“Political correctness is going to kill us.”
The New York literary agent, who grew up on Long Island, vividly recalls her beloved city being attacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001. Despite having a view of lower Manhattan from her office, she first heard about a plane striking the World Trade Center’s north tower while listening to the radio. Like many, she initially assumed a tragic accident had taken place. Just over an hour later, she watched in horror from her place of business as the south tower collapsed.
“It makes me angry that many of us have forgotten about 9/11,” Teitelbaum said. “Politicians are now afraid to use words like Islamic radicalism, jihad, or even terrorism.”
While not a first-hand victim of the attacks, the strong-willed professional shared a painful memory of accompanying a friend trying to locate her husband at the New York City Armory. Seeing hundreds of missing person signs, coupled with the raw emotion of the shocking attack’s aftermath, is something Teitelbaum will not forget. Yet she also remembers a genuine feeling of unity that temporarily erased Republican, Democrat and Independent labels.
“We just don’t have the pride we once had in this country. I miss it,” she said. “You can love the world and love other countries and cultures, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying America is the greatest country in the world.”
Working in what she called an “extremely liberal environment,” often intolerant of traditional views, Teitelbaum needed an outlet to connect with like-minded New Yorkers. As bumper stickers reading “Friends Don’t Let Friends Vote Republican” decorated Manhattan in 2008, she attended a local Heritage Foundation meeting.
“The Young Presidents Club was the first time I ever paid money to be involved in a political club,” Teitelbaum said. “It was the first moment I felt like I was actually participating.”
With painful teenage memories of her father’s fatal bout with cancer, Teitelbaum actively opposed health care legislation that liberals shoved through the halls of Congress in defiance of public opinion. While despondency was a tempting option after the bill’s narrow passage, she quickly found a reason for optimism.
“I knew Heritage was going to be my voice,” she said. “Not everyone can have a loudspeaker, but I felt so proud that Heritage was going to be right on [the new health care law] immediately.”
While continuing to help authors develop their careers, Teitelbaum plans to increase her political activism even further. She wants more women and young people fighting for smaller government in the crucial months and years ahead.
“I’m sick of hearing that America is second-rate or Americans are stupid,” she said. “The reason I love Heritage is that you can tell there is a real love for our country.”
Teitelbaum refuses to waiver in her belief that failing to confront evil, simply to avoid offending someone, will result in grave danger.
“As a New Yorker, you better bet I’m concerned when there is a bomb in Times Square,” Teitelbaum said. “Let’s be forthright about the enemy we’re fighting. You can do that and still respect other cultures.”