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Meese: Fight Campus Leftists, Block Big Government

Wednesday, 13 February 2002 12:00 AM

That statement by a New Mexico university professor was cited by former Attorney General Edwin Meese III as an example of the "intellectual elites” on the nation’s campuses who are undermining the patriotism and the values instilled in America’s young by their parents.

Campus elitism is one of two major challenges facing the nation today, Meese told a Washington audience Tuesday night. The other, he added, was the political opportunism by leftists who use the threat of terrorism to justify bigger government.

Meese, who served as President Ronald Reagan’s White House counselor and then attorney general, was accepting the Claremont Institute’s Henry Salvatori Award. Salvatori was an Italian immigrant who spent most of his life working to pay back this country for the blessings and opportunities it had offered him. The late industrialist was in the Reagan inner circle (the "kitchen cabinet”) throughout the former president’s career.

After being introduced at the Claremont dinner by a fellow Cabinet member, onetime Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, Meese cited an instance of the chairman of a university sociology department who ordered a secretary to remove an American flag she’d hung in her office in honor of a friend who had died in one of the hijacked planes.

In another case, one campus granted a permit to students protesting the war in Afghanistan while denying a permit to those wanting to demonstrate in support of American troops.

The longtime presidential confidant, who is now a Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow in Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation, urged his audience "as alumni, as donors, as trustees … to be sure that our campuses or academic communities live up to the responsibilities that they have to preserve, to perpetuate and to pass on those cultures that even now enable them to operate in an atmosphere of freedom.”

The former attorney general said he delighted in the students on many campuses who are "showing a newfound patriotism as they contend with the aftermath of September of 2001.”

On many of those same campuses, however, "there are those elites who recoil and dread the new patriotism they see happening before their eyes.”

Many professors, he noted, have a history of defiling our country back in the 1960s when they were students.

Meese said alumni need to pay attention to what is going on at their former schools, and "counter the fraudulent mouthings such as those that I’ve quoted with the truth.”

The other danger, one "that accompanies our wartime posture,” Meese declared, "is the scheme of some liberals to use the necessary emphasis on national defense to expand the power of the federal government to areas that have nothing to do with national security or homeland defense … and expand the power of those in Washington, D.C.”

As an example, he said, there are those who would "use the wartime needs as an excuse to cut back or eliminate the necessary tax reductions our president has proposed and which have been enacted by the Congress.”

Energetic use of military power to defend our nation is the primary constitutional responsibility of the federal government, the Salvatori awardee pointed out. But the centralization of authority in the hands of Washington bureaucrats is not only not a constitutional responsibility, "but is in actual violation of the Founding Fathers’ concept.”

Meese said "our liberal fiends” might recall that during World War II and the Korean War, Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, both liberal icons, cut domestic spending drastically to "provide more resources for the war effort.”

"We should do no less in the current war,” he opined.

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That statement by a New Mexico university professor was cited by former Attorney General Edwin Meese III as an example of the intellectual elites" on the nation's campuses who are undermining the patriotism and the values instilled in America's young by their...
Wednesday, 13 February 2002 12:00 AM
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