Last night, conservatives gathered to honor a true giant of the conservative movement, Paul Weyrich. Most people have no idea the significant role Weyrich played in helping create the modern-day conservative movement. He is, perhaps, the movement's "indispensable man" to whom all Americans owe a debt of gratitude.
Without Weyrich's arrival on the national political scene in the 1960s, Leftist ideology would have likely continued to go unopposed as it had for decades (Lionel Trilling wrote at the time that "liberalism is not only the dominant ideology; it's the only ideology in America.")
An obvious point to make is that without the conservative movement, there would have never been a President Reagan to stand up to the Soviet Union.
Weyrich was among an elite group of young conservative leaders who recognized early on that in order to be effective -- and compete with the Left -- conservatives would need to grow powerful activists and leaders. And the first step toward this goal would be in creating organizations to accomplish this goal. Below is only a partial list of the conservative organizations Paul Weyrich either started -- or played a key role in helping to start:
Free Congress Foundation
Free Congress PAC
Coalitions for America
House Republican Study Committee
Senate Steering Committee
Council for National Policy
International Policy Forum
American Legislative Exchange Council
American Association of State and Local Officials
Conservative Leadership PAC
As Morton Blackwell aptly noted, "Without Paul Weyrich, there would likely have been no conservative movement worthy of the name -- and no Ronald Reagan presidency. If there were a Mount Rushmore for conservative leaders, Paul's face would have to be on it."