Reagan biographer: Schlafly ‘smarter and tougher than liberals’|| WND

Reagan biographer: Schlafly ‘smarter and tougher than liberals’|

BOB UNRUH

 

Leftists chortled with a disturbingly malevolent glee on Monday when Eagle Forum announced its founder and inspiration, longtime conservative activist and leader Phyllis Schlafly, had died.

The critics may have been hoping her message and influence would wane.

Their wish likely won’t be fulfilled.

After all, Sarah Palin noted, “She went down swinging!” and Schlafly’s new book, “The Conservative Case for Donald Trump,” written with Eagle Forum’s Ed Martin and Brett Decker, was released on Tuesday.

Schlafly is credited with almost single-handedly defeating the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s, warning the measure would accelerate abortion-rights and “gay” rights.

“She inspired and helped launch millions of women activists to fight for family, faith and ‘for justice in the law for born and unborn,’” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.

“There are many things I learned from Phyllis Schlafly. I learned that ‘consent of the governed’ is for real; Americans have the power if they will use it. I learned that Supreme Court decisions on constitutionality are not adequate substitutions for the argument the Constitution itself makes. I learned that you can save the world from your living room and need never abandon your family for a cause. And that there is nothing more important than loving and raising your children and never contracting out the entire project to others.”

Dannenfelser said that when Schlafly’s name comes up among many modern women, “they think they know what her legacy is.”

“The so-called abortion ‘right’ was the primary inhibitor to her endorsement of the Equal Rights Amendment. These modern women argue that Phyllis’s legacy put women in a box. The truth is, she expanded opportunities for women. … It is those who continue to argue for the necessity of abortion today who truly box women in.”

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, explained the pro-life and pro-family platform that Schlafly promoted now are part of the fabric of the nation.

“Phyllis Schlafly was one of my personal heroes and mentors who inspired millions to the fight against abortion and the disastrous Equal Rights Amendment which would have made abortion a constitutional right,” Hawkins said. “Phyllis is the reason the Republican Party is a pro-life party.

“Phyllis will be missed yet her legacy will live on through my generation and in the young women who are fearless in the fight for the lives of the preborn and their mothers on their campuses and in their workplaces and communities.”

Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, said she provided the groundwork for the contemporary movement that recognizes and supports the traditional family and all its benefits for society.

“Phyllis Schlafly will be remembered for her courageous leadership in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. With the political establishment, the media, and academia all arrayed against her, she organized a grassroots movement that not only stopped the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) but became the foundation for the pro-life, pro-family movement we have today,” he said.

“I have little doubt that the political and cultural landscape of America today would have long ago been devoid of true conservatism if not for her leadership. She never surrendered her principles and she never gave in to intimidation,” said Perkins.

“Her love for God and this country drove her to fight for the constitutional principles that founded this nation. We honor Phyllis for the lessons that she taught us all. I’m proud to have stood alongside her for faith, family and freedom,” he said.

Reagan biographer Craig Shirley called her one of the giants of the American conservative movement.

“Frankly, she was smarter and tougher than the liberals she fought and conquered so joyously. The defeat of the so-called Equal Rights Amendment stands as but one of many monuments to her legacy. Still, she was always refined, always charming. Ronald Reagan liked her and said so in his diaries. I can’t imagine a world without Phyllis,” he said.

Eagle Forum’s Martin noted Schlafly “once said that she ‘had done it all – just not all at once.’”

“It was true: Phyllis was a wife, mother, and homemaker. Then, a best-selling book author, a political candidate, and a radio/TV personality. Later, she led national movements and international protests. She was a friend to thousands and a model for millions. In everything she did, Phyllis brought joy, excellence, and success,” Martin said.

“I had the unique privilege over the past three years to work with Phyllis day in and day out. I listened to her closely. And watched her even more closely. What I heard and saw could fill volumes but one thing came through over and over in all she said and did: she loved people. Her life and work was about making life better for others whom she recognized as gifts of God.”

WND founder Joseph Farah had known Schlafly for 30 years.

“I understand age was catching up with her, but Phyllis was vital and alert right up to the last – churning out brilliant, incisive commentary and always available for wise counsel. It was my privilege to publishing her most recent book, ‘Who Killed the American Family?’ and others,” Farah said.

“Phyllis was well-grounded in her faith and there is no question in my mind she is with her Lord right now. That’s the only consolation in this news. It’s her family’s loss, her friends’ loss and the kingdom of heaven’s gain.”

