October 16, 2017
“Seize the moment” was the theme for the 2017 Values Voter Summit, and it’s safe to say that this galvanizing mood was contagious throughout the whole weekend. A renewed spirit of optimism about America’s future was present at this year’s Summit. Every speaker seemed to build upon the energy and enthusiasm of a room packed with people unafraid to live their values.
Perhaps no one in America has seized the moment quite like President Donald Trump. To chants of “USA! USA!”, he became the first sitting president to address the Summit, pointing out his administration’s campaign promise-fulfilling actions for which values voters voted him into office: restoring (and expanding) the pro-life Mexico City Policy, nominating strong constitutionalist Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, implementing his executive order on religious liberty, and seeking a repeal of the Johnson Amendment.
The president drew the biggest applause by standing up for what transcends generations: “We respect our great American flag”; “We are strengthened by the power of prayer”; “The American family is the true bedrock of the American life”; “We protect religious liberty.” In perhaps his most poignant remark, President Trump summed up the philosophy behind his record-setting federal deregulation efforts, and the central belief of conservatism: “In America we don’t worship government, we worship God.” Kellyanne Conway, senior counselor to the president, followed the commander in chief’s remarks by describing what I found to be a very encouraging attribute of this president, his willingness to listen to those closest to him before making tough decisions: “Wisdom is found through a multitude of counselors.”
What was also clear at this year’s Summit is that values voters want effective leaders in Washington who will get things done. As speakers like Judge Roy Moore, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Steve Bannon, and Sebastian Gorka pointed out, this may involve draining the establishment swamp.
The fight for mothers and their unborn children was another strong theme this year. David Daleiden and Lila Rose made it clear that Planned Parenthood’s days of unfettered abortion profiteering are numbered.
Perhaps the most inspiring moment of the Summit came when my friend, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) took the stage to proclaim heartfelt praise to God’s providence after surviving an assassination attempt: “I am a living example of the miracles that He can produce.”
VVS 2017 certainly made one thing clear: miracles do indeed happen when values voters pray and then give feet to their prayers. But our work is just getting started. Get inspired to continue living out your values by viewing the full archive of this year’s speeches. And we hope to see you at next year’s Values Voter Summit!
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.