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R.I.P. Paul Weyrich


Paul Weyrich loved rails. When most Americans clamored for more pavement, he urged more trains. And his passion for trolleys verged on the obsessive.

I never really understood this fixation. But I know that, when this nation was in serious danger of running off the rails, no one did more than Paul Weyrich to keep it on the right track.

In the early ‘70s, when most conservatives were reduced to wringing their hands and resigning themselves to life in the political wilderness, Paul just seemed to know what was needed to break the liberal stranglehold. On March 23, 1973, he became the founding president of The Heritage Foundation, which became the policy vanguard for the conservative movement.

He went on to establish the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress, which became the Free Congress Foundation. For 25 years, he helmed that organization, training thousands of conservative activists and recruiting conservative candidates to win back American culture. He founded or co-founded many other conservative organizations, from the American Legislative Exchange Council to the Council for National Policy.

Inventor of the phrase “moral majority,” Paul’s focus on principle and his insistence on the centrality of family helped bring millions of Christians into the political process and broadened the mainstream conservatism to include a vibrant wing dedicated to resolving social issues.

As a public figure, Paul was one of the great architects of the modern conservative movement.  At a personal level, he was a good friend, a visionary leader, a man of unbending principle and unfailing courage. Rest in peace, old friend.

–Ed Feulner is President of The Heritage Foundation.


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