Heritage Foundation to Host Memorial Conference Honoring Midge Decter

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Midge Decter, for many years a board member of The Heritage Foundation, and for much longer a leader in conservative thought and action, passed away a year ago this month on May 9, 2022.

Next week, on May 31, at 2 p.m. EDT, Heritage will host a conference celebrating her life and legacy and looking at the continued relevance of her thoughts on today’s challenges.

Decter led the movement of dissident liberals to conservatism in the 1970s and 1980s. For many years an editor, Decter was repulsed by 1960s liberalism, and turned away from it to raise the banner of conservative thought and common sense.

With her influential works, such as “Liberal Parents, Radical Children” (1975), Decter defined the conservative cultural critique of the liberal turn to radicalism. She was equally active in the realm of foreign policy, co-chairing the Committee for the Free World and later receiving the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

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Midge Decter addresses an American Spectator black-tie dinner for fellow conservatives on Nov. 1, 1987. (Photo by Cynthia Johnson/The Chronicle Collection/Getty Images)

A prolific author and organizer, Decter wrote compellingly against the culture of victimhood at home and, in her words, against “heedless and mindless leftist politics and [the] intellectual and artistic nihilism of fashionable literary-intellectual society.” Never afraid to speak her mind, Heritage was honored when she agreed to join its Board of Trustees, a position she held from 1981 to 2015.

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