The President of The Heritage Foundation Visits King's
Uniting Conservatives Of All Stripes
By Chris Ross
NEW YORK, March 17, 2010—Dr. Ed Feulner, the president of The Heritage Foundation, said that if Alexis de Tocqueville visited America today, “He would look around. He would marvel. He would be reaffirmed in the institutions that had been built.”
Feulner added: “Whether it is the churches, synagogues, and places of worship” or any number of other voluntary institutions, de Tocqueville—the author of a seminal work on the American democratic system—would be heartened to see a vibrant and voluntary community spirit in America.
Feulner spoke to students at The King’s College in New York City on Feb. 9, 2010, as part of the college’s Distinguished Visitors Series.
However, Feulner said, even if de Tocqueville was encouraged to see the volunteer spirit thriving in America, he would “look around and say, ‘But what is all this stuff coming out of Washington and why is it there?’” Americans help each other so well on a local level, he said, that it would be curious to the writer why such a bureaucratic state would be necessary.
At Heritage, Feulner and his team promote a decentralized American political system, not “one kind of unified, homogenous solution being imposed from Washington.” In general, he said, the people at Heritage aim to be “un-hyphenated conservatives,” meaning that they forsake labels. Rather, they try to follow traditional views of conservatism, such as those of Edmund Burke, who believed in “little platoons of society.” These platoons were basic social structures required to retain character in the political system.
Because Heritage aims to further broad conservative principles, Feulner said that one of the reasons George W. Bush’s presidency fell short was Bush’s “penchant for adjectives before conservative,” such as “compassionate conservative.” Feulner added that there was nothing compassionate about “spending the people’s money on centralizing things like more Washington power over education.”
Though Heritage did not support the former president in all of his policies, he said, they did support him when he proposed the right ideas in such areas as tax policy. Feulner said, “We believe in certain conservative principles at Heritage.” They may frequently support Republican proposals, he said, but “We’re not in the hip pocket of the Republican party.”
Feulner concluded: “We’re just conservatives here at Heritage, Mr. President. That’s enough for us.”
To download an audio podcast of the interview, visit: http://www.tkc.edu/media/audio/default.html
For more information about The King's College please contact: