News Release

Should We Care About Moms for Liberty?


The New Republic recently reported that the conservative political organization Moms for Liberty, which rose to prominence during the Covid pandemic, is “slowly imploding.”

    Cunningham is the author of Dark Money and the Politics of School Privatization. 

Cunningham, who has followed the ups and downs of Moms for Liberty, told the Institute for Public Accuracy: The group’s problems “have been mounting. It’s accelerated since the [school board] elections went badly for them. It’s been one thing after another: They severed ties with some chapter heads over their associations with the Proud Boys; they had a chapter head resign for shoplifting. Then their 60 Minutes interview was a disaster. They were exposed [by interviewer Scott Pelley] in a way they hadn’t been exposed before. Pelley was not having ‘gender ideology.’ He wasn’t having ‘grooming.’ And they weren’t prepared to answer.

“Mainstream press and national papers have done an acquiescent job in covering them. This is a new moment in mainstream press, and I hope it will foster a more critical eye toward [the group]. This is the kind of tough questioning they deserve. I hope the media continues to press them. They’re not what they purport to be, and they have a lot of explaining to do. 

“The biggest misconception about [Moms for Liberty] is that they’re just moms. The creation story is always ‘two or three moms gathered around the kitchen table over coffee, discussed issues their kids are having in schools, and formed a group.’ Then boom, they’re sitting on a million dollars and are going on Rush Limbaugh. They’re [actually] part of a right-wing infrastructure that includes the Leadership Institute and the Heritage Foundation, which exert great control over them. These organizations are part of a secret right-wing directorate. These are obedient franchises––they’re not just moms. They’re part of an existing infrastructure and they answer to those superior organizations. The Leadership Institute and the Heritage Foundation have existed for over 40 years. That expertise has been gained over a number of years. Moms for Liberty was founded [in January 2021].

“Moms for Liberty touched this latent conservative anger around schools. It’s out there to touch when you’re a political actor. They took advantage of Covid, and that helped their rise, because there was anxiety and anger about kids not being in school. They have moved from Covid, masks, vaccines, and school closings to ‘DEI’ and ‘CRT.’ There is a constant need to churn the emotions of their followers.” 

The group is “playing defense lately more than anything else,” Cunningham says. “They attacked [the Southern Poverty Law Center] for designating them as an extremist group. That [designation] was extremely damaging. They’re trying to distract us. They try to change the subject, but it’s hard to do. After their poor performance in the 2023 school board races, they’re in retreat.”