We might take the liberty of applying Arthur C. Clark’s rule to politics: If an elder statesman has hope for the future, he’s probably right. If he sees only doomsday, he’s probably wrong. Optimism isn’t easy, especially when the most positive news in our 24-hour cycle is dog rescues and funny cat videos. Take Richard Viguerie’s remarks as a call to action to improve on the good gains we’ve made.

Conservatives Are Winning

by Richard Viguerie
October 1, 2014

At last Friday’s CNP meeting in Atlanta, I was honored to receive the Lantern of Liberty Award from CNP Action, Inc. I made comments at that time about how I viewed the current political scene. A number of people made reference to how important they felt my message was.

So I’ve reprinted my remarks below. As always, your comments are welcomed.


I’m highly honored and gratefully accept the Lantern of Liberty Award. It adds luster to the award considering that only two other people have received it — two people whose shoulders all conservatives stand on: my friend the late and great Paul Weyrich, and our dear friend and conservative leader without peer Ed Meese, who is on a cruise with his wife Ursula for Young America’s Foundation this weekend.

I sometimes jokingly refer to myself as 003, which means I have been active at the national level of the conservative movement longer than every living conservative except for two others. 002 is Dr. Lee Edwards, Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and 001 is the first lady of the conservative movement, Phyllis Schlafly.

I say this to emphasize the fact that I know what it’s like for the conservative movement to be on hard times, and 2014 is a time to be encouraged and optimistic.

I strongly disagree with my friends at the local, state and national level who are discouraged, disappointed and disillusioned. In my opinion, there are more reasons to be encouraged now than at any time in my 53 years at the national level of the conservative movement.

As I point out in my recent book Takeover, limited government conservatives are winning.

I was with Young Americans for Freedom in Washington, D.C. in 1964 after Goldwater’s massive loss, when there was a darkness in the conservative movement of Biblical proportions that continued through Nixon’s resignation in 1974. Then our arch enemy Nelson Rockefeller became Vice President, followed in 1976 by Ronald Reagan’s defeat for the nomination and Jimmy Carter’s election as President.

During most of the 1970s I felt that I wouldn’t be surprised to see plagues of locusts, frogs, flies and boils appear.

And remember, in the 1960s and 1970s we did not have talk radio (Rush, Hannity, Levin, Laura Ingraham, etc.), cable TV (Fox News), and the Internet.

We did have Ronald Reagan, but not much else. Today, we have Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Congressmen Louie Gohmert, Jeb Hensarling, Jim Jordan, Justin Amash, Tim Huelskamp and others.

And we have numerous promising governors including Mike Pence, Scott Walker, Sam Brownback, Bobby Jindal, and Suzanna Martinez.

And we certainly didn’t have the Tea Party and its millions of supporters.

One reason some conservatives are discouraged is because of some high-profile primary defeats this year.

But remember that about 95% of Tea Party/conservative victories in the last few years have come in open races – with no incumbent.  It’s exceedingly difficult to beat an incumbent in a primary.

But even though conservatives defeated few incumbents, this primary season we did defeat the Republican House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor.

Keep in mind this primary season:

  • No Big Government Establishment Republican ran on their record except Thad Cochran, who’s campaign cheated by seeking illegal Democratic votes by promising to expand government welfare programs.
  • They all ran as born-again conservatives.
  • The Republicans in Congress have moved to the right.  The Congressional Republicans are significantly more conservative today than they were just six years ago.
  • And they are way, way more conservative than 15-20 years ago.
  • Why do you think Obama’s complaining about gridlock and obstructionist Republicans? It’s because of us conservatives – we have put the fear of God in the Big Government Republicans.
  • In 2014 the Republican incumbents beat the conservatives by among other things outspending us 5-1, 10-1 and sometimes 20-1.

Also, a major mistake conservatives made was to run two, three or more candidates against a single establishment candidate, thereby splitting the anti-big government vote and allowing the incumbent Republican to win with less than 50% of the vote (Lamar Alexander 49.7%, Pat Roberts 48%).

Conservatives, this is important: Remember, our number one goal is not to win elections.  That’s important, but the reason we’re involved in elections, the reason we give money, the reason we spend time away from our families, our hobbies, our careers is to Save America.

And conservatives, in my opinion, we’re close – very close to taking over the Republican Party in 2016, including nominating and electing a conservative for President and governing America in 2017.

I lay out a plan in my book Takeover for conservatives to do exactly that.

Also, we need to remember something very important. The leadership that Americans need and are looking for doesn’t come from Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Reince Priebus, or any of the Republican establishment. The leadership comes from each of us in the conservative movement, our organizations, our members. We are the driving force to Save America.

Conservatives, be encouraged, continue to work smart and hard, pray, and keep the faith – We’re Winning.