Faith Whittlesey, 79, championed 2nd Amendment, opposed communism and regime-change

by WorldTribune Staff, May 24, 2018

Amb. Faith Ryan Whittlesey, a Reagan administration official and 2nd Amendment proponent, died on May 21. She was 79.

Faith Ryan Whittlesey, right, was U.S. Amb. to Switzerland during the Reagan administration.

A staunch pro-Life conservative, Whittlesey was “an early and enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and remained a staunch ally,” Ralph Z. Hallow noted in an obituary for The Washington Times. “Like Trump, she opposed using America’s military might to change foreign governments except as a last resort to protect vital U.S. national interests.”

She was also dedicated “to citizens’ rights to own and carry firearms for protection and sports became one of the battleground issues inside the administration, with the more cautious high-ranking officials wanting to keep Reagan away from gun-rights as an issue except among certain constituencies at election time,” Hallow wrote.

National Rifle Association (NRA) CEO Wayne LaPierre said that “Faith always stood by the Second Amendment and the NRA when it counted. The truth is, that in the early Reagan administration, she was part of a dedicated group that fought to ‘Let Reagan be Reagan’ because they knew it was the best way to preserve conservative principles. She was a steady compass for Ronald Reagan and his beliefs, and continued to be that compass answering the question of ‘What would Ronald Reagan do?’ for the rest of her life.”

After two tours as U.S. envoy in Berne, Whittlesey became chairman of the Swiss American Foundation.

Faith Ryan Whittlesey, with then NYC Tribune Editor Robert Morton in 1990.

“Though she had worked her whole life, even while raising her three children, Whittlesey found herself unwelcome in the women’s movement,” The New York Sun noted on May 22. “Whittlesey believed this owed to her opposition to abortion and commitment to the cause of life. We came to admire her greatly for the way she stayed with the pro-life struggle.”

Hallow noted that Whittlesey, “who was raised as a Protestant and converted in 2000 to Catholicism, was a staunch anti-communist and equally staunch admirer, she said, of John Quincy Adams’ observation: ‘We do not go abroad for monsters to destroy.’ ”

Hallow continued: “Seeing Ronald Reagan as that same kind of anti-communist, anti-foreign entanglements conservative, she waged a rough-and-tumble war on behalf of ‘Reaganism’ as a senior official in his White House and as his ambassador to Switzerland.”

Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese III, chairman of Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, said Whittlesey’s “personal charm and gracious manner enabled her to be a successful leader in her political and philanthropic endeavors,” adding she was “a good friend and a dedicated patriot” who provided “invaluable service to President Reagan as a strong advocate for conservative principles and as a respected diplomat.”


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