Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Heritage Insider

Amy Ridenour, RIP. Amy Ridenour, longtime conservative leader and founder of the National Center for Public Policy Research, died last Friday. David Almasi writes:
“Her vision was for the organization to be a very different kind of think tank: More nimble than others and focused on giving the conservative movement capabilities it didn’t already possess. Her success in achieving that vision was recognized when another conservative leader said of the Center, ‘It’s more than a think tank… it’s a do tank.’
“Under her leadership, the Center initiated Project 21, a black conservative leadership group that’s created over 30,000 media opportunities for black conservatives and libertarians. She also launched the Free Enterprise Project, a conservative shareholder activism and education program. Dozens of major corporations have voluntarily adopted shareholder resolutions proposed by the program. Amy played a significant role in virtually every conservative advance in the past three decades.
“But one contribution of which she was most proud few knew about. Though the U.S. eventually won the Cold War, that outcome was far from certain. In the early 1980s, it was nearly derailed by the nuclear freeze movement.
“On March 7, 1983, the day before a major nuclear freeze movement rally was to take place in Washington, DC, Amy and other pro-defense leaders countering the freeze movement met with President Reagan at the White House. The president confided that he feared his effort to rebuild America’s defenses and win the Cold War could fail because the media was against him. Amy gave the president a pep talk and outlined a strategy she’d used to go around the mainstream media to reach the American people using alternative media, including talk radio, local community newspapers, and religious media.
“President Reagan took her advice and that very afternoon personally added 13 lines to a speech he was scheduled to give to the National Association of Evangelicals the next day. That speech would become known as the ‘Evil Empire’ speech. It rallied support for the struggle against totalitarian Communism by framing it in moral terms.” [Amy Ridenour’s National Center Blog]