoritarianism telling Americans what they must do and choosing that they must take a shot?

In America, we don’t do that. In America, we choose freedom. That’s what’s on the table today. Are we going to choose freedom? And this has never been about healthcare. This has never been about healthcare. It is always been about power. And I want to be clear, I’m pro-vaccine. My dad had polio. He still lives with that today, the damage that was done to his body in 1949. I’m blessed that I got the polio vaccine, you all, my children. I’m pro-vaccine, but I’m also pro-freedom and I’m not going to tell these tyrannical authoritarian goons whether I’ve been vaccinated or not.It’s none of their damn business. That freedom isn’t just about the current situation with the COVID virus. It’s about healthcare freedom, generally. Now you all are young and healthy. Fortunately, most of you probably have not had to deal with that much healthcare, at least Lord willing. 10 years ago, I think three or four days ago, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I know the care system pretty well, spent a little time down here at MD Anderson. Well guess what? As a member of Congress, I’m forced to be on Obamacare and guess what? MD Anderson isn’t on my Obamacare plan.

We are absolutely screwing the American people with sub-par health insurance in the name of coverage not allowing them to get healthcare and we’re saying that that’s somehow good for them. We are forcing people into third rate, third world healthcare because we’re talking about coverage and destroying the healthcare system, empowering insurance companies to tell you and your families how to get their healthcare and then we go around patting ourselves on the back. Enough. We should be able to choose our doctor.

We should be able to choose how to manage risk and get the insurance product of our choice. We shouldn’t have to go to an insurance company bureaucrat or government bureaucrat to choose the doctor of our choice. Choose healthcare freedom. That’s the question. Are we free? Are we free if our education system is so broken that I have to figure out how to fund sending my children to a classical Christian school in order for them to actually pray and acknowledge the existence of God, in order to actually be in an environment that talks about America, being a great country and not an evil country?

Right now, our public schools are littered with critical race theory, but it’s not just critical race theory. It’s just an overall indoctrination that America is evil. You all have seen it. You’ve heard it. It’s at the K through 12 level. It’s also at the university level. I think there’s a handful of here from my alma mater at the University of Virginia. We have YAF folks putting banners up in an amphitheater at the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson, in a place where he’s supposed to have free speech, defending Amy Coney Barrett, and the university won’t defend protecting that banner being at the amphitheater. In what universe are we funding, with our public dollars, universities and K through 12 institutions that are corrupting the minds of our youth to believe that garbage instead of standing up for free speech?

But it’s right here in Texas, San Marcos ISD. I represent part of San Marcos, paid over $50,000 for a consulting firm to do an equity audit. It is recommended every school teacher enroll in an anti-racist leadership institute, which includes a 40 hour anti-racist class, notably the consulting firm also runs the anti-racist leadership institute. Shock. Austin ISD, that great bastion of conservatism, Austin, Texas, has an equity office with six staff members dedicated to implementing culturally relevant curriculum, implementing ongoing anti-biased teacher trainings, white supremacy culture from dismantling racism, a workbook for social change groups.

It’s all sorts of great stuff. This is what Thomas Jefferson, who founded the University of Virginia, called tyranny over the minds of men, subsidized by our tax dollars, our borrowing. We keep borrowing and spending this money to fund these bureaucrats to teach our kids that America is evil. Why in the hell do we do that? But yet we keep doing it and Republicans keep voting for it. You’re going to see it on display this week, right now, with this infrastructure bill in the United States Senate. We keep spending money we don’t have, which leads me to my next point.

We’re not free if we don’t have healthcare freedom, we’re not free if we’re going to have education freedom, and we’re not free if we’re $30 trillion in debt. Corporate cronyism is being funded or is funding big businesses while small business getting closed. We had over 100,000 small businesses get closed last year in this COVID panic and Amazon made another $100 billion in revenue. That’s the corporate cronyism that’s enriching insurance companies when you can’t go get the doctor you want. But now we’re $30 trillion in debt. Are we really free if the government is destroying the fruits of labor?

And by the way now, we’re getting massive inflation as a result of all the spending. We spent $6 trillion in the last year and a half, and we’re not even done yet on dealing with COVID. Do you know how much we spent on all of World War II? 4.1 trillion from Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki. 4.1 trillion. We just spent $6 trillion in a year and a half crushing our economy, killing small businesses, scaring the hell out of our kids and forcing people to wear masks. That’s on us. That’s on our future. That’s on you. That’s on your kids. And that’s on the inflation that we’re now seeing.