American Life League President Judie Brown called her a “dear friend.”

“I truly miss her … but I know she served the Lord, her family, and her nation to the utmost.”

Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, described her as a “courageous defending of liberty for all Americans.

“Her heart’s desire was to defend each member of the American family, from conception to natural death,” she said. “We are grateful for her influence in America politics, her fight against communist dictators and her education of grassroots women on the importance of constitutional and free market principles. There will never be another Phyllis Schlafly. She possessed an exceptional intellect and a kind heart. She will be greatly missed.”

Columnist Michelle Malkin said: “RIP Phyllis Schlafly: Wife, mother, grandmother, author, lawyer, tireless voice of grassroots conservative activism.”

The Trump campaign praised her for fight globalism “fearlessly” and standing up to the “kingmakers” on behalf of workers and families in America.

She was “a patriot, a champion for women, and a symbol of strength.”

“She fought every day right to the end for America First,” the statement said.

Richard Viguerie, the father of political direct mail, called her the “first lady of the conservative movement.”

Donald T. Critchlow, in the 2005 book “Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade,” credited her with finding a “genuine populist sentiment” that opposed ERA, feminism and modern liberalism.”

Without her, and her followers, Critchlaw claimed, the conservative movement might have failed at its beginning.

Even her critics confessed her efficiency, with Alan Wolfe writing in 2005: “If political influence consists in transforming this huge and cantankerous country in one’s preferred direction … Schlafly has to be regarded as one of the two or three most important Americans of the last half of the 20th century.”

She was credited with having an apt comeback for every critique of her and her work. When she was asked about sex education, she replied those classes “are like in-home sales parties for abortions.”

Feminist activists Betty Friedan once said Schlafly should be burned at the stake, and Schlafly replied that the comment showed how intolerant “intemperate, agitating proponents of the ERA” were.

She used to open her speeches with, “I want to thank my husband, Fred, for letting me come here,” explaining she did it “because I know it irritates women’s libbers more than anything else.”

WND reported Monday when she died at 92 she still was president of 80,000-member Eagle Forum, which she founded in 1972.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington University in 1944, a masters from Radcliffe College in 1945, and a J.D. from Washington University in 1978.

David Usher, president of the Center for Marriage Policy and a longtime activist on family issues, worked with Schlafly for 30 years.

“Phyllis was one of the only conservatives that supported the best leaders in the fathers’ rights movement in the 1990s. She supported my work and that of Dr. Stephen Baskerville, author of ‘Taken Into Custody,’ who now teaches at Patrick Henry College,” Usher said. “Through her mentoring, we realized that marriage-absence is everyone’s problem – fathers’ rights was just another unhappy interest group — and we began working on reversing marriage-absence.”

She authored 27 books and was praised recently by her longtime friend and former GOP presidential candidate and writer Patrick Buchanan.

Her self-published 1964 book “A Choice Not An Echo” explained the grassroots Republican resistance to the Eastern Establishment and was a historic manifesto for American conservatism.

On the occasion of her birthday only a few weeks ago, WND reported that she appeared to be getting busier with age, not slowing down.

On the 2016 presidential race, she called Donald Trump the “last hope for America” in an exclusive interview with WND.

Brent Bozell, the founder and president of the Media Research Center, once said if Phyllis Schlafly didn’t exist, “the war would be over and we would have lost.”

Schlafly also penned “The Flipside of Feminism,” that shows how feminism has made modern women unhappy.

And Schlafly has also been an outspoken voice on religious freedom. In “No Higher Power: Obama’s War On Religious Freedom,” Schlafly argued the Obama administration’s secularist policies represent the greatest government-directed assault on religious freedom in American history.

Last year, she said the Supreme Court’s creation of same-sex “marriage” was just the beginning of the battle, just as with the 1973 creation of an abortion right.

“A lot of people thought when the Supreme Court handed down its bad decision in Roe v Wade, well the Supreme Court has spoken and that’s it. That settles it. Well, it didn’t settle it. It was just the beginning of a big fight. And eventually that decision’s going to be overturned. But, meanwhile, we’ve cut big holes in it because the American people did not accept the ‘rule of law’ that one human being could belong to another human being,” she said.

“The same thing will happen here. I don’t agree that Americans should submit to unilateral rule by what Lincoln called ‘that imperial tribunal.’ That’s not the kind of government we have. If we’re going to change any laws they should go through the legislative process. The idea that basically one judge should basically remake the law, a law that has been law since long before our Constitution was adopted, is just not acceptable.”

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