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Mickey Edwards, Former Politician, to Speak on How Conservatism Lost its Way

(Posted January 26, 2009)

Mickey Edwards, former Republican Congressman from Oklahoma

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Mickey Edwards, a lecturer in public and international affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School since 2006 and a former U.S. Representative from Oklahoma from 1977 to 1993, will give a talk at Juniata College about how conservatism lost focus as a political movement and how conservative politics can make a comeback at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 4 in Neff Lecture Hall on the Juniata campus.

The lecture, titled "The Constitution and the Future of the Republican Party," is free and open to the public.

Edwards is the author of "Reclaiming Conservatism: How a Great Political Movement Got Lost -- and How It Can Find Its Way Back," a recently released book that charges neoconservatives and the religious right with wrecking the conservative movement by veering away from core conservative values such as individual liberty and divided government. He goes on to argue that "reclaiming" conservatism means restoring the primacy of the Constitution, particularly the principle of three equal branches of government. He also recommends that government should take incremental steps in public and foreign policy. He also writes that the conservative movement should rid itself of all religious influences.

Since losing his seat in Congress in 1993, Edwards has been an active and influential educator, teaching at Princeton and as the John Quincy Adams Lecturer in Legislative Practice at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He also has been a visiting lecturer at Harvard Law School and a visiting professor at Georgetown University. More recently, he was an instructor at The Washington Center's program for the Republican and Democratic national conventions, a program that a handful of Juniata students attended this fall.

As a member of Congress, Edwards was a member of the House Republican Leadership and served on the Appropriations and Budget Committees. He is one of the founding trustees for the Heritage Foundation and the national chairman of the American Conservative Union.

He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1958 from the University of Oklahoma and went on to earn a law degree in 1969 from the Oklahoma City University School of Law. He worked as a newspaper reporter and public relations person before starting his law career.

Edwards continues to write opinion pieces in such papers as the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, and has been a weekly commentator on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." He has written two other books, including "The Modern Conservative Movement," is currently is working on another book on American conservatism and the Constitution.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.