Eagle Forum President Ed Martin joined SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Wednesday’s Breitbart News Daily to talk about the passing of the Forum’s legendary founder, Phyllis Schlafly, and the final book he co-authored with her, The Conservative Case for Trump.
Marlow praised Schlafly and the Eagle Forum for “the ability to fight with all your heart, and with all your soul, for what you believe in, and still keep dignity and grace.”
Martin agreed this was something of a lost art for the rest of society in the Internet era, pointing to the “vicious things said” about Schlafly online after her death, in addition to the “slurs” and “nasty stuff from the Left” that were spray-painted on the Eagle Forum building.
“The building where we work out of, a beautiful two-story brick building, was spray-painted the day of her death. The morning, the next day, we got to work with slurs and comments and all nasty stuff from the Left,” Martin said.
He recalled a feminist once saying she wished Schlafly could be burned at the stake, and Schlafly replying with a smile, “You’ve just proven how desperate and despicable the Left is.”
“I think one of the things that we have to do as believers – as people who believe that other human beings are valuable – is that we have to fight, like we know we have to, for these good things, the truth,” Martin said. “We also have to remember, on the other side of these fights, are human beings that are made in God’s image. That’s what Phyllis taught.”
He said one reason he and Schlafly wrote The Conservative Case for Trump is that “conservatives have sometimes retrenched, and said, ‘I can’t stand this or that about a candidate,’ and not understood what Phyllis Schlafly taught, in 70-plus years in public life: that politics is where the action is, and you have to make progress. You have to understand what’s happening.”
“That’s what the book talks about,” said Martin. “These are key moments, and conservatives especially have to understand why Trump is the pick and why they have to get motivated.”
He described the book as “ten short chapters, about 200-plus pages,” based on Schlafly’s writings over the past year on Donald Trump’s policy positions.
“The first chapter is on immigration. The second chapter is on trade, on through political correctness and others,” he said. “What Phyllis knew was, she was a teacher, and all she did, really, she would say, ‘You make the best arguments with the best facts, and if you don’t win on that round, you come back again.’”
Martin noted that interest in Schlafly’s final book has prompted renewed sales of her seminal work from the sixties, A Choice Not an Echo, which “laid out what she’s done for 40-plus years, which is identify the kingmakers, people that want to control what’s going on in the Republican Party, at the detriment of the people, the grassroots. And after you identify the kingmakers, encourage the voters to pick wisely.”
Martin said Schlafly was “thrilled with Trump, and they got to know each other a little better.” He shared that “before she wrote about him, she’d never met him.” He listed “immigration, trade, American sovereignty,” and “the centrality of American people over international concerns” as Trump issues that Schlafly was especially excited about.
He also mentioned the issue of “military superiority,” where Schlafly saw in Trump “a guy who was not just saying, but understood, America doesn’t just need to be strong; we need to be better than the other guys.”
And on education, Martin said Trump was “consistently talking about school choice and opportunity for others.” He suggested this was a lesson Trump learned from the Presbyterian leader Norman Vincent Peale, who taught that “every person has dignity, and therefore, you go and make yourself better.”
“What Phyllis saw in Trump, and what the book talks about, is on these major issues. Even on family, you know, people are like, ‘Oh, Trump has divorced twice and remarried.’ Well, okay, but let’s talk about how he relates to his kids. Let’s talk about how he talks about the family,” Martin suggested. He added:
You know, sometimes we all are imperfect. That’s the rumor, that we are imperfect. And when we are imperfect, we say, “Well, what is the ideal?” He talks about his mistakes in marriage. There are a lot of people in America who have made mistakes in marriage. They want to know the leader is talking about his kids, the future of the country. And that’s the kind of stuff that Phyllis saw, and that’s what you’ll find in the book.
Responding to a caller’s praise for the inspiration Schlafly offered to generations of women, Martin recalled her rebuking power feminists by saying, “She had it all, just not all at once.”
“What she meant was, at various times in her life, she was a wife and a mother, homemaker. Then she was an author. She went back to school and became a lawyer.” He continued, “In other words, what she said was, the opportunities are almost infinite for women – but one of them, a wonderful one, is homemaker and wife and mother.”
The other story I wanted to mention was, about three or four months ago, someone attacked her viciously, and I get mad. I want to fight. I want to challenge someone to a duel, right? And I said, “How do you not get mad?” And she said, “You know, Ed, it’s water off a duck’s back.” And then she paused a beat and said, “But you do have to learn that.”
He then declared:
In other words, we know that there’s meanness. It still takes its toll. But over time, you realize, like that caller said, and thousands, millions of Americans knew: Phyllis Schlafly was on their side. She was talking about things that mattered to them. She would stand at the front of the fight. And it was a privilege to know her.
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