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Mar 27

Reclaiming Conservatism: How A Great Political Movement Got Lost - and How It Can Find Its Way Back

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

A leading figure in the American conservative movement for over 40 years, Mickey Edwards argues that conservatives today have abandoned their principles and become champions of that which they once most feared.  The Conservative Movement was based on a distinctly American kind of conservatism which drew its inspiration directly from the United States Constitution - in particular, an overriding belief in individual liberty and limited government.  But today, Edwards posits, the mantle of conservatism has been taken over by people whose beliefs and policies threaten the entire constitutional system of government.  By abetting an imperial presidency, he contends, so-called "conservatives" have gutted the system of checks and balances, abandoned due process, and trampled upon our cherished civil liberties.  Today's conservatives endorse unprecedented assertions of government power - from the creation of secret prisons to illegal wiretapping.  Once, they fought to protect citizens from government intrusion; today, they seem to recognize few limits on what government can do.  The movement that was once the Constitution's - and freedom's - strongest defender is now at risk of becoming its most dangerous enemy.  While frank in his assessments, Edwards does also propose a blueprint for reclaiming the essence of conservatism in America.

MICKEY EDWARDS is on the faculty at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and is a Vice President of the Aspen Institute.  He was a U.S. Representative from Oklahoma, a former National Chairman of the American Conservative Union, and a Founding Trustee of The Heritage Foundation.  After leaving Congress, he taught at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government for 11 years.  He was also a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and other major newspapers.

More About the Speakers

Mickey Edwards

Hosted By

Becky Norton Dunlop Becky Norton Dunlop

Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Read More