United in Purpose, a nonprofit whose mission is to unite and equip conservatives in the promotion of Judeo-Christian principles, hosted an inaugural annual Impact Award luncheon Dec. 6, honoring 12 conservative leaders who are making a transformational impact on American culture.
A wide array of conservative leaders on the group’s award committee voted on entrepreneurial courage and effectiveness in non-governmental efforts to preserve liberty and engage the public in 2017. In attendance at Washington, D.C.’s Trump International Hotel were many prominent leaders, including former Attorney General Ed Meese, Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, former Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke and most of the nonprofit organizations working on political or cultural efforts.
“Our opposition doesn’t just disagree with us; they wish to destroy us because of what we believe in,” I said as emcee for the event. The room was filled with national, state and local heroes, united in purpose, who spend their lives trying to preserve liberty for another generation.
“America and her institutions are under attack. We are warriors who hear and see it. We do not want to be fundamentally transformed. Too many citizens seem willing to throw away their own rights, at the expense of their neighbors,” I said.
When receiving the first Outstanding Impact Award, multi-media megastar Sean Hannity accepted the honor “on behalf of every irredeemable, deplorable American who clings to God, their guns, their religion and their country.” Hannity, who comes from humble beginnings as a dishwasher, cook, busboy bartender, and construction worker, sees every patriot who is understanding the battles waging to fundamentally transform America as critical to our success to preserve western civilization.
We are all “spokes on a wheel” and needed to preserve liberty and opportunity for another generation, Hannity told the crowd. “Let us wake up every day and be our spoke in the wheel, as every spoke matters. Let us do everything we can do to save our constitution, to work for the rule of law, to remember the forgotten men and women.”
Hannity asked everyone to not forget that “there is an organized, well funded infrastructure that wants to undo an election they lost in 2016.”
He also named five enemies of Trump; namely, the intelligence community, the “deep state,” the Democratic Party, the corrupt and lying media, and the weak, spineless Republican team.
With good cheer, courage, and passion, he asked those assembled and representing the conservative movement, to stand in the gap of the void left by Republicans for moral and intellectual leadership to make America great again.
Other Impact awardees included Dr. Larry Arnn, who has been president of Hillsdale College since 2000. A brilliant constitutional scholar, Arnn asked whether private association is being extinguished in the face of growing governmental powers.
Dan Bongino, a TV commentator and former Secret Service agent, told the assembled, “It’s a boxing match; keep punching back.”
Center for Security Policy president Frank Gaffney told the group that we are “in the crosshairs of a ‘red-green axis‘ which is transforming America through concerted efforts to defame, marginalize and silence their political adversaries in the current battle for the free world.”
Charlie Kirk, founder and executive director of Turning Point USA, also received an Impact award. He said he believes the next generation can be even more conservative and freedom-loving than the last. However, he warned that “what is happening right now on college campuses is a fight for America’s soul and for western civilization.”
“We’re going to win and they’re going to lose,” Kirk concluded.
Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, represents a group that battles for economic liberty and the rule of law against the tyranny of the growing administrative state’s regulatory overreach. When receiving his award, Manning said “America is the greatest country in the world and failure is not an option” for any of us.
“We are in an electronic civil war. There is a conflict of visions between the people — propagandists, the main stream media — who manufacture consent versus the citizen press,” said James O’Keefe, president of Project Veritas. He finds that too many Americans and leaders are afraid for their personal reputations and the humiliation possibility from the corrupt press.
“Moral courage means putting your reputation on the line. Personal defamation hurts but is a necessary part of triumph,” O’Keefe added. “The enemy wants us to stop. And, they want to deter other people from doing what we do.”
Star Parker, founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education has an inspirational life story, and was awarded for being an exemplary foot soldier for freedom. She goes into America’s poorest communities and promotes “the three Cs — Christianity, capitalism and our Constitution.” She also echoes former President Ronald Reagan when she says the answer to poverty is freedom and personal responsibility, not a welfare state.
Leonard Leo, the executive vice president of the Federalist Society, has transformed the legal culture through building an expanding number of lawyers, judges, state attorneys general to defend the structural Constitution that grants maximum liberties and allows human flourishing. In the absence of the battles over enforceable limits on arbitrary governmental power, all our rights and liberties are merely on parchment and can be made meaningless, he told the group in accepting his award.
Richard Viguerie, chairman of American Target Advertising, Inc., received the group’s Lifetime Achievement award at age 84. Through effective marketing and direct mail, Viguerie has equipped conservative institutions and individuals for success since the 1960s. “Look out liberals, Viguerie is just getting started in his 80s,” he said.
Viguerie also named many conservative giants from the 1940s; namely, Russell Kirk, Frank Meyer, Henry Regnery and others, whom we stand on in the conservative movement. He told the assembled not to be discouraged.
Quoting former Congressman Bob McEwen, Viguerie said, “If you can’t see the hand of God in the 2016 election, you are deaf, dumb and blind.”
Videographer Sean Moody is credited with the video work for this piece.
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