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Dr. Edward B. Mclean

Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 5, 2011, the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Rokita) is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.

Rep. Todd Rokita

legislator photo

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise today to recognize and salute an exceptional Hoosier, Dr. Edward B. McLean. Sadly, we lost Dr. McLean on September 12. I wish to express my condolences, thoughts and prayers to his family.

He was an inspiration on my path to serving the people of Indiana, and his teachings have become my primary motivation for seeking to reduce the size and scope of government here in Washington. He was my college professor, my counselor, and my friend. More importantly, Mr. Speaker, he was exactly the same person to countless men who associate with Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

As a man of faith, I believe we were put on this Earth to love one another and to make the best of the gifts our Lord has provided. We are all blessed to live in a country that allows us to experience liberty, the opportunity to learn, and the chance to succeed. Not every nation, Mr. Speaker, can say that.

As a professor of political science since 1968, Dr. McLean challenged Wabash College students, faculty, and alumni to think critically and encouraged all to be lifelong learners. He gave us that chance to succeed.

Moreover, he taught me the critical role of the individual in a free republic if, indeed, the republic is to remain free, and how such a system is philosophically and practically superior to the elitist and collectivist systems that have been tried throughout history but which, of course, as we all should know, have failed. They collapsed, ultimately, under the weight of their own tyranny, a point Dr. McLean repeatedly made.

And at every turn, he taught young Wabash men that our rights are derived from our Creator--not Democrats, not Republicans, not any President or any Congressman, but they came from God himself. And as a result, our rights are inalienable, as our Declaration reminds us and as men like Cicero and St. Augustine discovered for us. In a secular sense, our rights are part of natural law, as McLean always taught.

Perhaps most importantly, he taught Wabash men, professors, and others all over the world about the worthy ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals and how it might practically be achieved.

Mr. Speaker, for the Congressional Record, I would submit the following facts:

A masterful scholar, teacher, and lawyer, McLean demonstrate his rigor for teaching and pursuing his own level of education by earning his juris doctorate from Indiana University in 1975. He managed to be an effective teacher, attorney, and deputy prosecuting attorney in Montgomery County. In 1972, he received the McLain---no relation-- McTurnan-Arnold Excellence in Teaching Award. Since 1980, Dr. McLean was most closely associated in administering the Goodrich lecture series. He was active in local and State politics. He demanded that students think critically in his constitutional law and political philosophy classes.

Dr. McLean was both loved and feared as a man who challenged students to hone their critical thinking skills. He used the Socratic method to assist students in recognizing and correcting flaws in their arguments, and somewhere along the line, he earned the nickname ``Fast Eddie.''

Dr. McLean was elected to the board of directors of Liberty Fund, an Indiana institution that has a global outreach. He served there until his death. Founded by Pierre Goodrich, the son of one of Indiana's great Governors, the Liberty Fund is a private educational foundation with the mission of encouraging a deeper understanding of the requisites of restoring and preserving a society of free and responsible individuals.

Just this morning, Mr. Speaker, I pulled up a series of emails that Ed and I exchanged once. They spanned the time in which I was running for the seat I now hold until shortly after the election to this seat. You see, I was asking in the emails if there has ``ever been a nation or civilization that reversed its slide into collectivism or socialism, thereby rescuing itself from the ultimate loss of economic and political liberty?''

Sadly, and months later, he replied, as he was in and out of hospitals at the time, that he could not identify historically the type of reversal that I had described and went on to remind me, perhaps obviously, that the ``desire for more power motivates agents of the state.''

Many men today are responsible for individuals thriving in a free society because of Dr. Edward McLean. Unfortunately, it is now society that is stepping away from liberty due to the irresponsibility of the individual, aided by a nanny state willing to do things for the individual which are rightly his alone to do, and the endless quest, as he said, for expanded power by government and its agents.

So I use today not only to give this tribute to a great Hoosier, but also to, as part of that tribute, profess my continued and renewed commitment to reverse the current and hopefully temporary course of this great Nation, as it really is the last, best hope on Earth for man. For once, I want to prove Ed McLean wrong. We can reverse this course, and by so doing, show the world yet again how exceptional America is. We can and must halt the march of statism for our children and grandchildren and for the idea of liberty in the world. In this case, Ed himself would hope to be proved otherwise.

Everything Ed McLean did, he did for the men of Wabash College, his community, and his country. I would like to thank his wife, Marie, and son, Ian, for sharing Dr. McLean with us. For all he provided this world, he will be truly missed.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.