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  • No Left Turns: A Handbook for Conservatives Based on the Writings of John M. Ashbrook!
  • No Left Turns: A Handbook for Conservatives Based on the Writings of John M. Ashbrook - Ashbrook.

Ashbrook flew off around the nation, saying Nixon was weakening an already weakened national defense. Ashbrook did not enter these primaries to gain anything politically for himself. In fact, he stood to lose, if anything. Many Republicans were outraged by his outspoken opinions of Nixon.

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They saw Ashbrook as an insolent ideologist. Of course, they misunderstood him entirely, for he was not an insolent man. Nor, was he a political pragmatist, like Nixon. Ashbrook simply believed in risking everything over a matter of principle. And in seeking the Presidency, he was left to standalone. Only a few hard-line conservatives in the house dared speak out for Ashbrook.

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After the Republicans had again crowned Richard Nixon king at their convention in Miami Beach, I read a story that quoted Ashbrook as saying he would go ahead and vote for Nixon in the November election. I promptly wrote and told him this statement was inconsistent with the typical Ashbrook thinking. At no time have I said I would endorse, work for or even vote for Richard Nixon—or any other candidate from that standpoint. On several occasions reporters have categorically made this assertion despite my statements to the contrary.

I could not support McGovern, and if it were ultimately Nixon, it would be very reluctantly. I will not stop to contemplate history. Let us just say that the years came and went, but John Ashbrook still held on to that seat in the Congress.

That feat alone was enough to surprise him. And for me to throw the Nixon thing again too…well, I was swimming upstream. I spread my message. So I guess you do not have to be on the winning side to be victorious. Ashbrook eventually saw himself go from beleaguered defender of the conservative cause to one of the leaders of the new Right during the Reagan victory of Ashbrook felt that his side had finally achieved some success, but he wanted one more political prize: a seat in the U.

To get it, he worked long hours. His calendar looked like an old-fashioned train schedule. He drove all over Ohio in his van, stopping at every tea and reception he could find. He was determined to defeat liberal Senator Howard Metzenbaum in , and, considering the mood of the nation and Ohio, nobody was laughing at him for trying. But Ashbrook never got the chance to participate in what he called a classical political contest of liberalism versus conservatism.

He died in his office in Johnstown in April, Americans of every political opinion praised him for his service to his country.

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Thus, he was on friendly terms with even his most ardent political foes. The conservative research center will serve scholars interested in understanding the policies of Ashbrook. He meant what he said, stuck to his conservative principles, and voted as he believed—even if it meant risking everything. After all, he said, he could lose nothing but a seat in the Congress. He could always go home to his newspaper. The experts always seemed to miss the point about Ashbrook. They said they could find no greater record of political futility. They said his twenty-one-year career was a continuing triumph of idealism over practicality, of principle over effectiveness.

John M. Ashbrook had deep ideals. I believe he was a political success, despite the record. Events of the past few months have literally forced many Americans to reassess our posture in the world.

They have had to examine again some of the policy decisions of the past two decades which have made our current crisis a basic demonstration of the dangers inherent in the decline in our power. Probably no word is more misunderstood than the word power. For the last twenty years, I believe there has been a conscious effort mad to convince Americans that somehow or another it is dangerous and immoral for us to be so powerful.

At the outset, let me say that in no way do I feel threatened by the United States being the most powerful nation in the world. Quite the opposite. I feel threatened if we are not. Amazingly enough, this country is full of intelligent and concerned citizens who look upon our power as a threat to world peace.

They have been working strenuously to cut back and limit the power of the United States of America. History clearly shows that, like it or not, regardless of any idealism we would espouse, power exists and has been exercised by whatever country or force which had it at the time. The only question facing Americans, as I see it, is whether we remain the most powerful nation in the world and endeavor to use that power for noble and peaceful ends or whether we allow lesser powers to assume positions of world leadership and use their power for less noble or, in the case of the communists, obviously evil ends.

That fundamental issue is rarely discussed. In fact, apologists used the anti-war movement in the s and a subsequent spade of anti-military, anti-CIA, anti-FBI reaction to limit vital American power in dozens of ways. They have traveled the length and breadth of this country telling of the international dangers of a strong America, and paraded our sins and shortcomings with derisive glee.

Frankly, I always wonder about these people who on a clear day can see all of our sins but do not have one breath of anger left to castigate the communist genocide in Cambodia or Soviet incursions into Ethiopia, Yemen and Afghanistan. The acquisition of, maintaining and expanding of American power is at once a proper, moral issue.

It is more than that. It is a military, political, economic and diplomatic issue. It is also an issue of survival which is rarely discussed by the summer soldiers in American political debate. I have always been an advocate of military superiority. I always will be. I will always be an advocate of the use of American military might for noble ends in a world which may either welcome or hate our involvement. While might does not necessarily make right, it is very obvious to me in the context of our present world situation that right will never triumph in the world without the might of the United States of America.

Recently there was a great debate on the limits of power. What is happening in the Mid East is based in large measure on that decline of our power and the diminishing influence which results from it. Certainly, it will be a sad generation of Americans fifty years from now which look back on this year of our testing when the Soviet Union marched into yet another country to overrun and occupy it. And the Soviets ponder the feeble response of a nation heralded the most powerful nation in the world.

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That response is a long debate on whether we should send our athletes to the Olympics. I picked up a recent newspaper and it had a banner headline which proclaimed that President Carter told the Russians to get out of Afghanistan or else. Or else what?

Only a truly powerful nation can issue ultimatums like that. We have long since passed from a capability to do so. So the Soviets invaded Afghanistan with a major military move. Of all things, think about that!

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Why, the President got on television and said it was disturbing and he had misjudged them. No issue is more vital to the future survival of this nation and the free world than our historic confrontation with world communism. The McGovernites who lost the election in took over the foreign policy of this nation in We are reaping that whirlwind. To start with, there is no doubt in my mind that the Soviets are acting precisely as they have always acted. They have reacted to the Afghanistan opportunity precisely as they have always reacted when their own self-interest was involved.

They will continue to act this way in the future. The only thing new is that our leaders choose to notice it now. Soviet adventurism is based on two propositions which must be known at the outset. First, they have properly understood us as withdrawing from world leadership. They see us as an emerging paper tiger. They see President Carter as a person who has cancelled the B-1 bomber, delayed Trident submarines, cancelled the neutron bomb and MX missile and made a host of other strategic blunders. They see that they can proceed with anti-satellite devices and a range of new generation weaponry with little more than a whimper from Washington.

In fact, our leaders try to tell the American people about the supposed peaceful inventions which we know the Soviets do not have. Add to that their involvement last year in Ethiopia, Yemen and the whole horn of Africa.