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Heritage Foundation To "Fight Back"
In 1981 newly elected president Ronald Reagan embraced a "Mandate for Leadership," a blueprint for conservatism issued by the Heritage Foundation. Two years later, at a dinner celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Foundation, Reagan told the star-studded conservative audience that "Historians who seek the real meaning of events in the latter part of the 20th century must look back on gatherings such as this. They will find among your numbers the leaders of an intellectual revolution that recaptured and renewed the great lessons of Western culture, a revolution that is rallying the democracies to the defense of that culture and to the cause of human freedom, a revolution that I believe is also writing the last sad pages of a bizarre chapter in human history known as communism."
Some 25 years later, the missiles being launched by one of Washington, DC's most powerful conservative institutions are coming in the form of fundraising appeals. Five days before the election, Ed Fuelner, the Foundation's president, sent out a fundraising letter to supporters reminding them that the election was coming "down to the wire and conservative ideas are under attack from all quarters" and that such ideas as "free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense," were being forsaken by "candidates on both sides."
The day after Obama's historic victory, Fuelner struck again: "The Left is sure to claim a mandate to impose its radical agenda on America—from the economy to energy to the war on terror, from the Supreme Court to taxes, health care and education. If we are to fight back against the liberal onslaught, we need your support today. Our goal is to raise $80,000 towards this effort by November 15."
According to Fuelner, "On the campaign trail, liberals called for tax increases, massive new government health care programs, drastic new environmental controls and more…. Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts said, 'we'll have to raise taxes ultimately' as a result of liberal spending increases. He also wants to cut defense spending by a quarter…. "
In spite of this, Fuelner assured supporters that the Heritage Foundation "will not stray from our mission to fight for the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense."
Two weeks later, Fuelner laid out a partial framework for future attacks on the new Administration—increased government regulation and tax increases. "The Obama administration would act quickly to implement the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed controls on carbon dioxide, which amount to a massive new energy tax," Fuelner exclaimed. "Why do they want to move so quickly? They say their rules are in response to the dangers posed by global warming.... "
In his address to the foundation's President's Club, Fuelner cited the "wrong-headedness" of such writers as Paul Waldman, who wrote a piece for the American Prospect titled "The Coming Conservative Crack-up," and George Packer, whose piece "The Fall of Conservatism: Have the Republicans Run Out of Ideas?" appeared in the New Yorker. It is wrong to interpret the "failures" of the Republican Party "as the fall of conservatism," said Fuelner.
Make no mistake about it, the Heritage Foundation will not fade into obscurity. Its two-year "Leadership for America" campaign, which ended in 2007, raised $104,868,342 in gifts and pledges, exceeding its goal of $85 million by nearly 25 percent. With its more than 200 staff members and $60 million budget, it has enough resources to continue flooding the Washington landscape with policy papers, op-ed pieces, and weblog posts. Its spokespersons are still going to be quoted regularly by the mainstream press.
Fuelner is undoubtedly correct when he writes: "In Washington, there are no permanent victories and no permanent defeats. We must remain firmly committed to our principles in both good times and in bad. That's why your help is so important." Progressives should understand and adopt this credo as well.
Bill Berkowitz is a freelance writer covering conservative movements.
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; email@example.com; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; email@example.com; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: email@example.com; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.