Cultural Revolutions

Conservative Relatives

Howard Phillips, a giant of the conservative movement and a founding member of the New Right, passed away on April 20 at the age of 72.  A graduate of Harvard University, Phillips was appointed by President Nixon to head the Office of Economic Opportunity with a mandate to shut it down.  When Nixon gave in to political pressure and declined to end funding, Phillips resigned in protest.  He later left the Republican Party altogether because of what he considered its lack of faithfulness to the conservative cause.  He would go on to found the influential Conservative Caucus and the U.S. Taxpayers’ Party (now the Constitution Party).  He was the party’s nominee for president three times, in 1992, 1996, and 2000.

My first interaction with Howard Phillips was in 1996.  I had been an enthusiastic supporter of Pat Buchanan’s GOP presidential campaign, and once it became apparent that Pat was not going to win, I was determined not to vote for Bob Dole.  I was vaguely aware of the U.S. Taxpayers’ Party, so I mailed a request for some information.

A few days later I arrived at work and a message was awaiting me.  A Mr. Howard Phillips had telephoned and wanted me to return his call.  I was flabbergasted.  I was just a wannabe activist looking for some information, and the head of the party was calling me personally. ...

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