Everyone’s journey to conservatism is unique.
For Lee Edwards, the unofficial historian of the conservative movement and author of “Just Right”, his journey to conservativism was made in a moment.
“I’m a conservative because of communism,” Edwards told Ed Feulner, President of The Heritage Foundation.
In October of 1956, Edwards was in Paris and fresh out of the Army. He tells the story of the moment that changed his life:
“All of a sudden, we began hearing these bulletins from Budapest, and it was the Hungarian Revolution. And here were young men and women of my age standing up to the Soviets. Standing up to Soviet tanks and Soviet guns.
And I was so excited about this — caught up in the courage and the bravery and the desire for freedom of these young Hungarians. And then, two weeks later, the Soviet tanks came back — firing, shooting, killing maybe 20,000 young Hungarians, and then a couple hundred thousand more Hungarians fleeing into exile, because the Soviets were not going to let go of that country.
And I waited for my country to do something. I waited for more than just a press release. More than just a U.N. resolution.”
But as we all know now Edward’s wait would be in vain.
“I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I was angry. And I resolved at that point that I would do whatever I could for the rest of my life to oppose communism and to help those who were resisting it as well.”
Edwards created the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington, D.C. to honor the victims of the Hungarian Revolution and honor his resolution.
Edwards serves as the Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought for the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at Heritage.
Edwards journey to conservatism was made in a moment the world will never forget.
What caused you to become a conservative?