Paul Weyrich who passed away today was an impassioned and effective advocate of limited government and freedom. Paul, a social conservative, championed economic liberty also. He was a very good friend of CEI, although sometimes the philosophical views of libertarians confused him. I recall one lunch when he stated: “I’m trying to grasp libertarian defense policy. As I understand it, the goal is either unilateral disarmament or every American should be able to have their own tactical nuke?”
Paul had an excellent understanding of how ideas became – or failed to become — policy. The Free Congress Foundation was a key meeting place to outline policy alternatives and to hammer out a movement position. I recall one meeting years ago, when then-Senator Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire came to the meeting. Paul — like all of us sometimes seduced by the amorphous rhetoric of this most abstruse of cities — introduced the senator, noting that the senator would now share his views with us. Humphrey looked at Paul and noted: “Paul, we’ve all been in Washington too long. I’m not gong to share anything with anybody. I’m going to tell you what I think and then you decide whether you agree or not!”
Paul’s role was critical. He will not easily be replaced but he would certainly demand that we continue the effort. The war for economic liberty, for limited government, for a nation of laws – not men – will go on forever. Paul has fallen in that struggle. By fighting on, we honor his memory.
See also, Myron Ebell’s statement.