Paul Weyrich


Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich (born October 7, 1942, in Racine, Wisconsin) is a US conservative political activist and commentator.

He is less well-known as an advocate of mass transit and rail transportation. He is an ordained protodeacon in the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. Weyrich is a regular columnist for NewsMax [ [http://www.newsmaxstore.com/nm/newsmax_pundits.cfm NewsMax Pundits] . NewsMax.com.] and" The Washington Times".

Conservative activism

Born in Racine, Wisconsin, Weyrich became involved in politics while a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and was active in the Racine County Young Republicans from 1961 to 1963 and in Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign. He spent his early career in journalism as political reporter for the "Milwaukee Sentinel" newspaper, as political reporter and weekend anchor for WISN-TV in Milwaukee ["Fabricated Frenzy", Paul Weyrich Op-Ed, "The Washington Times", July 13 2008, Page B3] and, in radio, as a reporter for WAXO-FM in Kenosha and as news director of KQXI in Denver.

In 1967, he became press secretary to Republican U.S. Senator Gordon L. Allott of Colorado. While serving in this capacity, he met Jack Wilson, an aide of Joseph Coors, patriarch of the Coors brewing family. Frustrated with the state of public policy research, they founded Analysis and Research Inc. in 1971, but this organization failed to gain traction.

Founding the Heritage Foundation

In 1973, with the financial backing of Coors, Weyrich and Ed Feulner founded the Heritage Foundation as a think tank to counterbalance prevailing sentiment on taxation and regulation, which they considered to be anti-business. While the organization was at first only minimally influential, it has grown into one of the world's largest and most respected public policy research institutes and has been hugely influential in advancing conservative policies.

The following year, again with support from Coors, Weyrich founded the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress (CSFC), an organization that trained and mobilized conservative activists, recruited conservative candidates, and raised funds for conservative causes.

Under Weyrich, the CSFC proved highly innovative. It was among the first grassroots organizations to raise funds extensively through direct mail campaigns. It also was one of the first organizations to tap into evangelical Christian churches as places to recruit and cultivate activists and support for social conservative causes. Indeed, they proved such a wellspring that, in 1977, Weyrich co-founded Christian Voice with Robert Grant and two years later founded with Jerry Falwell the Moral Majority. Weyrich coined the phrase "Moral Majority." ["A Reverence for Fundamentalism" Penny Lernoux. The Nation. Volume: 248, Issue # 0015, April 17, 1989]

Over the next two decades, Weyrich founded, co-founded, or held prominent roles in a number of other notable conservative organizations. Among them, he was founder of the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization of state legislators; a co-founder of the Council for National Policy, a strategy-formulating organization for social conservatives; co-publisher of the magazine "Conservative Digest"; and national chairman of Coalitions for America, an association of conservative activist organizations. The CSFC, reorganized into the Free Congress Foundation (FCF), also remained active.

Under the auspices of the FCF, he founded the Washington, D.C.-based satellite television station National Empowerment Television (NET), later relaunched as the for-profit channel "America's Voice" in 1997. In 1997 Weyrich was forced out of the NET television network he had founded when the network's head persuaded its board to force out Weyrich in a hostile takeover. Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates says this was "apparently for his divisive behavior in attacking GOP pragmatists." [http://www.publiceye.org/conspire/clinton/Clintonculwar8-22.html Clinton, Conspiracism, and the Continuing Culture War, Aftermath and Future Shock] Chip Berlet. Political Research Associates September 30 1999.]

From 1989 to 1996, he was also president of the Krieble Institute, a unit of the FCF that trained activists to support democracy movements in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Frustrated with public indifference to the Lewinsky scandal, Weyrich wrote a letter in February 1999 stating that he believed conservatives had lost the culture war, urging a separatist strategy where conservatives ought to live apart from corrupted mainstream society and form their own parallel institutions: quotation|"I believe that we probably have lost the culture war. That doesn't mean the war is not going to continue, and that it isn't going to be fought on other fronts. But in terms of society in general, we have lost. This is why, even when we win in politics, our victories fail to translate into the kind of policies we believe are important.

Therefore, what seems to me a legitimate strategy for us to follow is to look at ways to separate ourselves from the institutions that have been captured by the ideology of Political Correctness, or by other enemies of our traditional culture.

