Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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The Director’s Corner

On Principle, v3n3

June 1995

by Charles E. Parton

In 1986, Randy McNutt edited and compiled No Left Turns: A Handbook for Conservatives Based on the Writings of John M. Ashbrook. The manuscript serves to illustrate John Ashbrook’s concerns the American Government was headed in the wrong direction in the 1970s and 1980s, and that liberalism was as great a threat to the future of America as communism. Twenty years later, many of the same issues are still being debated.

The Congressman was concerned that Americans lacked the will to maintain military superiority in the world; that such a commitment was a threat to world peace. Ashbrook was a great source of support for the Reagan initiative to rebuild an American military that had been decimated by the Carter administration. More importantly, however, Ashbrook was delighted to have a president in Ronald Reagan who understood the nature of power, and the courage to use it for noble purposes. Ashbrook would not be a FOB.

If John Ashbrook were alive today, he would rejoice at the demise of the Soviet Union. If he were still in the Congress, I doubt that American soldiers would be in Haiti, collecting garbage and directing for a fascist dictator, however benevolent. Nor would American soldiers be led by anyone other than American officers. China would not have "favored nation" trading status, and America would not have its foreign policy and trade being determined by a world trade organization.

If Ashbrook were still alive, Phyllis Schlafly would be his running mate as he continued to run for the presidency. Neither would bother issuing an apology for their stance on the abortion issue–principle rules.

During his 21 years in Congress, John Ashbrook rejected liberalism at every turn. He warned against increased budget deficits, the high cost of federal regulation and the coming tax-revolt. "Liberals fear this revolt even more than all the others because it threatens to choke off the fuel on which their engines run." John Ashbrook would like what he would be seeing in congress today.

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