Friday, December 19, 2008


Paul Weyrich, RIP

Paul Weyrich, who served as the Heritage Foundation's first president and who founded the Free Congress Foundation, died yesterday at the age of 66.

In 1993, I struck up a conversation with Paul Weyrich at the College Republicans' centennial celebration. I happened to mention that I'd just begun reading Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot. Weyrich's eyes got big when I name-checked Kirk; and then, over the course of about 20 minutes, Weyrich told me more about Kirk than I've been able to glean from the half-dozen books I've read 'bout the man in the ensuing 15 years.

Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner released this statement upon learning of Paul Weyrich's passing:

Moral courage was a defining trait of Paul himself. On any policy issue that turned on a core principle, he never failed to take a public stand–regardless of how that stand might affect his professional or personal relationships. A political animal of the highest order, he always chose principle over any temporary “strategic” abandonment of principle designed to win some transitory political victory.

This moral courage was matched with the physical courage he displayed in the face of physical disability in his later years.

Paul Weyrich was a visionary, a builder, a moral and political leader. America is a better and stronger country because of his contributions. He will be sorely missed.

I couldn't agree more.

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