Paul Weyrich was a major architect of the modern conservative movement—co-founder of the Heritage Foundation, the one who suggested “moral majority” to Jerry Falwell for his organization of Christian conservatives, and host of the weekly meeting of the Free Congress Foundation in Washington scrupulously attended by Republican leaders of the House and the Senate. He was never patient with fools or garrulous politicians. Many’s the time when he cut off a pompous pol in mid-speech to demand, “What can we do to stop this bill?”
Paul may have had the fastest wit in Washington. Right after the operation to remove his two legs, he was visited by a delegation of young men from his church where he served as deacon. Looking at their long faces, he looked up from his bed and said, “Well, I’ve been trying to think of something cheerful to say, but frankly I’m stumped.”
He was rock-solid in principle, a shrewd and articulate analyst of Washington politics, and an ever reliable friend and colleague.
I shared a panel with him just one week ago. Our audience was nearly twenty members of the new Congress which will be sworn in January. His advice to them was not to sit back but to pick one subject they were interested in and become an expert in it. You will find, he said, that in a very short while other members will begin coming to you for advice and counsel. You can make a difference in this town, Paul said.
Paul Weyrich made an enormous difference not only in Washington but in our nation.
– Lee Edwards is a Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought at The Heritage Foundation.