I’m sitting at Reagan National Airport waiting for my flight home. I just spent 24 hours meeting the people who keep America free. Well, besides the people in uniform. It’s the Heritage Foundation’s donors and leaders. It’s Heritage Action and its Sentinels.
It’s decidedly NOT the ruling class, the two big parties.
I had the high privilege of sharing a panel with 14 people who work a lot harder than I do. People like Jim Duncan of North Carolina and Kevin Kookogey of Tennessee. These are people who abandoned the safety and comfort of anonymous recline to work on the front lines of our war for America’s future.
Heritage Sentinels–over 9,000 strong–make life on Capitol Hill a little less comfortable for members of Congress. Al French told a story of one Congressman who told a Sentinel, “I’ll have to look up that bill. I don’t know much about it.” The Sentinel said, “What? You voted FOR the bill two days ago!”
The Sentinel program, and Heritage Foundation’s great research and communications, couldn’t happen without donors. Heritage turns down big dollar offers from corporations and chambers who hope to influence Heritage toward the established ruling class. While principles make for great headlines, they also force Heritage to rely on generous private donors. Like my new friend Sylvio.
Sylvio made my trip a blast. He’s a fellow Catholic, originally from Detroit. He worked in the auto industry and retired to Mississippi. One of the most pleasant humans I’ve ever met, and a man who deserve our thanks.
Mostly, I want to thank my Heritage Action leaders: Ben Evans, Jessica Anderson, Russ Vought, and Michael Needham. They all could make a lot more money and live more comfortable, quiet lives outside of the political nightmare of Washington. But they put America’s future before their immediate comfort. The enable and empower the largest grassroots community organizing force in American politics, and future generations should know their names.