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Terry Dolan, RIP

National ReviewJan 30, 1987

Terry Dolan, RIP

AS HEAD of the National Conservative Political ActionCommittee (NCPAC), Terry Dolan was a prophetic figure, one who left a mark on history.

NCPAC played rough. It specialized in the kind of"negative campaigning' that recently became a fashionable issue. NCPAC's negative campaigning, granted, never got as rough as Lyndon Johnson's in 1964 (recall the TV spot of the little girl with the daisy, a hydrogen bomb in the background, which as much as said that a President Goldwater would blow up the world). NCPAC never approached anything like "Ma, Ma, where's my pa?'--the Republican jibe at Grover Cleveland's begetting of an illegitimate child--or Joe McCarthy's masterpiece, "Alger, I mean Adlai, Stevenson.'

What NCPAC did, in the main, was to tell thetruth about their representatives' performance in Washington to the folks back home--a devastating disclosure that resulted in the defeat, in 1980, of George McGovern, Frank Church, Birch Bayh, John Culver, and others who had little business maintaining that their views were representative of those of their constituents.

The idea of direct political action by right-mindedactivists astonished a Republic accustomed to systematic polemical exhortation only from organized labor unions. NCPAC was less successful in 1984 and 1986, but the idea of organized political communication survives the tragic death at so early an age of Terry Dolan. His friends, and friends of his brother, Anthony Dolan, principal speechwriter for the President, extend their condolences.

COPYRIGHT 1987 National Review, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning
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