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The Best of Times, the Worst of Times By: Paul M. Weyrich
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, December 19, 2008


NOTE: The author of this entry, Paul M. Weyrich, passed away around 1 a.m. Thursday morning. Weyrich was the first president of the Heritage Foundation and later founded the Free Congress Foundation. Along the way, his political strategies and insights foresaw and helped create the grassroots coalition that helped put Ronald Reagan into the White House in 1980. (Weyrich is credited with coining the term "The Moral Majority," and as a deacon in the Melkite Catholic Church, Weyrich practiced what he preached.) One need not agree with his every position -- his advocacy for wider Amtrak use, for instance -- to appreciate his contributions to the conservative movement or his unfailing honesty about its personalities. (One need merely read his discussions with William Greider in Who Will Tell the People to know he was nothing if not a straight-shooter.) His faith helped him bear the pain of his last years, spent in various stages of disability due to illness and a fall he sustained. His voice will be missed. RIP. -- The Editors.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It is the worst of times because millions of Americans are unemployed this Christmas. It is the worst of years because we have mortgaged the future of our children and grandchildren for decades to come.   It is the worst of years because many good friends have left us. It is the best of times because we still live in the greatest nation on earth. It is the best of years because we have the freedom to speak our minds. It is the best of years because we can organize as we see fit to support the political candidates of our choice.

It is the worst of years because we have to witness the troglodytes from Hell kill innocent people in Mumbai, formerly Bombay. It is the best of years because we have a peaceful transition from a Republican to a Democratic President with exemplary co-operation between President George W. Bush and President-elect Barack H. Obama.

It is the best of years because the test of the sea-based missile defense system has worked. It is the worst of years because most of America is not defended against a missile attack. It is the best of times because the 22nd city opens a light-rail system this December after light-rail nearly died out a few years ago. It is the worst of times because the Bush Administration has turned down 70 some cities which want light rail or streetcars. It is the best of times because Amtrak has set records in number of passengers carried. It is the worst of times because the airlines carry more people on one day than Amtrak does in a year.

It is the best of years because various factions are co-operating toward an agreement about the withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq. It is the worst of years because we are struggling in the war in Afghanistan.

It is the best of times because medical science continues to make great progress. It is the worst of times because we are about to suffer a government takeover of the most successful medical system in the world.

It is the worst of times because conservatives appear lost and without a serious agenda or a means of explaining such an agenda to the public. It is the best of times because Free Congress Foundation has a serious agenda called the "Next Conservatism" which should ignite a meaningful debate about the future.

Paul M. Weyrich is Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.


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