This Tuesday, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton addressed The Heritage Foundation’s Chicago Community Committee on American Sovereignty Under a Post-American Presidency as part of out Protect America Month. You can read Chicago Committee Chairman Vince Kolber’s introduction below, and watch Bolton’s speech in the video embedded:
It is noteworthy that we have come here today in the Land of Lincoln, when on this very day 150 years ago Lincoln received his party’s nomination a few short blocks from here. We also are in the birth state of Ronald Reagan and without forgetting about that Alinsky- and Jeremiah Wright-inspired current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – who hails from Hyde Park but a short eight miles drive south of this venue.
So here we are as conservatives in the heart of the very metropolis that produced a national leadership which taxes more, spends much more and dissipates our American strength with an apologetic and an appeasement-based foreign policy. Living in the ZIP code as I do that gave the most money to elect our President, let me tell you it has been pretty lonely.
The good news is that the loneliness is ending. Congratulations to each and everyone of you for making it to this loneliness-busting event as Heritage Chicagoland emerges here in the gut of a leviathan. Heritage membership growth is accelerating across America, encompassing 650,000, but it is particularly exciting that our Chicagoland group numbers are approaching 12,000 — up nearly 44% in just one year. The recent advent of Heritage Action, which gives us a critical advocacy tool kit, could not come at a more necessary moment than now. While Sarah Palin is to be congratulated for asking the Question of the Year– “How is all that hope and change working out for you?” — all of us here today and the 4,000 that gathered a few days ago in Rosemont to hear her are the contrast, the contradiction and indeed the hope we conservatives can bring to culture renewal and support for principled, well- informed government officials. My recent visit to Capitol Hill is all it takes to convince me that Heritage is more necessary now than ever before. Leadership of all stripes in Washington not only need the Heritage values message with solid analytics, some actually crave it. Heritage is our tenacious champion of constrained governance, liberty, the pursuit of happiness without guarantees and peace through a robust national defense. Your generous support of Heritage is greatly appreciated.
So our guest this afternoon is not only relevant to our state of contradiction and contrasts but also timely on a day when Ahmadinejad is on the front page for making a nuclear fuel deal. Ambassador John Bolton served President George W. Bush as Under Secretary of State and then as United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations. It is in these roles that we became most aware of the unique skills of this extraordinary individual who rose to represent we the people in those tumultuous years in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. John Bolton brought careful principle-based analysis to his roles with uncommon clarity and forthrightness as a forceful advocate for America’s global interests. We witnessed these fruits honed and initiated during the Reagan years with distinguished service in Washington leadership roles at the Department of State, the Department of Justice, and the Agency for International Development and the American Enterprise Institute. So it is John Bolton’s decisive, principled, unapologetic approach with peace through strength as its backbone which contrasts the global policy of that Hyde Park elitist whose themes are appeasement, apology, the shunning of longstanding friends. If all those in government and elected office had Ambassador Bolton’s skill and mindset we might not need a Heritage, but I assure you that such is not our prospect. Welcome to Ambassador John Bolton.