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December 18, 2008

Heritage Foundation Co-Founder Paul Weyrich Dies

Jennifer Rubin reflects, and looks ahead:

The time therefore is ripe for a new generation of conservative leaders who have the ability to organize, invigorate, and give purpose to conservatives outside the Beltway. It is not enough for conservatives to oppose cap-and-trade policies — they need an alternative to left-leaning environmental action groups. It is not enough for pundits to bemoan the lack of Republican appeal to nonwhite voters — they need Hispanic, African-American, and Asian-American conservatives to organize in their communities, support new candidates, and translate the conservative agenda into alternatives to the NAACP and LULAC.

The generation of Ronald Reagan, of which Weyrich was a prominent member, also carried with it a spirit and attitude which is largely absent on the Right today. They were feisty, fun, optimistic, and, yes, cool. The “establishment” was the Left while they were the counterculture, at least the political counterculture. They were not a bitter, paranoid, and angry bunch — qualities too often in evidence today. And they were not scolds.

The Right reacted to Sarah Palin for many reasons, but in large part, I suspect it is that she was bright, cheery, and looked like she was having some fun out there. The generation of conservatives who are going to do the organizing, find the leaders, and translate think tank research into a viable political platform better be happy warriors or they will find it hard to find adherents.

So if Weyrich’s passing gives conservatives time to reflect, they might recall two accomplishments of his generation. They built structures that advanced the conservative cause. And they had a good time doing it. That’s an example worth following.

Thanks to polynikes.

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posted by Ace at 04:05 PM

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