I'll never forget the phone call I received from Richard Viguerie, often called the 'funding father' of the New Right, on election night 1980. A dozen liberal Senate candidates, and presidential candidate John Anderson– campaigns that Craver, Mathews, Smith & Company had worked on that year — had just gone down to in landslide defeat.

“Well, don't take it so hard,” Viguerie said. “Afterall, now you're gonna get rich because in our business we always do better when we're out of power.” Well, I didn't get rich, but business sure did boom as the progressive movements and causes rallied againt the Reagan Revolution and the rise of the Right.

The Reagan Revolution, in no small part, was made possible by the skill, determination and down right entrepreneurship of Richard Viguerie. In the late '60s and through the '70s the direct mail empire he built almost single handedly raised the American conservative movement –and some of its more extreme branches — from obscurity to power.

But unlike today's consultants who move easily from the campaign trail to the lobbyist's trough feeding off the spoils of victory, Richard Viguerie remained true to his beliefs and true to causes he cared about. And like so many ideologues he's felt the bitter sting of “betrayal” as the movement he helped build morphed into go-along-to-get along politics as usual.

So for anyone who has ever been in that position (and that's most of us who've helped build ideological movements or done issue politics) the release today of Viguerie's new book, Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause is worthy of note.

No wonder, given the groundwork he laid and the conservative foundation he helped build, that as the election results of 2004 became clear, Viguerie proclaimed,
“Now comes the revolution! If we dont implement a conservative agenda now, when do we?” Then he added: “Make no mistake. Conservative Christians and values voters won this election for George W. Bush and Republicans in Congress. Its crucial that the Republican leadership not forget thisas much as some will try.”

Vigueries new book serves notice to the Republican Party that it must hew to the conservative line if it hopes to remain in power. For before Karl Rove, another direct marketing guru, there was Richard Viguerie. And, it's important to remember that while Roves first loyalty is to the GOP, Vigueries is to the conservative movement.

Vigueries latest book gives Conservatives their marching orders for the coming political battles ahead, so no matter which side you're on it's worth a read.

Published by Bonus Books scheduled for release July 22, 2006.

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