Best-selling author Ann Coulter writes a moving tribute to conservative legend and “Sweetheart of the Silent Majority” Phyllis Schalfly, who passed away in her family home at age 92 after a lifetime of leading the charge against the Equal Rights Amendment, Communism, open borders, and more with irresistible charm, grace and wit:
Phyllis Schlafly, the St. Louis-born American intellectual who grew from a shy and beautiful girl to become one of the most influential political activists of the 20th and 21st century, died today, Monday, September 5, 2016 according to Eagle Forum.
Schlafly has written or co-written more than 20 books, on military policy, education, legal and social issues. Her first book, “A Choice, Not an Echo,” is credited with winning Barry Goldwater the Republican nomination for president and inspiring the conservative movement that eventually led to Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Her military work was a major factor in Reagan’s’ decision to proceed with High Frontier technology.
There is no major national debate in the past half-century in which Schlafly’s powerful, salubrious influence is not manifest.
She staunchly opposed abortion, gambling and gay marriage and equally strongly supported Ronald Reagan and the strategic defense initiative. One of the rare times she disagreed with Reagan was over the idea of having another Constitutional Convention. She was right and she won. In 1996, Schlafly supported Pat Buchanan for president and in 2008 she supported Duncan Hunter, specifically opposing Mike Huckabee.
On March 11, 2016, Schlafly officially endorsed Donald Trump for president.
Schlafly wrote about a complicated issues with insight and clarity. Time and again she would disembowel a 500-page legalistic monstrosity with a short syndicated column. Like an Olympic athlete, her talent was to make it seem easy.
She was as proficient as any law professor in the seriousness of her arguments. This is all the more impressive because she is writing for busy people — housewives and politicians — people who probably wouldn’t mind a more purely rhetorical effort. But she never condescended to her audience. People who dismiss her as a mere rabble-rouser either haven’t read her work or have no idea what actual “scholarship” would be.
The sheer breadth of the issues Schlafly took on is astonishing. It is impossible to think of anyone alive today who addresses such a range of topics in any depth. Most public figures focus on one or two issues and stick with those. Not Schlafly — and with no detriment to her analysis. (If anyone on the left did this with Schlafly’s skill, there would be monuments, Time magazine “Person of the Year” awards, and hagiographic Hollywood movies.)
Schlafly commented on her boundless energy, saying, “It solves a lot of problems if you’re busy.”
The most fitting epitaph to Phyllis Schlafly is the last line of her profile at the Eagle Forum website, which concludes: “The mother of six children, she was named 1992 Illinois Mother of the Year.” You know she means it, and yet you also suspect she takes devilish pleasure knowing that the prominence given the award must drive feminists crazy.
Schlafly could have rested on her laurels after writing “A Choice, Not an Echo.” She could have rested on her laurels after defeating the E.R.A. Indeed, she could have rested on her laurels on any number of occasions over the past half century. America can be thankful that she did not.