Everyone’s journey to conservatism is unique.

For Lee Edwards, the unofficial historian of the conservative movement and author of “Just Right”, his journey to conservativism was made in a moment.

“I’m a conservative because of communism,” Edwards told Ed Feulner, President of The Heritage Foundation.

In October of 1956, Edwards was in Paris and fresh out of the Army. He tells the story of the moment that changed his life:

“All of a sudden, we began hearing these bulletins from Budapest, and it was the Hungarian Revolution. And here were young men and women of my age standing up to the Soviets. Standing up to Soviet tanks and Soviet guns.

And I was so excited about this — caught up in the courage and the bravery and the desire for freedom of these young Hungarians. And then, two weeks later, the Soviet tanks came back — firing, shooting, killing maybe 20,000 young Hungarians, and then a couple hundred thousand more Hungarians fleeing into exile, because the Soviets were not going to let go of that country.

And I waited for my country to do something. I waited for more than just a press release. More than just a U.N. resolution.”

But as we all know now Edward’s wait would be in vain.

“I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I was angry. And I resolved at that point that I would do whatever I could for the rest of my life to oppose communism and to help those who were resisting it as well.”

Image result for victims of communism memorial

Edwards created the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington, D.C. to honor the victims of the Hungarian Revolution and honor his resolution.

Edwards serves as the Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought for the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at Heritage.

Read more about Edward’s work >>

Edwards journey to conservatism was made in a moment the world will never forget.

What caused you to become a conservative?

Comments (14)

Robert Cherba - December 1, 2017

My very liberal/lefty younger brother says I was brainwashed in the Air Force, altho’ I don’t recall ever discussing politics from 1959-1963. ‘Voted for Kennedy in ’60; Goldwater in ’64. I’ve given this some thought lately, and can’t pin my conservative conversion on any one thing. The Air Force plus living in Arizona 2 yrs and being exposed to AZ vs MI news coverage probably opened my political eyes. Also learned that the government lies. Whatever the reason, I’m the only conservative in the family — all of whom are still in Michigan.

Author Steven Lawrence - December 1, 2017

Thanks for sharing, Robert!

Richard Rondelli - December 1, 2017

I was born in a democratic family,in a
democratic neighborhood on the very southside of Chicago. Went to work for International Harvester and became a liberal. When Johnson came in and started the great society, I became a Republican.Later after watching those Sunday political programs, and hearing both sides, I became a conservative.
Today, I don’t consider myself a Repub-
lican anymore, just a conservative.

Maria Antonia - December 1, 2017

I am a conservative because I believe in the sanctity of life, marriage is between a man and a woman, small government is best for this nation, legal immigration and I love this country, it may have some faults, but, it still the best country in the world.

John Babor - December 1, 2017

I don’t know how in the hell you got my email address, but lately it seems everybody is sticking their hands out for donations. If I gave to every Tom, Dick and Harry that wanted a donation, I wouldn’t have enough money to live off of every month. Kindly drop me from your mailing list. I’m not intrested!

Ragnar Liljequist - December 2, 2017

I was a child when my father told me he voted for FDR the first time he ran for president. FDR’s programs caused my father to switch to being a republican, and he voted for the GOP for the rest of his life. I followed in my father’s footsteps, never regretted it. I just wish we had term limits like the president; it’s the only way we will ever clean up the corruption.in congress.

Berry Swantner - December 2, 2017

I had a very liberal mother who believed
in government programs established
by FDR,women’s rights, Kennedy,abortion
anything liberal.I decided back then I
was going to be a conservative since I
disliked all those things and believe in a
republican style of government and believe
so strongly in our constitution.I have only
become more conservative as i have
aged and seen what the liberals are
capable of doing to our country and pray
that the younger generations will become conservative’s also.

Timothy R. Buttner - December 2, 2017

I taught for 42 years in the Baltimore City Public Schools, starting in 1966. I watched the demmycrat administrations in that city use the school system as a piggy bank and a pawn, while presiding over the decline of a once great city and a once great school system. From the first time I could vote I have been a life-long Republican. Proggie policies are a cover for a demmycrat power grab and an example of mass hypocrisy…

Michael J. Hirt - December 2, 2017

In approximately 1978 a friend of mine, Stan Stenberg and I were talking about politics and had somehow heard of the Freeman Institute. We decided to organize a lecture and invite Cleon Skousan, the founder, to come to Fairbanks, Alaska to do a presentation on the US Constitution. He came and several hundred community members attended his seminars over the next several years. I began to understand and love that document. I believe it to be an inspired document and hold it’s roots to the level of scripture in my life and the framers, although not perfect, were as inspired as the ancient Apostles to pass on documents and writings that apply to our world today. Conservative principles are generaly a guide for us to get along with others that don’t necessarily share our same religious beliefs even when others aren’t Christian or even religious.

BOBBY E. RICHARDSON - December 2, 2017

I WAS RAISED ON A FARM BY DEMOCRATIC CONSERATIVE PARENTS. I WAS TAUGHT THAT YOU HAD TO WORK TO SURVIVE IF YOU WERE PHYSICALLY ABLE. THEREFORE, I HAVE LIVED BY THOSE TEACHING ALL OF MY LIFE, (NO PARTY) JUST CONSERATIVE TEACHING AND BELIEFS. THANK THE LORD FOR CONSERATIVE PARENTS IN THE LATE THIRTYS.

Robert Hammons - December 2, 2017

I didn’t become a conservative,by the grace of God I was born a conservative. I was raised on a farm by the greatest hard working parents ever put on this earth. We never took anything for granted and never expected anything from anyone we didn’t work to get. Nothing was wasted in our house,we were grateful for everything. This was also expected of our government but was seldom received!!

Jon Kern (@JonKernPA) - December 3, 2017

Somewhere around the late 70s, I read about the Hungarian Revolution in James Michener’s “The Bridge at Andau.” I became a staunch anti-communist. That also cemented my movement to conservatism and individual freedom. Quickly followed by a subscription to National Review. Accuracy in Media with Reed Irvine. And voting for Ronald Reagan in my first election that I could vote in.

Louis Fattrusso - December 4, 2017

The ideals of conservatism match my long held principles

Mac - December 8, 2017

I became a strict conservative when Johnson started giving away my funds to the ‘great societsy’. History tells us that a Nation cannot survive if it forgets and destroys its foundations of which the current ‘political correctness’ is doing.

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