What I mean by separation is, for example, what the homeschoolers have done. Faced with public school systems that no longer educate but instead 'condition' students with the attitudes demanded by Political Correctness, they have seceded. They have separated themselves from public schools and have created new institutions, new schools, in their homes.I think that we have to look at a whole series of possibilities for bypassing the institutions that are controlled by the enemy. If we expend our energies on fighting on the "turf" they already control, we will probably not accomplish what we hope, and we may spend ourselves to the point of exhaustion." -- "Paul Weyrich" Letter to Conservatives by Paul M. Weyrich, February 1999 [ [http://www.nationalcenter.org/Weyrich299.html Letter to Conservatives by Paul M. Weyrich] NationalCenter.org, February 16 1999] This was widely interpreted as Weyrich calling for a retreat from politics, but he almost immediately issued a clarification stating this was not his intent. In the evangelical magazine "World" he wrote:By 2004 Weyrich was reportedly more hopeful, given trends in public opinion and the reelection of President George W. Bush. In spite of his initial support for Bush, he often disagrees with Bush administration policies. Examples of disagreement include the Iraq War, immigration, Harriet Miers and fiscal policy [ [http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/weyrich/060414 Name the date -- fastest rise in federal spending since FDR] Paul Weyrich. Renew America, April 14 2006.] .

pinal injury and disability

In 1996, Weyrich was diagnosed with a spinal injury. Since 2001, the injury has left him in a wheelchair and in constant pain. Complications from a fall in September 2004 required the amputation of his legs in July 2005.

Rail transit activism

Unlike many of his allies on the U.S. political right, Weyrich has a long history of ardent support for rail mass transit, although unlike those allies, he opposes bus transit [http://www.lightrailnow.org/features/f_brt005.htm] . FCF publishes a newsletter on trolley and rail systems entitled "The (New) New Electric Railway Journal" and he has written numerous op-ed columns in favor of proposed light rail and
metro systems. He has also served on the national board of Amtrak and the Amtrak Reform Council, as well as local and regional rail transit advocacy organizations.

Controversy

In its October 27, 1997 issue, "The New Republic" published an article, "Robespierre of the Right--What I Ate at the Revolution", by David Grann calling Weyrich paranoid, vindictive and manipulative. [ [http://web.archive.org/web/19991011170703/http://magazines.enews.com/magazines/tnr/archive/10/102797/grann102797.html Robespierre of the Right--What I Ate at the Revolution] David Grann. The New Republic, October 27 1997, via InternetArchive.] Weyrich, supported by Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch, sued the magazine and others for libel; the case was dismissed, then remanded in January 2001. [ [http://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/common/opinions/200101/99-7221a.txt United States Court of Appeals No. 99-7221] ]

Weyrich opposes what he sees as Cultural Marxism's efforts to undermine Christian culture in American society. [http://www.nationalcenter.org/Weyrich299.html "Letter to Conservatives by Paul M. Weyrich", February 16,1999.] ]

In response to a 1999 controversy covered by the press concerning a group of Wiccans in the United States military who were holding religious rituals and services on the grounds of the bases they were assigned to, Weyrich sought to exempt Wiccans from the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment [http://www.freecongress.org/media/1999/990609.asp 'Satanic' Army Unworthy of Representing United States] Free Congress Foundation, June 9 1999.] and bar them from serving the military altogether. Weyrich, as president of the Free Congress Foundation, led a coalition of ten religious right organizations that attempted a Christian boycott on joining the military until all Wiccans were removed from the services, saying:

According to TheocracyWatch and the Anti-Defamation League both Weyrich and his Free Congress Foundation are closely associated with Dominionism. [http://www.theocracywatch.org/#Dominionism "The Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party"] , "TheocracyWatch", Last updated: December 2005; URL accessed May 2, 2006.] [http://www.adl.org/Religious_Freedom/religion_public_square.asp Religion in America’s Public Square: Are We Crossing the Line?] Excerpts from an address by Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, Last updated: November 2005; URL accessed May 2, 2006.] TheocracyWatch lists both as leading examples of "dominionism in action," citing "a manifesto from Paul Weyrich's Free Congress Foundation," "" [ [http://www.makethemaccountable.com/articles/Free_Congress_Foundation_Integration_of_Theory_and_Practice.htm "The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement"] ] , "illuminates the tactics of the dominionist movement." TheocracyWatch, which calls it "Paul Weyrich's Training Manual," and others consider this manifesto a virtual playbook for how the "theocratic right" in American politics can get and keep power. [ [http://www.theocracywatch.org/yurica_weyrich_manual.htm "Paul Weyrich's Training Manual"] , "TheocracyWatch", Last updated: February 2005; URL accessed May 2, 2006.] The Anti-Defamation League identifies Weyrich and the Free Congress Foundation as part of an alliance of more than 50 of the most prominent conservative Christian leaders and organizations that threaten the separation of church and state. Weyrich has rejected allegations that he advocates theocracy saying, "This statement is breathtaking in its bigotry" [ [http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/weyrich/060724 Faith is a right, not a theocracy, Senator Schumer] Paul Weyrich. RenewAmerica.us, July 24 2006] and dismisses the claim that the Christian right wishes to transform America into a theocracy. [http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/weyrich/060706 The "Values Summit" series -- legislative opportunities] Paul Weyrich. RenewAmerica.us, July 6 2006] Katherine Yurica has written that Weyrich guided Eric Heubeck in writing "The Integration of Theory and Practice", the Free Congress Foundation’s strategic plan published in 2001 by the foundation, [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20010713152425/www.freecongress.org/centers/conservatism/traditionalist.htm The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement] Eric Heubeck. Originally published on the Free Congress Foundation website in 2001, available through the Internet Archive.] which she says calls for the use of deception, misinformation and divisiveness to allow conservative evangelical Christian Republicans to gain and keep control of seats of power in the government of the United States.

