Highlighting the Victories We Achieved for Life and Liberty, and Preparing to Stand Up to the Challenges Ahead

This past Saturday, I spoke at CPAC, and this year because I am no longer America’s top diplomat, I was able to “let it rip.”  

I spoke about my time as Secretary of State and expressed my justifiable pride in the accomplishments of the Trump Administration. How our America First agenda worked. We put American workers first and created an economy that resulted in more jobs for all. We didn’t sacrifice the American worker’s interests for vague international environmental regimes headed by elites disconnected from reality. And we secured freedom for Americans by dealing with the world as it is, rather than as we wish it would be.

We took a tough, realistic approach with China. We stopped sending pallets of American taxpayer dollars to the Iranian Ayatollahs. We helped complete historic peace deals in the Middle East between Israel and its Arab neighbors. In doing these things and many others, we disproved the fictional assertions of our predecessors that such accomplishments were impossible or would lead to war. They were made possible because we put the interests of the American people first and expected other nations to put their own people’s interests first as well.  And where nations refused to work with us, we stood strong. We recognized that only strength deters war – weakness begets it.

I also talked about the future – about the future of American conservatism and the future of our nation itself. The Trump Administration worked tirelessly to uphold and deliver on the values that have made our country great. Our Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the foundation of America First. Our Founders built this country on the precept that we are endowed by our creator with unalienable rights. Our Union becomes more perfect when we strive to honor that wisdom. We do that by defending our sovereignty and our borders. We do that by an ardent commitment to pro-life policies – refusing to spend American taxpayer dollars to perform abortions. And we do that by appointing judges who understand that the words life and liberty have real meaning.  America First secures our freedom and the entire world benefits when America is fearless, bold and strong.

The next four years will test our resolve. We must remain active and committed to our nation’s founding principles, bringing our dedication to them to bear on the many new challenges facing us now. Where liberals side with union bosses, we must side with the American worker.  Where liberals cater to the demands of teachers’ unions, we must side with our children, who absolutely need to get back into the classroom now.  Where liberals choose to defund and denigrate the police, we must proudly defend both the necessity of our brave men and women in law enforcement who serve their communities across the country, and also defend our essential Second Amendment rights, which enables every American to take charge of their own self-defense.

Where liberals look to exert their authority and censor our speech in all forms of communication, we must proudly champion free speech on all platforms. Where liberals seek to close down places of worship across America, we must resist such attempts to inhibit or prohibit the free exercise of religion. In short, we must demonstrate a resolute commitment to our Founding principles.    

As I noted in my remarks, conservatives have been called all kinds of names by the “tolerant” Left. When they run out of names to call us, they try to cancel us, silence us. The New York Times labeled me the “worst Secretary of State in history.” But I wear that as a badge of honor. No matter what they call us, we must always speak the truth. I urged the CPAC crowd on Saturday and each of you to be in the fight with me to defend our conservative values—at the PTA, at your VFW, at your job, and in your community. 

No matter their attempts to silence us, we must always fight to defend our freedoms.

Mike Pompeo is the former Secretary of State and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).