All items are up 5.4%. Year over year, food prices are up 2.4%. Energy is up 24 and a half percent. Used cars and trucks are up 45%. We can’t get chips. This is what happens when you have government interfere with the market. Small businesses closing. I just drove across the United States to go over half the country to go over to South Carolina and I stopped at multiple restaurants along the way, and every single one of them can’t get labor. They can’t hire people because we’re paying people more not to work than to work. And that’s what happens is the results of that.

What about energy? Are we truly free if we’re sitting here in Houston, Texas, we’re in Texas, and we’re actually sitting on enough energy supply for pretty much the entire world for years to come and we’re suffering with grid problems and blackouts in the middle of winter or summer? It’s absolutely astounding. It’s absurd. I mean, we’re in Texas. Are we going to be free if Leftists are at war with the internal combustion engine, which is true, and the response from Exxon, with all due respect, is to run algae commercials on Sunday and say, oh, please just accept me as being a pro green company?

You’re an oil and gas company. Defend yourself. Act like it. Be proud of oil and natural gas. Be proud of what natural gas is doing to the world. CO2 levels right now are at 1990 levels of production from the United States. China and India are the ones pumping out CO2 and pumping out a whole lot of pollutants at the same time. Why don’t we defend that? Why don’t we talk about our track record of what we’re doing instead of running and apologizing? But that’s what you’re seeing happen. Big tech, are we free if big technology are in oligarchy of companies restricting information that we get and making decisions on elections?

On elections, are we free if we have legitimate questions about the state of our elections and whether they’re rigged or not? Are we free if we’re not a secure country? What is the purpose of government? It exists to secure the blessings of liberty. That’s the greatness of our founding and that’s its core function. But let’s talk for a minute about security. Y’all just came to Texas. Some of you are from Texas. Those you came here, you’ve been following the news about the border. Sure you’ve seen some of it. However bad you think it is, it’s 10 times worse.

I go to the border often. The district I represent, it’s about 100 miles from the border. I go down to Laredo or McAllen and when I go, I don’t go do the dog and pony shows. I go down to the river and I go down and talk to migrants and talk to border patrol agents on the line. Right now, we are seeing an absolute siege on Texas. We are in an environment where we are endangering our communities, endangering our country, endangering Texans, and endangering the migrants who seek to come here while Democrats pat themselves on the back in the false name of compassion that open borders are good for them and good for us.

And they’re not. We have fentanyl pouring into our country, 8,500 pounds of fentanyl. 8,500 pounds of fentanyl that we have taken into this country that we’ve seized, but that’s not the amount that’s gotten through. There’s much more that’s gotten through that we didn’t seize. And how do we know that? Because now we’re finding it in our communities in Texas. Last year, DPS caught 10 pounds of fentanyl. This year, they’ve caught about 90 to 100 pounds of fentanyl. And you all don’t know how much that is. That’s enough to kill every American multiple times over, 8,500 pounds of fentanyl.

It is an extremely dangerous drug and it’s pouring into our border. Why? Because border patrol is manning processing centers in the McAllen while literally thousands of people stream in and nobody’s able to guard our border between the ports of entry. And the fact is I’ve gone down there and talked to these little girls. I’ve gone down and talked to these migrants. They’re coming here for jobs and God bless them. I understand why. But we’re putting them into the clutches of cartels that are making hundreds of millions of dollars moving these people for profit.

And one time, last fall, I was down talking to border patrol agents in McAllen, and they just had got an informant to blow a stash house right here in Houston, where 50 migrants were being held hostage in a basement so they could pay off their money to the cartels. Are we a free country if we’re all sitting in this room and somewhere within 10 miles of here right now, there are human beings being held, enslaved in basements to put into slave labor or the sex trafficking trade? We are not a free country if we are not a secure country.

And our border is not secure and terrorists can get in and fentanyl can come in and cartels have operational control of that border. Are we a free country if our communities are not safe, if people are choosing criminals over the police? We just had a round table day before yesterday in Austin, Texas, the murder rate is doubled. Crime is skyrocketing. The police force is down from 1,900 to 1,600. Why? Because the Austin City Council slashed the budget and cut $150 million in the police budget. So now we have homeless encampments, rampant crime on the streets of Austin growing.

And that is all because they made a choice. And we’re choosing the opposite of law and order instead of securing the blessings of liberty. We’re empowering criminals over police officers. My grandfather was a chief of police of a small Texas town. My great-great-grandfather was a Texas Ranger. I worked in the US Attorney’s Office. You have to have strong law enforcement in order to have liberty. You do. They go hand in hand. Are we truly free? You guys here are probably all somewhere in the 20, 21, 22 age, I’m guessing.