Weyrich has publicly rejected accusations that he wants America to become a theocracy:He has also often made an issue out of what he claims are his fellow conservatives' behavior and abuse of power, and encourages a grassroots movement in conservatism he calls "the next conservatism" which he says should work to "restore America" from the bottom up. Illustrating his point, Weyrich draws a comparison between "how the Christian church grew amidst a decaying Roman Empire" and "how the next conservatism can restore an American republic as a falling America Empire collapses around us." [ [http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/weyrich/060731 The next conservatism and power] Paul Weyrich. RenewAmerica.us, July 31 2006.]

Weyrich has advocated a revival of the House Un-American Activities Committee and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, with the aim of identifying and removing communists from the media, which he contends still habors infiltrators from the former Soviet Union:

In a recent interview [ [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6196749 NPR: Conservative Groups Call for Accountability on Foley] National Public Radio, October 4, 2006] with Michele Norris of National Public Radio about the 2006 Mark Foley scandal, Weyrich expressed his views regarding homosexuality:quotation|Weyrich: It has been known for many years that Congressman Foley was a homosexual. Homosexuals tend to be preoccupied with sex - the idea that he should be continued, or should have been continued as chairman on the Committee for Missing and Exploited Children, given their knowledge of that is just outrageous (Interview at 1:08). Norris: Now, before we go on, I think I can say, Mr. Weyrich, that there quite a few people who would take exception to the statement that homosexuals are preoccupied with sex. Weyrich: Well, I don't care whether they take exception to it - it happens to be true. Norris: That is your opinion. Weyrich: Well, it's not my opinion, it's the opinion of many psychologists and psychiatrists who have to deal with them (Interview at 1:40).

" ...the New York Times Magazine quoted Paul Weyrich, who started the Heritage Foundation, they [think tanks] have 1,500 conservative radio talk show hosts " [http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/10/27_lakoff.shtml]

Weyrich once wrote on his website before Easter that the Jewish people killed Jesus. This unleashed a storm of protest, especially from Jewish organizations accusing him of Antisemitism. David Horowitz defended Weyrich against the charges. [ [http://archive.salon.com/news/col/horo/2001/04/25/weyrich/index.html Salon.com News | A slip of the tongue ] ] Weyrich later apologized.He has generally been supportive of Israel, however.

Quotes

* "I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down." [ [http://www.pfaw.org/go/VoterSuppression People For the American Way - Introduction ] ]
* "We are different from previous generations of conservatives…We are no longer working to preserve the status quo. We are radicals, working to overturn the present power structure of this country." -Soloma, John. "Ominous Politics: The New Conservative Labyrinth", 1984, Hill and Wang, New York.
* "The real enemy is the secular humanist mindset which seeks to destroy everything that is good in this society." - "The Rights and Wrongs of the Religious Right", Freedom Writer, Institute for First Amendment Studies, October 1995.
* "Christ was crucified by the Jews.... He was not what the Jews had expected so they considered Him a threat. Thus He was put to death.", "Indeed, He is Risen!," April 13, 2001 [ [http://www.forward.com/issues/2001/01.04.27/news2.html "A 'Christ-Killer' Slur Stirs Rightist Tussle in D.C."] , "The Forward", April 27, 2001; URL accessed August 2, 2006.]
* "We have to stop the movement of all our manufacturing to China and other foreign countries. If that requires tariffs, starting with tariffs to protect industries of strategic importance, so be it. " [ [http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/weyrich/050902 "The next conservative economics"] Paul Weyrich. Renew America, September 2 2005 ]
* "If we want to stop or at least reduce outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries, we should tax outsourcing. In my view, that would be a good new tax." [ [http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/weyrich/060320 The Next Conservatism #35: Good new taxes] Paul Weyrich. Renew America, March 20 2005 ]
* "I asked [Yegor Gaidar| [Yegor] Gaidar] why it was that he thought free-market efforts in the Soviet Union were being trashed by American media when the reality was far different from what I was seeing. He replied with a stinging answer, one I never will forget. He said, 'Well, the Soviets spent millions of dollars infiltrating your media. Just because the Soviet Union went away doesn't mean these people have gone away. They are still there.' Of course, I knew this."

References

External links

* [http://www.freecongress.org/about/pweyrich.asp Paul Weyrich biography at Free Congress Foundation] .
* [http://www.nndb.com/people/318/000050168/ Paul Weyrich biography at NNDB] .
* [http://www.trolleycar.org/ "The (New) New Electric Railway Journal"] , a Free Congress Foundation publication.
* [http://www.washtimes.com/national/20050617-125248-4355r.htm "Weyrich fears cordial ties between GOP and the Right] , "The Washington Times", June 17, 2005.
* [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5502785 Evangelical: Religious Right Has Distorted the Faith] Linda Wertheimer. Morning Edition, National Public Radio, June 23 2006.


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