February 26, 2006
Friday night marked one of the year's biggest events on the local social calendar, at least if you are a Republican: the annual dinner in honor of Ronald Reagan. Rebecca Hagelin, a vice president of the Heritage Foundation, spoke to nearly one hundred guests at the recently restored Stonewall Jackson Hotel in downtown Staunton. Her book, Home Invasion: Protecting Your Family in a Culture That's Gone Stark Raving Mad, is a call to arms in the culture wars. She came across as very serious, sincere, and devoted to raising public consciousness about the depravity to which our kids are subjected on a daily basis. The Staunton Daily News Leader covered the event. I am not as "gung ho" on cultural issues as some conservatives, mostly because I think the way to address social ills is through religion and civic action rather than politics, but I am keenly aware of the crisis of filth. Conservatives need to keep in mind the principle of accountability: letting people suffer for their own mistakes as a way to learn, rather than berating them for bad behavior and/or smothering them with "compassion." Of course, the innocent among us -- i.e., teens and preteens -- do need active protection by law enforcement and community leaders, and that is where Ms. Hagelin's book is right on target.
One of the guests at the dinner was Rhonda Winfield, the mother of fallen soldier Jason Redifer who died in Iraq just over a year ago. She was the main speaker at the "Support the Troops" rally we had in Staunton last August, and I gave her a copy of the video CD of the event which I made. She is a very gracious and decent woman who just happens to be a very articulate supporter of the cause of freedom, and it was a true honor to meet her in person.
I was surprised to learn that James Webb, who served as Secretary of the Navy during the Reagan administration, is running for the Democratic nomination to run against Senator George Allen, who will probably run for president in 2008. See Washington Post.