So you all don’t remember 9/11. We’re coming up on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. We’re also coming up on the 20th anniversary of the authorization of force under which we continue to operate. We have effectively been at war your whole life. We have people enlisting today who weren’t alive when 9/11 happened and they’re enlisting today to fight in a war their parents fought in. Maybe that’s good. Maybe that’s bad. And all of these brave patriots who defended our country deserve our commendation and praise. But where is Congress?

If I ask each and every one of you to come up to a microphone and explained to me while we’re at war, I would get a whole lot of different answers and a whole lot of questions. And that ain’t right. That’s not right. Meanwhile, we have woke diversity officers in the Department of Defense. The Department of Defense exists to kill people and blow things up. That’s why it exists. We should encourage that instead of hiring chief diversity officers and having things like the United States Navy released a recommended reading list to facilitate the growth and development of sailors.

One of the books on the list is Ibram Kendi’s bestselling advocating critical race theory. That’s in your military that we keep funding it. The Navy’s second fleet created a book club for sailors to read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, a book that claims white people are inherently racist. A space force guardian was fired for saying the diversity inclusion and equity industry and the training we were receiving in the military is rooted in critical race theory, which is rooted in Marxism. In March, US Special Operations Command hired its first chief diversity officer and inclusion officer.

This is not what our military is supposed to be doing. And furthermore, if we’re going to be talking about security, securing the blessings of liberty, it is about time as President Trump started to do that we firmly recognized that China is our enemy and we act like it. They are. Every single day, they are engaged in cyber attacks. Every single day, they’re engaged in espionage. Every single day, they’re trying to dominate us economically. They’re building their military. They are undermining us at every turn.

And it is about time as President Reagan observed about the Soviet Union that we observe the great threat that we see from China. Ladies and gentlemen, I know we want to get some question to answers in a minute, but this is important. It’s game time. Okay? This isn’t theory. This isn’t just sitting around in a classroom kind of debating what is and isn’t the right way to do things. This is real. You have to decide now. You have to decide whether you’re going to choose freedom. You have to help lead whether this country is going to choose freedom.

If you choose freedom, then hold Republicans accountable. This isn’t just about winning the election next November, which is what too many Republicans make it about. This is about holding all of your elected officials accountable. Now don’t let them hide behind the elections. Make them fight now. No more mandates, no more shutdowns, no more regulations strangling small business, no more crony capitalism enriching mega corporations at the expense of small businesses or our expense. We choose economic freedom. We choose economic freedom now.

No more teachers unions destroying our children, no more teaching racism, no more telling me I have to pay taxes to fund a school that simply does not teach my values and teaches that God doesn’t exist. Today, we choose education freedom. No more printing and borrowing money we don’t have, no more funding the tyranny that is strangling our freedom. We end that now. We choose fiscal freedom and fiscal responsibility. No more letting insurance companies or government bureaucrats choose your doctors, no more forcing you to pay for deductibles and high expenses in the name of insurance coverage that you can’t afford, giving you the ability to get the healthcare that is right for you and your family.

We choose healthcare freedom today. No more open borders, no more cartels endangering our communities, no more opioid crisis and overdoses, no more gangs, no more human trapping, no more little girls getting sold into the sex trade. We choose security. We choose to secure our border and we choose to do it today. And no more criminals getting supported while we attack our police officers. We support our police officers and we choose to back the blue today. No more woke indoctrination in our military, no more endless wars without Congress stepping up and owning the fight and explaining to the American people why we’re doing it and why we’re spending blood and treasure.

We choose peace through strength and a strong military today. In 1964 when discussing Cuba, President Reagan said the following, you guys have heard this before, but chew on it. Don’t just listen to it. Listen to the words specifically. If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. I want to pause for a second. Do you know how many Americans and constituents of mine I hear starting to say things like that? Where do I go? This is America, y’all. I mean we’ve got Americans starting to say those words. So back to the quote, “if we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to.”

Let that marinate. “This is the last stand on earth and this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except to sovereign people is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man. This is the issue of this election.” He was speaking then. It is the issue today. “Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that he a little intellectual elite in a far distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”

Think about every headline you read today. Look at every news story you hear about today. President Biden and his administration don’t give a whit about your personal liberty. Not one whit. Right now, when they’re talking about just unilaterally deciding to extend this eviction moratorium flat out unconstitutionally, and the president acknowledges that it will likely be found to be unconstitutional, yet they’re going to continue anyway. Because for them, it’s about outcome. And you got to understand and we have to understand, this is what is at stake.

So to each and every one of you, I would just say this, President Reagan gave his famous a time for choosing speech. This is another time for choosing. It’s another time, in my opinion, right now for us to rise up, to stand up. In the words of William F. Buckley, to stand athwart history yelling stop. This is our country. This is our America. These are our terms and we choose freedom. Thank you and God bless America.

The transcript of this speech may have been modified for clarity