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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 18, 2008
CONTACT: Phyllis Schlafly 314-721-1213
STATEMENT BY PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY ON THE PASSING OF PAUL WEYRICH
Washington, D.C.-Paul Weyrich was one of the creators of the conservative pro-family movement. When Paul came to Washington in the mid-1960s, the conservative movement had no vision of victory. We thought we were the Biblical Remnant, just doing our little bit against the tidal wave of socialist advance.
After Barry Goldwater's 1964 defeat, we still knew in our heart that he was right, but conservatives did not believe in their hearts that we could ever elect a real conservative. Indeed, we were correct that there were not enough fiscal conservatives to elect a president or a Congress. That's why we compromised on Richard Nixon.
However, Paul Weyrich recognized that our battle was not just against high taxes and Big Government. We were facing a broadside attack on our whole Judeo- Christian-American culture. He recognized that the Left's objective was to overturn our social order, to destroy our belief that each of us is created in God's image, and that America was divinely blessed as an oasis of freedom in a hostile world. Paul understood that the Left's strategy was to attack traditional morality, the institution of the family, and to make us dependent on government instead of our own hard work. He understood that the Left's tactics were to capture the younger generation by teaching situation ethics in the public schools, to attack the family unit through feminist ideology, and to infiltrate the media and the courts.
Paul set about to create an effective movement of cultural conservatives. He founded several organizations with specific missions. He trained generations of young conservatives how to form coalitions on particular issues to target specific goals, to support the right candidates, to speak out against faulty presidential nominations, and to plan to win instead of lose.
One of Paul's little known but most significant accomplishments was the strategy he mapped out in 1980. He devised a traveling road show to put on training sessions in a dozen states that had key U.S. Senate races that year. He and his staff taught pro-family neophytes how to win elections.
The result was spectacular. That was the year when we defeated the lions of the Left: George McGovern, Frank Church of Panama Canal giveaway infamy, Birch Bayh author of the Equal Rights Amendment, and Jacob Javits the quintessential RINO. Those Senators of the Left were replaced by a new breed, including Senators Jeremiah Denton, Dan Quayle, Chuck Grassley, Al D'Amato, Bob Kasten, and Don Nickles.
And along with that Republican Senate, we elected President Ronald Reagan, who changed history. I don't think all that would have happened if Paul had not taught the emerging pro-family movement the strategy and tactics of winning.
Paul Weyrich made the conservative pro-family movement into a fighting brigade instead of just a collection of naysayers. We are grateful to him for his extraordinary vision and leadership, and he never disappointed us. Paul was a man of integrity, courage, perseverance and political smarts. We are proud to have stood by his side for so many years.