Morton Blackwell spoke Wednesday at Liberty University School of Law’s monthly convocation. Blackwell is president of the Leadership Institute, a non-partisan educational foundation he began in 1979. The institute has trained more than 72,000 students for success in conservative areas of politics, government and the news media. The institute currently has about 12,000 conservative student organizations on campuses across the country, and is the largest of its kind.
“He has a passion for training a new generation … and a movement of principled leaders,” said Mat Staver, Dean of the School of Law.
Blackwell has been involved in politics for more than 40 years. His accolades include organizing and overseeing the national youth effort for Ronald Reagan as a part of the Reagan revolution. He also served as special assistant to President Reagan and was part of Reagan’s White House staff. He now serves on the Republican National Convention Standing Committee on Rules and has attended every meeting of the committee since 1972.
Blackwell has spoken at the university on several occasions and was a close personal friend of the late Dr. Jerry Falwell. To the students of the School of Law, he says, “I know that the training and education that you’re getting here is really badly needed.”
In Blackwell’s address, titled “Conservative Principles and Actions Under Obama,” he dealt with predictions concerning what he believes President Barack Obama will do in office. His predictions range from increases in taxes and government regulations to a changing of the balance of political power and the increased government funding of leftist groups at the detriment of conservative groups.
He acknowledges that this is “not a pretty picture,” but gives some hope for Republicans and conservatives. He says that now is the time for conservatives to start over again by building a normal governing majority — but unlike in previous decades, they don’t have to start from scratch.
“Large numbers of already-identified conservatives can be reached now by existing, often large, non-partisan conservative organizations which they already hold in high regard,” he said.
Conservative radio and Internet communication were identified as a means to rally conservatives outside the jurisdiction of the government. Although it will “take time to swing the political pendulum to the right,” Blackwell offered a few “action items” to aid the process. They include identifying solid Republican candidates early, increasing grassroots conservative participation and internal political party visits and pouring resources into College Republicans and the many other conservative efforts to identify, recruit, train and organize young people.
Blackwell closed with an anecdote about Dr. Jerry Falwell. He said that during Ronald Reagan’s campaign for president, no one did more for the cause than Falwell, urging his congregation to register to vote and providing information about where to register. Because of Falwell’s efforts, that reached farther than his church members, 2 million people registered to vote.