Grover Norquist, unknown to most Americans, is the conservative boogeyman of the progressive big-government spending liberal left who vilify his defense of the American taxpayer.
In 2016, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump battle to face Hillary Clinton, to be elected the next President, and headlines continue to declare Americans for Tax Reform's Grover Norquist as some version of the "most hated man in Washington," or "Most powerful man in Washington D.C".
Lately columns tease a shakeup in traditional power orthodoxy, as they declare Trump is able to break Grover's control, trumpets Salon.com: "How Donald Trump could break the anti-tax crusader's stranglehold on the GOP". The NewYorker.com says Norquist is the Republican Party's "Ringleader," and WashingtonPost opinion piece muses "Nearly all the GOP candidates bow down to Grover Norquist."
I met Grover at his Invite-Only "Wednesday Meeting", a weekly gathering of more than 150 conservatives fighting to stop the overreach of Federal Government and Washington D.C. machine from snuffing out the free-market economy.
Norquist unapologetically defends himself to 60 Minutes, reminding viewers it's the voters that are the power holders because they are the ones that throw out politicians that violate the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge." The pledge is a candidate's promise to citizens not to add new or more, (or overall raise) taxes on hard-working voters. The ATR office has display wall of politicians his movement has defeated. Politician who violate their pledge to fight for voters against more taxes have seen defeat in their re-election bids. Watch the segment titled The Pledge: Grover Norquist's hold on the GOP.
LUSSIER: What drives you?
NORQUIST: A desire to secure and expand individual liberty here in America and, through our example, the world.
LUSSIER: What comes first to you and why: Faith, family or country?
NORQUIST: I believe the right to liberty is divinely inspired, that America is the first and best example and opportunity to fully become a successful free society and that this is best for my family. I can argue that in reverse. Chicken/egg.
LUSSIER: Who is your favorite historical person and why?
NORQUIST: George Washington. He made it happen. He could have lost the war of independence. He could have become king. He did not win perfect freedom....slavery...women's rights...but he moved the ball forward and created the possibility and likelihood of victory in the future. He is the model for successfully defending and expanding liberty given the circumstances of the day.
LUSSIER: What is your favorite hobby?
NORQUIST: Reading historically based murder mysteries. Stand-up comedy.
LUSSIER: Who/what has been the biggest influence on your life?
NORQUIST: Parents. Warren and Carol Norquist.
LUSSIER: What public figure do you most admire/respect and why?
NORQUIST: Ronald Reagan for creating the modern Republican party committed to principle rather than a regional party of the North.
LUSSIER: If you could have dinner with any famous person dead or alive who would it be and why
NORQUIST: Julius Caesar...What were the plans for marching East? Why? Tell me about Cleopatra.
LUSSIER: What was the last song you sang? Where were you?
NORQUIST: I sing to my daughters almost daily. It embarrasses them greatly. That is the point.
LUSSIER: Where do you see yourself one year from now, and five years from now?
NORQUIST: I intend to run Americans for Tax Reform until we have reduced the size and scope of the central government by half. That will take 25 years.
LUSSIER: If you buried a time capsule, what would you put in it for others to find 100 years from now?
NORQUIST: A picture of my family. A book I wrote, "Leave Us Alone" a timeless argument for how to win and protect liberty.
LUSSIER: If there was no monetary cost involved, would you go on the one-way trip to Mars?
LUSSIER: What message would you like to leave for the youth in our country?
NORQUIST: Grow up. Join the adult world quickly. To not extend adolescence or childhood. Peter Pan was not the hero of that story.
LUSSIER: What do you want your legacy to be?
NORQUIST: Structures in place to continue to fight to limit government and protect liberty.
LUSSIER: What moment in your life defined your future?
NORQUIST: The decisions to take a job with the National Taxpayers Union right after graduating from College. All flowed from that.
LUSSIER: Are there any parts of your life you would like to "do over"?
NORQUIST: I often thought that through college. Usually after breaking up with a woman. But two years later I decided that any "do over" would have made today's successes unlikely or impossible. And I would have missed my wife.
LUSSIER: What's one of the funniest things that ever happened to you?
NORQUIST: Getting locked inside Kruger National Park in South Africa (a 19,000 square kilometer game reserve) when it closed at night....driving down dark roads past hyenas and other wildlife... funny now .... not as funny then.
LUSSIER: What's on your iPod/iPhone/Name your 5 favorite songs or bands?
NORQUIST: Deep Purple. Janis Joplin. Green Onions.
LUSSIER: What is your favorite meal?
NORQUIST: Chicken and.....
LUSSIER: What is your favorite time of the day?
NORQUIST: 5:00 a.m. I write then. The day is before me. I haven't yet wasted any time or screwed anything up. A time of hope, planning, anticipation and uninterrupted work.