Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) — perhaps best known as the U.S. senator who raised his fist in solidarity before a mob of supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to try to stop Joe Biden from being certified as is about promoting people’s love of America.
The Love America Act would “promote patriotism in education” by not allowing federal money to go to any public schools that teachhow white supremacy or racism played a role in the founding of the United States. It would also require that receive federal dollars to ensure that students read and recite portions of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Pledge of Allegiance at specific grade levels.
“We cannot afford for our children to lose faith in the noble ideals this country was founded on,” Hawley said in a statement. “We have to make sure that our children understand what makes this country great, the ideals of hope and promise our Founding Fathers fought for, and the love of country that unites us all.”
Hawley was one of 147 Republicans who rejected American democracy on Jan. 6 by — a move that was based on the lie about voter fraud that fueled the insurrection in the first place. The attack that day resulted in more than 140 .
He was also one of 139to block the creation of an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate what led to the insurrection and how to prevent such an attack from ever happening again.
And on July 4, he was one of the dozens of Republicans publicly celebrating the U.S. as “the greatest nation in the history of the world,” despite having previously lied to theto justify his vote against democracy.
Hawley’s bill isn’t actually about promoting patriotism, either. The senator is associating himself with a broader, nationwide effort by conservative Republicans to enact laws that prevent the teaching of “critical race theory,” an academic discipline centered on the idea that racism is an everyday experience for most people of color, that this has shaped the country’s legal and social systems, and that a large part of society has no interest inthis reality because it benefits white people.
Conservatives have settled on attacking this nichediscipline, which isn’t even taught in K-12 schools, to claim that they love America more than Democrats because they only want to talk about the positive aspects of the country’s founding.
It’s no coincidence that some of the loudest Republicans on this, including the Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas are potential contenders in the 2024 . Both governors have touted their efforts to pass laws to ban schools from talking about — which, again, is not even taught in K-12 schools.
“It’s a strange dynamic we’re seeing: Florida and Texas are trying to outcompete each other to see who canRep. James Talarico told HuffPost in May. “The focus is not children. The focus is on scoring points with old, white voters who see the country slipping away from them demographically.”